I think you are completely right about it starting with the communities. Too many people expect one person in a distant city to have the answers to all their problems when the real solution is right in their own neighborhood.
Keep your focus locally and work to get local officials in office that can help you implement your ideas about community based responsibility and I think you will find you will have much more success reaching your goals.
I’m very sorry to hear not only about your loss, but also about the way it’s been handled by your local officials. I wish you much success with your fight for justice and your vision to see that this never happens again.