Today, members of OUR community were informed of a 'victory' of sorts regarding Ponte Vista at San Pedro. If you wish to read about it, please visit: www.pontevista.blogspot.com.
What I termed as a victory is another is a string of 'victories' either large or small, achieved by members of OUR community who have done the hard work, accepted the challenges, volunteered their time and money, and found courage to face what too many folks think cannot be accomplished.
Here are some of the groups and some of the 'victories' we should be proud of:
Vista Del Oro Neighbors Against Condos (VDONAC)
This small community group formed very rapidly to deal with an out of town developer who wanted to build up to 18 condominium units on the corner of 20th Street and Walker Avenue, where the old McCowan's Market once stood.
With resolve, passion, a truly great learning curve, and wonderful help from Councilwoman Janice Hahn, VDONAC was able to help secure a zoning change that disallowed the building of condos in the mostly R1 neighborhood.
This accomplishment would not have taken place if members of the organization had not found the courage, determination, and passion to stand up and deal with the matters with resolve and efforts that would not be ignored.
The "Q" Qualification Condition placed o the two parcels were the first in the Council District and is extremely rare throughout the City.
R Neighborhoods Are 1 was also involved with VDONAC on this matter, as was the Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council. All volunteer community members working together to meet the needs of OUR community.
R Neighborhoods Are 1 has been around for several years and you should already know what their largest problem is.....Ponte Vista.
This large group of strictly volunteers from many towns and areas has a forceful steering committee and regular volunteers who assist the just cause that they are fighting.
Neighborhoods Organized and Involved to Support Education (NOISE) is primarily known for its opposition to having a large high school campus built on the Upper Reservation of Fort MacArthur.
This group has had some small victories by having the number of students originally planned for the campus, lowered. The group has also submitted ideas for alternatives to building the new campus on the Preferred Site.
This group is up against the Los Angeles Unified School District which is a monstrous bureaucracy that "sometimes the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing" according to an LAUSD employee.
NOISE still has a giant uphill battle, but its members are determined to influence the outcome of the battle.
Another group of wonderful community volunteers is offering the Community Based Alternative for the Waterfront Redevelopment Project.
This group has to deal with the Port of Los Angeles. That group is probably equal to or just slightly below the bureaucracy and craziness of LAUSD.
The Community Based Plan is a better way to use OUR waterfront amenities and will provide more positive results than what the Port of L.A. has come up with.
The Point Fermin Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization and other are trying to get approval for a Revocable Permit to be issues to allow new power required to be used for upgraded equipment and facilities at that school.
The main antagonist is, of course, LAUSD. There is a very dedicated group of parents, teachers and other community members who are trying to find resolution to problems originally created by LAUSD, whether it was not following proper codes or just losing paperwork.
The group is using a variety of ways to find resolution, but the common problem-maker is LAUSD and they really are a hard nut to crack.
The groups I have mentioned and others that are doing great works in OUR community demonstrate clearly to everyone that no one should be afraid to speak up, going with other to help solve problems, and know that victories do come.
Nobody likes to be defeated. I feel very good that OUR community has already demonstrated that it can take victory as well as defeat and remain strong and able to become stronger.
Some folks claim that SRHS 15 is "a done deal". I have to disagree with them. I think Alternatives can be found to placing the campus where LAUSD now wants to put it.
I think there are good reasons to have the campus somewhere else doing something else.
What I do not want to see or hear is that members of OUR community are not willing for fight for OUR community because they feel it is hopeless or not worthwhile.
OUR community continues to change and that is how it must be. But it is how WE deal with the changes and what impact members of OUR community can have on those changes that really demonstrate how great OUR community is and can be.
Don't be afraid to speak up, join up, and work for what you believe in. OUR community has had victories throughout 2008 and is poised to welcome more victories in the future.