Jeannette resident and local musician Chad Fetty is leading efforts to rid the city of crime and violence.
Mr. Fetty, lead singer for the band East Coast Turnaround, has coordinated an anti-violence/peace rally titled, “We Are One … A Rally for Peace,” to be held at 2 p.m. Sunday. The rally will begin on the steps of city hall, where there will be several guest speakers, who will lead a march down the the city’s main street, Clay Avenue, in protest to call attention to criminal activity in the city.
The march will end at the Keynote Cafe on Fourth Street where participants will be treated to a special performance by East Coast Turnaround and other musical groups from 3 to 5 p.m.
“Let’s stand together to stop this violence and take our streets back,” said Mr. Fetty.
In late November, Mr. Fetty, 35, sent a letter to city council, asking for its support of the rally and in “putting a stop to the increasing violence on our city streets.”
He added, “These heinous crimes are eating away the very core of what made our city great. There was a time when our children could run the streets until dusk and the only worries were the mischief they were causing.”
“Those were the good times; these are the desperate time,” he continued. “I look around and see the people are afraid, ashamed, and disgusted that this violence is the new voice of our city. Its voice is echoing loudly with every gunshot or crime that's committed on our streets.”
Mr. Fetty’s request to council came on the heels of the arrest of Dionne Lee McKelvin, 35, who was charged for firing shots that hit four houses on North First Street and struck a woman in the arm and chest while she was inside her home. The woman was hospitalized for her injuries.
Mr. McKelvin remains in the county prison in lieu of $500,000 bond. He faces charges of attempted homicide, aggravated assault, endangering another person, discharging a firearm and illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
This incident, however, is only one of many of the city’s problems that Mr. Fetty said led him to take a stand.
“And, it is more than just the recent crime. It’s that things are going badly and getting worse. The people are giving up on the city,” he explained. “The crime and drugs are driving it further downhill. “
Mr. Fetty added, “The people are scared. They feel that there’s nothing they can do. But, I want to get everyone together to restore some of that pride.”
“This is our city! We have the power to change it,” he said. “We have the opportunity to start 2014 as it should, everyone gathered together as the people, the proud, Jeannette.”
Linda Metz, freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org.