With a Grateful Heart
“In every community there is work to be done, in every nation there are wounds to heal, in every heart there is the power to do it.”
Last Saturday, April 27 at CVHS, it was a beautiful day on the high school track. CV CAN (Crescenta Valley Committed to Athletic Needs) sponsored the fourth Special Olympics track meet, which brought a gathering of over 800 people. We had over 250 athletes competing at this year’s meet, 250 wonderful individuals who inspired us race after race with their dedication and determination in spite of their disabilities. We had over 450 community volunteers who came out to prepare meals, organize events, monitor parking, and “buddy up” with an athlete to escort, encourage and share the day’s event. We had our local law enforcement and fire departments send officers and firefighters over to spend the day interacting with and pinning medals on our athletes.
All of these wonderful people in the community of the Crescenta Valley worked together to make a difference. The “heart” of our valley showed through from the moment the first athlete stepped onto the field until the last one departed.
Thank you sharing your hearts with us that day.
V.P. CV CAN
Chairman Special Olympics Event
Reviewing the Results
Now that the Glendale election is over and all of the ballots have been counted, it is interesting to note some poll numbers buried in the election data posted on the City Clerk’s website.
Laura Friedman split the wins in precincts north of Glendale College with Ara Najarian. As usual, in the far north there was not exactly a large turn out at the polls. Council member Friedman only received enough votes at the polls to fill the auditorium at CV High School.
Friedman, who won her seat in 2009 with more than 9,200 votes city-wide, was reelected with little more than 8,000 votes. This represents a drop in her totals city-wide of about 1,200 votes. This is particularly pathetic when you consider that there are some 19,000 registered voters in the Glendale precincts north of the college.
To me, these numbers indicate more than a diminished interest in Glendale politics north of the college. Friedman’s and Najarian’s positions on certain issues of interest in the north may have had something to do with Friedman’s and Najarian’s numbers.
I believe Friedman’s drop in support was related to her votes on issues of specific interest to Crescenta Valley residents which demonstrated a lack of understanding of the area, namely the Chamlian School construction issue, the perceived flip-flop stance on the road diet issue, the plastic bag ban issue, the gun show ban issue, the hookah exception to the smoking ban issue and a lack of activism opposing the 710 Freeway issue (she was not out in front on this issue, but Najarian was). Although the political landscape is changing, the north is still pretty conservative ground. Her numerous trips out of the country, which seem to have less to do with Glendale than future elected office, may also have irked some traditional voters.
To be sure, her positions are supported by many in the north, but clearly not by the number of voters in 2013 compared to 2009. Najarian may have picked up two precincts north of the college and came in second in others because of his leadership position opposing the 710 Freeway extension in particular. Although it seems true that Najarian was not on the preferred side of some issues according to north Glendale voters, no one can argue with Najarian’s support city-wide which remained stable from 2009, while Friedman’s dropped by some 13% city-wide since according to data on the Clerk’s website.
The north of the city has, by its voter turnout, renewed its reputation as “Happy Valley,” the part of the city which is politically fast asleep, where council members and candidates need only show up for photo ops and chamber mixers and ribbon cuttings. For those who live or have families here, more interest in the election and the candidates would go a long way.