La Mesa Conversations is a model for civic engagement

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This week, I am impressed with the La Mesa Conversations civic organization, created in order to bring the people of La Mesa together to help discuss problems and needs in their own community. This progressive style of civic engagement has the probability to become not only a formidable force in changing the community, but to enable and surpass anything that a city council or commission can provide. With its progressive nature, this type of organization is a “of the people, by the people” tour de force.

This week, I am impressed with the La Mesa Conversations civic organization, created in order to bring the people of La Mesa together to help discuss problems and needs in their own community. This progressive style of civic engagement has the probability to become not only a formidable force in changing the community, but to enable and surpass anything that a city council or commission can provide. With its progressive nature, this type of organization is a “of the people, by the people” tour de force. I have high hopes for what this will do in engaging the people of La Mesa in bringing problems and visions to a higher level, and hope that our other incorporated and unincorporated communities will keep a close eye on and follow by example.

Though still in its infancy stages, the promising hope of getting the people of La Mesa together to discuss what is important to them as individuals and a community is something that every community needs. Too many times, we sit back and allow those that we elect to make the decisions for us. And as thankful as I am for our strong-hearted whistle blowers, I believe that the very nature of this ideal is visionary in getting local people involved in the community, without the boundaries and regalia of public held offices.

In speaking with John Greenwell, one of the founding committee members, he spoke of his high expectations of this newly formed organization and it all comes from his love of his home. You will hear more about Greenwell, as his progressive stance on civic responsibility goes well beyond the city of La Mesa with the many organizations he is actively involved in.

Keep a close eye out on what La Mesa Conversations does in the future, and whether or not you are a resident of La Mesa. It might behoove you to go to one of their meetings to see what it is about, and how it works in supporting the community and its people. I truly believe that this progressive movement has the potential to spread throughout all of our communities in East County. To me, this is a great venue for the every day citizen to become informed and involved in what is happening around the community and to bring vision to each community’s government leaders. And they can use all the help they can get. In many cases, I find that our leaders lose the heart of a community through all the red tape and their own visions of what they think can make their city or community better.

As a strong supporter of civic action and engagement, this is thrilling to watch and I am thankful for people that have the vision and intelligence to know that the power of the people, if organized, can make a difference in which way a community learns, grows and expands. Too many times the voices of the people get lost in the shuffle, and more times than not, disregarded because they do not see eye to eye with those in our communities making decisions. Although they might not be the only one that feels a certain way about something in the community, it is a very small number willing to get involved enough to speak out and make a change.

Being involved in your community is a must for those that live in it. But it still takes leaders to bring ideas like La Mesa Conversations into existence and to ensure that it grows and makes an impact from the sidewalk in front of your house to City Hall. Watch as this organization takes off, and see what impact it has on the city of La Mesa. If it is as promising as I believe it is, then step up and take on a role in bringing this model of civic engagement to your own community. I hear it all the time that we the people need to take back our country, and this is the grass-roots way to do it. Not from some podium as a candidate who wants to prod people for a vote, but as a community member who loves their community and wants to see it become the best it can be. Being progressive, contrary to popular belief, does not mean being a liberal. It crosses the boundaries of political obstacles and utilizes democracy in its pioneering form. Something that is lacking in today’s society.

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