Summer is over, which means it should start getting hot here any day now. But for many of us, things have already been heating up quite a bit. The long-awaited Octavia Blvd has opened to rave reviews for its form, and optimism for its function. Many of our neighbors have lived in the shadow of the freeway and the detritus underneath it for a long while, and this beautiful boulevard is everything they could wish for. Many neighbors have battled transportation issues for years as well. These could be alleviated by the boulevard and changes in the Market/Octavia plan, in which our neighborhood has been fully involved and supportive. Even so, there is one group of neighbors still needing support - the Northern Mission neighborhood. While the freeway touchdown may be an improvement over Caltran’s original planned retrofit, the reality is that there remains a tremendous impact on the quality of life of our neighbors south of Market St. HVNA is supportive of their efforts to have improvements made underneath the new structure and will continue to add our voices to theirs in requesting improvements be made. We encourage each of our members to do the same.
Membership is crucial in many ways. First is the involvement of the most diverse possible group. Second is the energy that each of you brings to the neighborhood and to the organization. Third is the dues that fund the newsletter, our outreach efforts, and other activities. Please renew (or join) now, as our fiscal year has just started.
What does HVNA stand for? Often I am so involved in logistics that I do not verbalize what this dynamic organization can mean to all of us. Sometimes we are all so involved in details that we don’t see the larger picture, or impact, of all of our actions. HVNA is about togetherness, about quality of life, about improvement, about each of us. Whether we are advocating for best use of a proposed development site, supporting wreath-making at the holidays, helping send neighborhood kids to a competition in Bakersfield, sponsoring temporary art in the local parks or providing a forum for residents to air their views, HVNA provides a structure for all of us to make into a neighborhood.
We look forward to your active participation.