Members Use the System for Positive Community Change
December 22, 2008 Leave a Comment
Can you imagine the fear it must provoke to be an illegal alien and participate with neighbors in a meeting with the Mayor and city hall officials? That is what happened in the Shalimar neighborhood of Costa Mesa.
Effy Sanchez organized her neighbors (a few of them illegal residents) to go together to city hall to demand support in taking back the local park in the neighborhood.
The lights had been shot out, the park had become a drug den, the children had to stay indoors because there was no place to play safely outdoors.
Effy and her neighbors successfully presented their plans for taking back the park. Today (with the support of city hall, the police, the parks department) the kids are playing their park!
Imagine the sense of accomplishments and pride the parents had in their community organizing success. These same parents have their own after-school homework and tutoring program in a facility they rent together right there in the neighborhood. The neighbors are discovering their power to act together. They are finding that using their civic voice makes things better for everyone in the community.