I extend sincere appreciation to the 15 neighbor volunteers serving our community as board members of the Elysian Valley Riverside Neighborhood Council. They sacrifice time from their families and lend their skills and talents to bring attention and improvement to quality of life issues impacting area stakeholders.
Having served in this capacity, I know first- hand that the work they take on is not easy. Finding consensus on a single issue is difficult enough between two people let alone 15. Just as difficult is tackling the multiple issues that come before the board to the satisfaction of everyone. Inevitably and understandably no one is ever fully satisfied.
Unquestionable is the good work that does get done. One need only look to the benefit derived from City funds disbursed by the Neighborhood Council in favor of community projects and services. Thankful is the Recreation Center, the Marsh Skate Park, the Frogtown Artwalk, Dorris Place Elementary School, Ascending Lights Leadership Network, Jardin del Rio and the Elysian Valley community gardens-just to name a few of the local organizations that have benefited . We too cannot overlook the direct advocacy to the City Council on issues of zoning and development, the pedestrian bike path, Metrolink HRA, Candidate forums, etc. Next week’s college information workshop in favor of EV youth is graciously funded by the Neighborhood Council. Thankful is the greater community of Elysian Valley.
Having said this, disturbing is the behavior of a selected few that have sabotaged the Neighborhood Council meetings of late using tactics of intimidation and destructive interruption. These are the same folks that recently accosted City Councilmember O’Farrell during a visit to Elysian Valley-preventing his outreach to the community. So troubling is their conduct that members of the Neighborhood Council feel threatened and harassed. Last week Councilmember O’Farrell felt it necessary to visit Elysian Valley unannounced to avoid a repeat of his earlier visit. This hostile environment does not serve our community and is unacceptable.
In view of the above, and while I prefer addressing people in praise, the Elysian Valley Neighborhood Watch finds it necessary to bring attention to the aforementioned destructive conduct which we denounce. We invite civil and respectful dialogue and urge our followers to support the Neighborhood Councilmembers, made up of well-intended volunteers. We invite those not satisfied with the work of the Council to measure their show of dissatisfaction and weight the consequences of their actions; and to become the change they want to see by volunteering their names as replacement candidates when vacancies arise on the board.
David De La Torre