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Private and public partnerships can make a real difference

The city’s work, along with Entergy and contractors, to transition areas of the city’s street lights to LED has been an unmitigated success.

For those who have not driven through portions of downtown Vicksburg, through areas of Drummond Street, Cherry Street and other areas, you would be surprised at the difference that single step has made.

Areas that were once quite dark — even with headlights — to drive have become far safer, not just to those driving, but to the residents who live along those streets.

And, in areas where the city has not paid for the transition, residents themselves have worked with city leaders to pay for the change, doing away with the dim, orange glow of traditional street lights.

While these bulbs are far more energy-efficient, they also provide a layer of security for people who live in those areas. And, there are more streets and neighborhoods wanting to take part.

All of this goes to prove that sensible solutions to problems within our community are best found in partnerships, collaborative efforts between public and private groups, between residents and civic leaders. 

Not only does this work in relatively little things like bringing brighter lights to our neighborhoods, but even harder problems, such as curbing violence within our community and fighting blight.

Imagine what we could do as a community if we watched out for each other and took a genuine interest in the lives of those — young and old — we are blessed to call neighbors. 

We understand the simple changing of light bulbs may not change the future, but it is a start. In this, the little things add up.

Together, we are far stronger and far better off.