I am upset with The Tampa Tribune's portrayal of Ybor City in Sunday's paper. Our neighborhood associations, the Ybor City Development Corporation, the Ybor City Chamber of Commerce and scores of businesses have been working for years to make Ybor City a safe and inviting place to live, work and play.
Gone are the days when Ybor City was an out-of-control party district. Today a wonderful and safe mixed-use community has bloomed. Ybor City is now one of the most sought-after neighborhoods for the creative industries and urban professionals seeking to escape the bland and boring suburbs. It's an area where creativity flourishes and neighbors know each other.
Does crime happen? Yes. But crimes also happen in every neighborhood. The difference is Ybor City is a dense neighborhood with tens of thousands of visitors on any given day.
Late nights are perceived to be dangerous; however, this is a perception issue left over from a decade ago. Working together with the Tampa Police Department and the mayor's office, we have reduced the crime rate by more than 75 percent. It's a different world in Ybor City than a decade ago.
We no longer tolerate criminal activity in our community and the want-to-be thugs know that. Our strong crime watch has become a model for other parts of the city, with businesses, residents and visitors working together to ensure a safe and comfortable environment.
This article is damaging to all of the work we have put into creating a great community. You have hurt our local businesses and the improving reputation of our National Landmark Historic District all in the name of sensationalism. Shame, shame, shame.