The Dispatch asked a few community members to share their hopes, goals or resolutions for Gilroy in the new year. Here’s what they said.
“MY HOPE for this year is a better economy, with new opportunities for those who have been out of work and for families that are struggling.
My GOAL is to connect people with the resources they need to achieve their goals – whether for education, job training, or stable housing.
My RESOLUTION is to continue to build the Gilroy Compassion Center, expand day services into the cold early morning hours and complete the facility work necessary to provide a year-round shelter for people who are homeless.”
– Jan Bernstein-Chargin, board director of the Gilroy Compassion Center; director of public information at Gavilan College
“My personal goals include continuing to grow the Arts and awareness of the Center for the Arts by increasing the number of people and programs that come through our doors. This can be accomplished by all the parties involved in requiring the retro fit at the Center (to be rated for assembly) making the right decisions for Gilroy when it comes to funding the project and getting it completed in first quarter 2012. Gilroy Arts Alliance will continue the momentum once that issue is resolved, as we did in 2011.
My hopes for Gilroy are that our downtown is given the attention needed, both by residents and City Government, to grow and thrive in 2012. We can’t loose any more businesses or restaurants, and we can’t afford to have any more questionable establishments allowed to open, which perpetuate the image that downtown is failing. (if your business requires wanding down the clients looking for weapons, downtown does not need you, in my opinion). We need the Center to thrive and bring people downtown for events, 5th Street Live, the Farmers Market, exhibits, theater and more. It will continue to create a base demographic that will patronize downtown businesses and restaurants. Growth is important to all of us downtown.”
– Kevin Heath, director of the Gilroy Arts Alliance
“Our goal for 2012 is to create community around healthy food. Our goal is to have a garden in every school and to teach our youth the health benefits and wonder found in a garden. Our second goal is to have the EBT CalFresh/Food Stamp Program up and running at our Farmers Market opening in the spring of 2012. Our third goal is to continue educational classes in the garden on topics of gardening, health, and wellness.
Our hope is that more people will come downtown to work and play with us at the Gilroy Demonstration Garden and Spice of Life Farmers Market. We hope that together as a community we will become stronger, more connected, enjoying our strengths and differences, enjoying the beauty found in our garden. We hope for a healthy community and a healthy, beautiful downtown Gilroy.
Our resolution to encourage a diversified group of neighbors and friends to join us in our venture in the garden and market. As Leadership Gilroy and Articulate Solutions said, “One Seed at a Time,” it is true, we resolve to continue growing one seed at a time. In these times of great change we can resolve to come together in a garden, around a dinner table to give thanks, to grow together, and resolve to live together in peace, building each other up, working together, one seed at a time!
We resolve to continue to be there for our community to enjoy, will our community resolve to join us?”
– Judy Hess, director of the Gilroy Demonstration Garden
“Personal: worry less … continue planning for retirement … get in more time afield with a trusty dog and a shotgun … visit ghost towns in Death Valley.” Political: “Work to kill High Speed Rail, especially through Gilroy. … Get rid of the Beirut building at 4th and Monterey … Resist the profligate spending ideas of those who think $25 million in the reserves is a lot of money. It’s not.”
– City Councilman Bob Dillon
“My first resolution is for the city to continue to work with local law enforcement to build upon their successful efforts to reduce gang activity, as exemplified by Operation Garlic Press. Continue to make smart expenditure decisions which will ensure the Council has the necessary information to make informed judgments, and the city will be able to provide residents with the services they need to thrive in our community. Thirdly, I would like to continue the work between the city and the arts community in Gilroy, which is a source of local pride, and an integral part of downtown revitalization.”
– City Councilman Peter Leroe-Muñoz
“1) Make City Hall more business-friendly and less bureaucratic, with the aim of attracting a better mix of good paying jobs to our community. 2)Adopt and fund cutting-edge strategies to combat and suppress gang violence on our streets, while offering our at-risk youth meaningful alternatives to the gang lifestyle. 3) Achieve more transparency in City Hall operations, including making the Open Government Commission a citizens’ body (not three council members).”
– City Councilman Perry Woodward