Name – Jetty Walker
Lanae – This is the first question – tell me your earliest memory of this neighborhood.
Jetty – I walked to school in this neighborhood. I used to live on Green Street and I walked up to Emerson. Um, I been living in this area for thirty years. It was a beautiful area. I didn’t know all of my neighbors, but people worked together. There’s no more of that. Just like he said with all the businesses being gone you have to go outside of your community to get bread. But there’s liquor stores. Um, I am the type of person that if I go to a store, and you have an onion that you’re selling for a 1.29, one, and I know I can go to Walmart and get a bag of onions for a 1.59 that’s defeating my purpose in my community. I have to drive out of my community to get anything I want. I guess that answer that to a degree.
L – So what do you think of the changes happening here?
J – I don’t like them. I don’t like em at all. If I could get away from here I woulda been gone. My son took sick in uh 2012 and that changed my whole dynamic cause I had left for a minute to maintain the house with this water crisis I feel like I’m living in a third world country. And living right here in this community, and my mother live on the south end of Flint, she totally – vastly different. Vastly different. Even with the water piping they’re doing, working on the pipes, if you drive on Court Street, you might not understand what I’m saying, ’cause you might not even know the area, this is an example, over here they dig, they do what they have to do and they leave it open. On the south end, if you understand what I’m saying, ’cause you’re frowning–
L – No, I’m frowning like really?
J – Really. And then if you go on Court Street, my mom is in the cultural center area – what they call it–
L – I believe — that’s why I’m looking at you like —
J – Just drive other there and you’ll see it. If you go down on Mott–Court Street, where they’re digging, they have orange mesh around it y’know – so the city is divided. Things that happen on THAT side of town does not happen on this side of town. Called the police at my mom’s house, they’re there. I waited three and a half hours for a cop to show up at 105 E. Genessee. I’m right across from the park–from the peace garden. Peace garden is beautiful. But is a garden going to bring peace and unite people in this city? We’re still divided as a city. I see it, I know it. I don’t like it. But right now there’s nothing I can do about it. I’m stuck.
L – So, what do you hope to see in the future?
J – I hope to see first of all these doggone pipes. Now I couldn’t even get mine fixed for whatever reason. And-and they gave me a vague reason. But this water crisis really got me kinda very angry. Ok? I hope for this city to come together as a city, no north side south side east side west side. That’s a lot of division. Not just locality I’m talking come together as a city. Whereas if I call the police I get the same consideration living on the north end of Flint that my mother get on the south side of Flint. I need that. Ok? I need um, beautification I need stuff in our community that I can use. I should not have to drive miles to get what I need. Because just like he was saying with the stores that was in this area, I’m a small business owner, I’m in a class now to try to get back and an understanding how to bring something back into my community this north end of Flint. I’m not going anywhere. And if I do leave, it’d be out of Flint. It won’t be anywhere in Flint. That’s what I’d like to see unity within the city, I would like to see as much protection on this side of town as that side of town, I would like to see money, just like he was talking about the resource center there – they need to bring it back. All of these houses that they have demolished, and the land bank got the property, I guess, because they want to demolish my house but I keep paying my tax. And I’m still on the north end I have another house on this end of town. But what I’m saying is the-the resources for our community is not here, and that’s ugly. It’s very ugly. Last question is that it?
///// Rest is about recycling – does recycle, has to because of water bottles.
J – It’s Flint. We’re the poorest city in the nation.
J – This is not where I grew up. The city where I’m living now is not where I grew up. I don’t feel that.