MONIQUE BATSON — Port Arthur community coming together Saturday for Stop the Violence rally
Published 12:02 am Friday, April 28, 2023
Reginald Trainer often says, “If you see something, say something.”
“It’s like my grandmother used to say: a closed mouth won’t get fed,” he said. “You have to open your mouth and say something.”
It’s one of many reasons he’s urging all residents of Port Arthur to join at Barbara Jacket Park Saturday for the Port Arthur Texas Stop the Violence Rally.
“We need to take our city back,” Trainer said. “We have too much violence in the United States alone, but in Port Arthur we have way too much and we need to come together. Back when I was a kid, we played outside. Kids can’t play outside now. You never know when there’s going to be a drive-by.”
Trainer has been a long-time activist for the city in which he was born and raised. The former city council candidate is a member of PA United and the Pleasure Island Commission, just to name a few.
“I’m willing to get out there and fight for my community,” he said.
Saturday’s family friendly event begins at 10 a.m. with a parade that starts on Stilwell Boulevard and 7th Street.
The parade will end at Jacket Park, where activities such as games, music and a car show are planned until 3 p.m.
Clay Roy, president of the NAACP Port Arthur Branch, is speaking at 1 p.m. And Trainer said there will be a prayer every hour.
Free food will be available, and patrons are allowed to bring their own grills.
Event planning has been in the works for nearly half a year.
“At any given moment, there could be a violent act occurring,” Trainer said. “PA United has curbed a lot of that violence. We got a lot of Christian men together, judges, our police chief and we stared brainstorming.”
According to a statement by fellow Port Arthur activist Eric Jones, “PA United was a thought that was shared with several community leaders, programs and activists with the idea that if we could come together by way of networking and supporting one another’s endeavors, we could change the course of our city. If we could accomplish this, we could change the narrative in the city of Port Arthur.”
Jones said crime is down from last year “and it is a must that we celebrate, mention and recognize just a few of the programs, organizations and people that are making an impact in the city.”
Trainer said he hopes all families join in Saturday’s event.
“We prayed on it and we know God will be in the mix, and we’re going to do everything we can for our citizens,” he said. “If everyone would take care of their community, we’ll be alright.”
Currently the plan is to host a Stop the Violence Rally each year.
“Hopefully there will come a time when we don’t have to,” Trainer said.
Monique Batson is Port Arthur Newsmedia editor. She can be reached at email@example.com.