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Looking for help organizing Carlos R. Davalos | Sat, Dec 07 2013 12:00 PM

Sometimes you find disappointment in the oddest of things.

Posted on the website for Northwest Civic Association is a call — I think of it more as a plea — to action by residents who live in that sector of the city and who are members of that community group.

For almost eight years Northwest has provided a host organization for anyone who wanted to be more involved in the goings on of Northwest Chula Vista, an area they demarcated by L Street, Highway 54, Interstate 805 and the bayfront.

The group doesn’t carry any legislative or even advisory weight with the City Council. But over time it has attracted attention from candidates for public office, elected officials and even the attorney for the San Diego Chargers when they were looking at Chula Vista as a possible venue for a new stadium.

This newspaper earlier this year worked with them in hosting a candidates forum for those running for California State Assembly and they have consistently hosted town hall meetings that bring government representatives to the civic library to explain projects or answer the public’s questions.

All in all, Northwest, like the other community groups in Chula Vista — Crossroads II and Southwest Chula Vista Civic Association — have worked to make civic engagement more accessible to the people who are affected by politics and public policy.

But the latest message from the group’s board of directors reads, in part:

“Without the addition of new active participants, our current board of directors will not be able to provide the necessary time commitments needed to continue our community services...”
The notice also went on to state that their Dec. 5 town hall meeting might be their last one.

What this means for the group is unclear. But what’s not out of focus is the group’s need for more members and residents to take an active role in organizing events and fostering civic engagement.

Working to enhance your community can often be long, tiresome and thankless. Whether it’s picking up trash as you meander along on your nightly walk or organizing forums so that your neighbors have an opportunity to weigh in on a particular issue that affects them and their city, serving the public is not easy. Those are often some of the activities performed by others we take for granted.

It’s natural to believe someone else will pick up the slack. It’s also natural for those who are doing the heavy lifting and organizing to get tired or develop other interests.

Nonetheless it’s disappointing that a civic group has to ask for volunteers to participate rather than turn them away because there are too many people who want to help.

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