After Sunday’s shooting at Mama Marks Park, local leaders are asking for a change in the Del Paso Heights narrative.
“This community is a very rich community, a very loving community,” Mervin Brookings said.
He was born and raised in Del Paso Heights and decided to invest his life there, overseeing all the organized sports. One of the shooting victims was his baseball player.
Brooks said even though Del Paso Heights might not have the money and style, they have substance. He said it is a good community and change will come if people invest it.
“Education, economic development, empowering people of the community with jobs, bringing opportunities to the community,” Brookings said.
He said he never left because he wants to be the change. Brookings said no one talks about the good in Del Paso Heights, only the bad so the reputation can’t change.
“For decades this community has been underserved and under resourced, there is a difference between perception and reality, there are bad things that happen but there are also a lot of good things,” Brookings said.
This community is part of the City of Sacramento’s District 2. Councilmember Allen Warren represents this district and is from the area.
“Occasionally there are shootings, but this is not the norm,” Warren said.
He said he knows the neighborhood has a reputation but feels safe in this community.
“It is a tough community, it’s one of those communities that has been labeled, I think sometimes labels aren’t fair. Last year we had one of the most significant drops in crime in Sacramento,” Warren said.
Warren said he is working on creating more incentives for businesses to invest in Del Paso Heights and has programs in the works. He believes this community can change the way people perceive it.
“This is a dynamic community, it produces leaders, champions, successful people, you know. I don’t think our problems are unsolvable I think we can really wrap our arms around them and help these young people to grow and mature and reach their potential,” Warren said.
If you would like to help any of the victims you can contact the councilmember's office.
Anyone with information on the shooting can contact Sacramento police.