Rolling Up Our Sleeves
As you can probably imagine, it gets pretty busy here at the offices of Crescenta Valley Weekly. I don’t get down to Glendale as much as I would like and that’s a shame because when I do “head south” I tend to learn a lot.
Last week, for example, I attended the Glendale Chamber of Commerce 2012 State of the City and Awards Luncheon.
Held at the Glendale Hilton, formerly the Red Lion where I worked for a while in the early ’90s, the ballroom was packed with dignitaries who came out to celebrate honorees Massage Envy – business of the year; Rick Lemmo of Caruso Affiliate/Americana on Brand – corporate partner of the year; Ascencia – organization of the year; Louie Sadd – young professional of the year; Marko Swan – man of the year; and Laura Friedman – woman of the year.
Listening to the accomplishments and contributions each has made to the City of Glendale brings home the reason why the quality of life we enjoy is available to us. This was especially true when Mayor Laura Friedman took the mic to deliver the state of the city address.
Right off the bat she noted that she wasn’t going to be offering the traditional script celebrating the accomplishments of the city. She acknowledged the hard knocks that so many of us have suffered, including the city, which is sorting through the loss of the funding for its Redevelopment Agency.
“It’s no time for politics as usual on a local level,” she told the room.
She said that the economic crisis is an opportunity to reassess the ways things are done – and discard those that don’t work.
Rethinking how the city gets things done, attention is turning more and more to those not employed by the city but instead to volunteers.
After all, most in the room last Thursday were volunteers, whether coaching AYSO, providing housing through Habitat for Humanity, preventing homelessness through Ascencia, acting as a leader for a Scout troop … the list goes on and on.
The power in rolling one’s sleeves up to get the job done is not foreign to those who volunteer on a regular basis. Here in the foothills, many of the events that we enjoy – Hometown Country Fair, Taste in the Foothills, Taste of Montrose, etc. – are organized and manned by volunteers. It’s volunteers that are driving the fundraising for the Two Strike Memorial and volunteers who raised the money for the sheriff’s memorial. Montrose Search & Rescue Team is volunteer-driven as are the station’s Volunteers on Patrol.
As Mayor Friedman said of Glendale – whether south or north – “We’ve worked hard to establish an excellent quality of life. We’re not going to forfeit it.”
Considering the dedication and commitment that has already been made by our local volunteers, it’s unlikely we will have to.