Yakima, you need to sit down. It's time for a family meeting.

Things are not going very well in our city.

Say what you want about elections, but no one has been getting this problem right in Yakima for awhile.

A lot of what ails our community can be summed up by this one map made with Google Maps:

This map reminded me of a sex offender map many cities provide parents.

No one denies the logic of registering sex offenders. Should not the same logic be applied to gang offenders? They specifically target and recruit children.

Being Hispanic, my family has faced the racism that is still quite a large cancerous tumor in our country and here in Yakima.

But as someone who has spent the past few years struggling to find decent affordable housing in an area free from gang influence in the neighborhoods or schools in Yakima, I am done. I am tired of hearing about shootings every day, many of them just children shooting and being shot.

What the heck does it take in this town for the community to stop what they are doing and wake up?

This is not Chicago.

Our community is small enough to pull together in a way Chicago just isn't capable of. Hell, Northwesterners are a little more hardy than most folks and especially those fools in Illinois.

I mean, seriously, 50 states and that's the one y'all chose? That tells me all I need to know about most folks anyway.

When someone tells me they are from West Valley or Selah, I understand the reasons. But how far are we going to creep out into the orchards and hops fields before we ever address the problems in the city? Do you never want to have a normal city life?

We are so close right now, with a little better direction, Yakima could be a huge economic center with growth. It is PRIME with great views, great recreation, great local sourced food, great vineyards -- hell, you know why you put up with the crap here.

This is a great place to live.

But it could be better.

The homeless onslaught from Seattle is overwhelming our resources. It's time our city sued the city of Seattle for the policies and activities that flooded our streets. In fact, I would argue there was an effort by Seattle officials to push the homeless here. We are owed assistance with developing a solution and the resources to do so.

The housing situation is unacceptable.

It is time we stop ignoring the obvious and begin to get Olympia to help. Wouldn't it be a lot easier if people that were arrested for gang activity be forced to register like sex offenders? That would make it easier to weed them out of neighborhoods. Where would they live? I don't care, until they can provide verified minimum of five years free from gang activity. They should be placed on the Sex/Gang Offender list. Yeah, put them on the same list.

Right next to them. Every other picture, gang dude, pedo, gang chick, pedo, but with no designation as to which they are registered for. Pedo gang member? Nope, no job for you. Sorry, no pedo gang members within a 20-mile radius of schools, no rental for you.

This isn't discrimination based on race, it's not allowing someone as poisonous to the community as a sex offender to be identified based on activity and choices. You aren't born with gang tats. Amazing thing about gang members as well, they are not shy about it. They brag and tag and do it all on social media and in the open.

Anyone found to be a gang member would be required to follow the same rules as sex offenders, regardless of race. A statewide registry would do a lot for the entire east side.

Besides, until you do anything about the homeless or gang issues, any talk about a plaza is really pointless. Either it will just end up as another tent city like the one at the 40th Avenue exit off Highway 12 that no one seems to want to do anything about, or it will be just another place to get shot.

City officials can only do so much if you aren't paying attention to your own streets and your own neighbors.

This is on everyone.

It takes a village to actually be a village.

Time to get in the game, folks.

Are we #YakimaStrong or destined to be just a city where people used to live?

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