WASHINGTON - One neighborhood leader in D.C. has had enough with the violence in his community and he is trying to make a difference.
ANC commissioner Paul Trantham often arrives at crime scenes moments after the police. He said the violence must stop and he is reaching out to pastors and residents to find solutions in bringing peace to their neighborhood.
On any given weeknight, Trantham can be found pounding the pavement in Southeast D.C. searching for solutions to the overwhelming violence plaguing the neighborhood.
Thursday was one of those nights. We joined Trantham in Ward 8 where he is an ANC commissioner. He has been on the job for 15 months and said he spends most weeknights speaking with residents in his community.
When he is not out in the neighborhood, he is working the phone.
"I call at least ten of my constituents a day to say, 'Hello, how are you doing? Is there anything you need done or anything I can help you with?'" he said.
Trantham is among many who are fed up with rising crime across the District.
"It seems like no matter how much or what adults, the police department [and] local leaders do, crime is constant, murder is constant," Trantham said. "If not every day, [then] every week."
He represents about 2,000 people in Ward 8. He said residents' top three concerns are crime, poverty and lack of jobs. Trantham said it will take the entire community to fix these issues, including the church.
We ended our evening with Trantham at Independent Church of God.
"The church is very important," he said.
In fact, Trantham is partnering and pleading with pastors and residents to take back their neighborhoods by organizing youth forums, literacy and jobs programs.
"The pastors have an obligation to go outside of their churches and reach people where they are at to bring them where we are at," he said.
And Trantham said that is a start.