As an organization dedicated to improving the community, the Pacific Beach Town Council took the concept one step further at its Feb. 20 meeting at Crown Point Jr. Music Academy, by gathering other community groups so they could describe their work and share information.
Dubbed the Community Forum, the second annual event drew 15 local organizations that offer services and/or cover specific issues in a range of categories such as crime prevention, planning and development, the environment, education and small business, among others.
Marcella Teran, a volunteer coordinator for the 80 Neighborhood Watches in PB, said the event galvanizes community action by connecting individual groups, perhaps working in isolation, and creating a network.
“The event [is] great because it really brings an awareness to all the people who are involved in the community and what they’re about,” she added. “It’s a great way to find out if there’s something we’re all interested in getting more involved in.”
For resident Chris Hagan, the event empowered him by revealing the community infrastructure already in place to help resolve what can seem like individual problems.
“When you go day to day at a busy life — work, home and all that — you sit there and wonder: Who do I need to talk to about this or that?” he said. “Coming to this event gives you an opportunity to actually talk with those folks directly, get their information, see what they’re really about and be able to put your stamp on something and try and make this a better community.”
Despite the harmonious atmosphere, the meeting’s opening was feisty when routine presentations by the police, lifeguards and District 2 City Council member Lorie Zapf’s office were turned into a showcase on the multiple problems with the recent arrival of Bird scooter rentals to Pacific Beach. (See related story, page 9.)
Before breaking into the fair, moderator Brian White, Town Council vice president, passed the microphone to give each of the 15 organizations to introduce themselves and the work they do,
For Esteban Macias, manning the Beach & Bay YMCA table, that feature placed the Town Council convention a notch above similar events he has attended. “It’s definitely a 10,” Macias said. “Being able to speak in front of the town itself is awesome ... It breaks the ice.”
While the fair allowed community activists to exchange business cards and perhaps coordinate actions in the future, residents got a better picture the place they call home.
“A lot of information was put out,” said Hagan. “Hearing the public’s view on a lot of subjects that a lot of people like myself don’t hear about on a daily basis, opens your eyes to what’s really going on in this community.”
Groups that participated included: Beach & Bay YMCA, beautifulPB, Discover PB/Clean & Safe program, Friends of Rose Creek, Mission Bay Cluster, Mission Bay Gateway, PB Historical Society, PB Library, PB Neighborhood Watch, PB Planning Group, PB Street Guardians, PB Women’s Club, San Diego Audubon/ReWild Mission Bay, SavePB.org and SaveSanDiegoNeighborhoods.org
—The PB Town Council next meets 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 21 at Crown Point Jr. Music Academy, 4033 Ingraham St. pbtowncouncil.org