Erie Mayor Joe Schember says his administration is getting some good feedback from its Summer of Hope initiative.

They are canvassing neighborhoods on Erie's east side, conducting surveys to find out what citizens like about the city, and what needs to be improved.

Several grassroots and neighborhood watch groups are helping with the canvassing efforts.

They are focusing on the lower east side for now, an area underrepresented by the city, in the past, “The east side has been neglected for years, and that's why we're starting there, we want people to hear like their voice is heard, that's important,” said Schember. “The people of Erie are great and there's no better way to get to know the citizens, than going door to door and meeting and talking with people,” Schember continued.

Schember said Monday, they have conducted 92 surveys in person and online so far, and the response has been great.

He says, while canvassing the neighborhoods, he gets about five surveys completed in an hour, “I’m amazed at how welcoming the people there are,” said Schember. “It's a great neighborhood. Many people, about half of the people we've talked to there have lived there over ten years, a lot of them are born and raised in that area, they've lived there 40 to 50 years, and we're getting great feedback from them, it's really encouraging,” Schember continued.

It looks like the main concerns from neighbors they’ve spoken with so far, are safety and security, “Most of them feel safe, out of the 92 people surveyed only a couple said they don't feel safe in that neighborhood. A vast majority say they do, but they still are concerned about crime, and would like better lighting more police patrols, that sort of thing. We are hearing that, and we're noting that and are keeping track of it,” said Schember.

The canvassing will last through July, and will also include stops at east side businesses.
The administration should have a plan in place, to address neighborhood concerns and how to go about fixing them, in October.