April 20, 2007

Focus On Community

On a Positive Note ...

By Patty Chavez

Every Sunday evening before my Wednesday deadline I sketch out my thoughts for my upcoming article. And every Tuesday, social or local issues rearrange whatever outline I had in place. This week is no different.

In the last two weeks, we continue to hear about American troop causalities in Iraq, extensions of tour, and the possibility more of our loved ones being sent to war. The debate on immigration grows and lack of health care for those who need it most continues. We have hopeful presidential candidates on the campaign trail shaking hands and offering what we hope are truthful platforms. We have controversy in national and local politics. Our environment is being threatened by global warming and the cost of living is rising. And once again witness senseless murder on a campus that is supposed to be reserved for learning and growth of our youth.

It’s enough to make us just throw our hands up and say ‘what’s the point.’ Well, that can very well be the easy way out. But when I was little my Nana and Tías used to tell us about “ la mala cara’ — the grumpy mad face one gets permanently when your heart is taken over by cynicism and a sour disposition. It didn’t paint a pretty picture for us. I never wanted to be that kind of person.

These women in my life were a force to be reckoned with. In the 30s they marched for women’s rights in Mexico. They learned to stand tough at a time that certainly wasn’t easy. They dealt with loss, broken hearts and injustice. But they believed in life and believed they had a purpose. They are all gone now — I lost the last of these great ladies two years ago. But I am sure many of you, like I, have people in our lives whose strength seems almost impossible to emulate. But I think that’s the lesson, we learn and carry on from where they left off and continue to pass it along. Maybe it’s part of our purpose.

Mark your calendars for several upcoming events in the South Bay geared toward family and children . . .

The 7th Annual Day of the Child is Saturday, April 21 at Memorial Park in Chula Vista from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. This free event is sponsored by the Chula Vista Community Collaborative, the City of Chula Vista and various community-based organizations and businesses. It’s a day of family fun, entertainment and great information to help with your children’s future. For those of you with young children, make sure you stop by the South Bay Community Services booth for information on various free programs for children and families including the First 5 San Diego private nurse consultations for all first time parents and developmental screenings for children 5 and under to help set children on the right path for school. For more information on the event contact: James Marcelino (619) 427-0376.

Cinco de Mayo is just around the corner. Contrary to some people’s belief, this is not Mexico’s Independence Day. It actually commemorates the battle at Puebla against the French. But here in the United States, it has become a kind of celebration of culture and tradition... and sadly it has also become synonymous to swilling beer and margaritas. Don’t let the alcohol industry hijack our cultural celebration.

National City will be hosting South Bay Cinco de Mayo con Orgullo Para la Familia Festival, Saturday, May 5th from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Kimball Park (12th and D Ave.). This is a family event — alcohol and tobacco free — with two stages with live entertainment, food booths, crafts and children’s activities.

Chula Vista will also have a Cinco de Mayo celebration Sunday, April 29th on 3rd Avenue.

Congratulations to City of Chula Vista for finally hiring a new city manager. David Garcia has over 25 years of experience in municipal management in some of the nation’s largest and more progressive cities. With a culturally diverse and growing city like Chula Vista, Garcia seems to fit the bill as someone who can hit the ground running and transition the city to next level.

Welcome!

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