'Getting off' from the soapbox 

R. Thompson's response to my letter ("Get off your soapbox and do something," Jan. 13, 2010, Gazette) really had me thinking. However, the response came out swinging but didn't land a punch. In my letter, ("MAPS 3 needs a spanking," Dec. 30, 2009, Gazette), I was neither for nor against MAPS 3, and I stated my reasoning. Was there a space to vote for "other"?

I shared my involvement with the advisory board of my alma mater (Douglass High School) before the erection of the new school. I mentioned observations in the school and with the school board because I was there. I constantly called the police department, as well as News 9 (didn't respond), to have more patrol during school zone hours because of speeding traffic on Martin Luther King Avenue; nothing changed.

I am known by name in the Ward 7 Councilman's office. I have aided in the organization of several local grassroots organizations " All of Us or None, an initiative advocating for the rights of ex-offenders and their families, in which I worked beside the late John H. Bowman III and Wayne Thompson; Repairing the Breach Ministries " transitional living facilities for drug recovery and those released from prison " to name a couple.

I published a monthly periodical to bring a neutral voice to the black community without religion or political bias. I shined a spotlight on successes and made readers aware of the effects the community had on its residents. In doing so, several came together for "Litter Awareness Week" March '08"; I worked with OKC Beautiful and others to "Put Litter in Its Place." I asked the city to pay more attention to the area of 23rd Street and MLK, because the elderly and handicapped residents do not have safe travel along/through this busy intersection. I also contacted News 9.

The newsletter also offered articles of health, fitness, beauty and education submitted by licensed professionals. I've also requested the OKC Street Maintenance to focus on certain drainage problems.

I believe what I do is the price I pay for existing. For more than five years, I've fed the homeless from my home when it was hard for me to eat, including Christmas Days. I've clothed/fed many a crackhead and gave them words of wisdom because I quit cold turkey over 20 years ago. I have three sons; oldest former U.S. Air Force, second currently serving in Afghanistan with the U.S. Army, and third fresh in college. Recently, with my letter to the Gazette, I initiated new readership.

I'm not sure what soapbox I'm on, but I have no problem "getting off " to aid anyone in need. Sounds like someone needs boxing lessons. First lesson is, know your opponent.

"Robin Leake
Oklahoma City

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