La Mesa Connect Block Party

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I spent Saturday morning in La Mesa at its Connect La Mesa Block Party, and once again the community of La Mesa astounds me on how involved they are in the future of not only the city, but their neighborhoods. A morning of education on health and fitness, this event was an outdoor planning committee meeting, with a lot of something for everyone.

I spent Saturday morning in La Mesa at its Connect La Mesa Block Party, and once again the community of La Mesa astounds me on how involved they are in the future of not only the city, but their neighborhoods. A morning of education on health and fitness, this event was an outdoor planning committee meeting, with a lot of something for everyone.

In the spotlight was the Urban Trails mobility Action Plan. Unlike some of our communities that have open space, horse trails and various places to walk it off or get that daily exercise, La Mesa is making the best of what it has and utilizing it to its fullest extent. With three urban trails already in place, it is looking to expand its urban trails and showed the community what plans are on the drawing table for new urban trails in the future. More important, this event engaged the community to input their ideas for these future trails.

This is no easy feat and is only one of the many ways that the people of La Mesa help its local government, and vice versa, with the city creating community activities that foster involvement. An event for the whole family, there were many things to do and learn, and all of them in a fun and interesting way. From yoga to boot camp workouts, the day held a variety of programs that dealt with energy conservation, family and safety resources, art and a bike rodeo obstacle course.

In speaking with Misty Thompson, safe routes to school administrative coordinator and director of the days events, she emphasized the importance of the communities input in furthering the city’s goals to make La Mesa a walking and bike riding friendly community, and the city’s goals to make La Mesa a healthier community.

There are many ways to get a community involved in local planning, but La Mesa seems to get the fact that without the community, the city and its services could never be up to par with what the public needs. This is a great model of community engagement and though I see it in all of our communities in one form or another, this type of venue is fruitful for everyone involved. Too many times, community decisions are made from the top down in quite a few instances, regardless of public opinion. This is how local government should work and if more of our communities would hold events like this, I believe many decisions made would be the best resolution for all. If you missed the event, and want to know more about Connect La Mesa visit www.cityoflamesa.com/ConnectLaMesa.

Veterans Day

It was a beautiful day in East County for Veterans Day, and it was celebrated in many ways throughout our communities. With my schedule, I was able to make it to El Cajon’s ceremony and due to the fact that they participated in the Veterans Day Parade during the day, was invited to a wonderful evening event at the Lakeside VFW Post 5867. In El Cajon, Congressman Duncan Hunter was present and he had some formidable words, which still have me thinking. I loved the fact that he refuses to use the word victim when it comes to our veterans and active duty that serve the country by choice. And when talking about current conflicts he said the U.S. Armed Forces is “No better friend, no worst enemy.” I was moved by his words.

In the evening, the Lakeside VFW had a meal and night of comedy free for any veterans and I was able to sit and speak with veterans from World War II to the Persian Gulf conflicts. For those who took the time to greet me, speak with me, I am grateful. Not only for your service, but for your time, your story and the pleasure of your company. For me, every day is Veterans Day and with the recent attacks and scares throughout Europe, it makes me realize that it could as easily be us and those who serve and have served deserve recognition for what they do every day.

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