|Voted For Change?
Obama wants to recruit You!
How many of you went into the voting booth last November and voted for Barack Obama? Many, if not all, of you were motivated by his call for change and the hope of a new day. The election of the first black President has created a whole new playing field for our country. We are in an historic economic time, not seen since the great depression, and our society has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape our future. President Obama has made it clear he is ready to lead and needs a united community to partner with him so we can realize sweeping change. A key part of his strategy is for individuals to step forward and give their time to community building. Our community is fortunate; HVNA has already done the hard part and established the foundation for community building. All you have to do is get involved.
As an association, HVNA consists of a core group of dedicated and tenacious volunteers who have given countless hours to community building. HVNA’s dedication to maintain diversity and facilitate discussion for a more equitable and sustainable community is evident by the many positive changes in our community. Prior to the formation of HVNA in 1994, our neighborhood was divided by the Central Freeway, neglected by city officials, and suffering from despair and a lack of hope due to rampant crime and violence. John Muir Elementary School, through busing and location, no longer assumed its role as a key institution in our community. Our neighborhood parks were neglected and havens for crime and violence. Hayes Valley North and South Apts, through neglect, had become fortresses where residents were held captive by fear, crime and violence.
Flash to 2009 and we see what a community inspired by a vision can achieve by coming together as partners to make sure it becomes reality. Thanks to Patricia Walkup and Richard Johnson, we have a safer neighborhood. Thanks to Barbara Wenger, we have parks that have all gone from neglect to praise. Thanks to Cecelia Shepard, Charles Amerson and Hasinah Rahim, we have a rebuilt and safer Hayes Valley North and South Apts. Thanks to Patricia Walkup, Robin Levitt and Stefan Hastrup we have Octavia Blvd instead of a freeway dividing our community. Thanks to John Muir Principal Wheaton, her teachers and staff, test scores at John Muir are up due to their willingness to partner with community groups “To let the light shine on John Muir”. Thanks to Russell Pritchard and Madeline Behrens-Brigham, we have a vibrant Hayes Street business district. Thanks to Jason Henderson, Paul Olsen and all the community members who attended numerous meetings since 2000, we have the Market Octavia Plan to guide future development. The change continues today due to the dedication of countless unnamed individuals, whose top priority is to give back to our community.
Our community is a diverse one. We all need to participate to assure this diversity continues in the future. If you are one of the many who voted for change, now is your chance to get involved. Come partner with HVNA as we continue to advocate for our parks, public safety, John Muir’s principal, teachers, staff and students, the fulfillment of the Market and Octavia Plan, social justice, and equal opportunity for all. We can assure all resources needed for a quality education are provided to every student, and all future transportation and planning results in a dense, transit first and sustainable community.
It’s easy to get involved! Just read the committee reports and look at the calendar on back of this newsletter for ways to get involved and help make change happen. The next and most important step is to take the time and join the growing movement to put meaning into the phrase “YES WE CAN”. The election of Barack Obama as President has shown us what an individual with a vision and tenacity can achieve. He has combined a philosophy of community building and active civic involvement to make positive and equitable change a reality. He has asked that we do no less. Will you help?