OPINION&LETTERS Page A4 • October 6, 2016 • Inland Empire Community Newspapers
By Anthony Victoria
Young people: Nothing can change without your input
Two years ago a change in leadership occurred that motivated young residents to revitalize the San Bernardino community. City officials and community advocates poured into city hall to witness what many called the beginning of a “new era.” “I look forward to working with our education, religious, business and community leaders to overcome our challenges and build a more prosperous city,” Mayor Carey Davis told the dozens of residents who witnessed his oath to office on March 1, 2014. An array of organizations--the Inland Congregations United for Change (ICUC), San Bernardino Generation Now, the Time for Change Foundation, and many others--have worked alongside Davis and other city leaders in hopes of reducing violence, eliminating blight, and providing support services for residents. “We have the power to create this community we want — right now,” Generation Now member Jennica Billings said during a press conference held the day of Davis’ inauguration. “Stop focusing on our problems, our deficiencies, and focus on our gifts. It’s about tapping into those gifts. Despite those claims and efforts, the City of San Bernardino continues to be plagued by bad decision-making and petty grievances. The aforementioned groups have done their best to persuade city leaders to implement programs to reduce gun violence and help homeless and substance abusers. Yet, besides a few roundtable discussions, “peace” walks, the creation of murals on city walls, and the construction of a homeless access center at Seccombe Lake Park, there has been little headway in addressing socioeconomic issues. As a result, now young residents feel restless and frustrated that San Bernardino continues to remain stagnant. Worse, most young people are apathetic because they feel that, “nothing will make a difference.”
As one of an estimated 112,000 frustrated young residents in our region, I think it’s time that we demand inclusion and take swift action on our goals. The city will fall into deeper uncertainty if our leaders continue to fight for political and economic interests. It’s imperative that youth become concerned about our city’s situation. It’s important that we believe in improving our city’s plight. Together--young and old--can work together to eradicate trifling conflicts and develop long term plans for social and economic development. A good place to begin is by encouraging younger residents to be a part of the electoral process. We need to remind them that they too are affected by city problems. Young people also have the right to hold leaders accountable. In 2013, the voter turnout was at 14 percent, meaning of 78,000 of registered voters, less than 12,000 residents made it out to the polls. Many young leaders are devoted towards raising that percentage. ICUC, Generation Now, the San Bernardino League of Women Voters, and the League of United American Citizens Latin (LULAC) have recruited young people to speak to high school and college students about voting. In the process, these groups have encouraged youth to become involved in park cleanup events, art gatherings, and political functions to generate community participation. In addition, young people need to be treated with respect and be reminded that their input in social and political affairs does matter. Elders have the right intentions when providing guidance to a young person, though sometimes that advice comes as a result of a reprimand. For example, an at-risk youth cannot thoroughly provide an explanation as to why they are considering joining a gang if we scold them about it. Instead, we should empathize with their situation and provide counsel. The more we try to understand the problems affecting younger residents, the better we will become at providing them with solutions and helping them improve. Although we strive to live in a perfect world, it’s evident that it’s not possible. Nevertheless, as young people we strive to transform San Bernardino into something greater. All we ask of our city leaders to include us in that process.
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Speed Hump Requirements
If a candidate for city council comes to your door and says they will get speed humps installed on your street be careful. You may not be getting the whole story. There are many requirements to have them installed. There are five pages of requirements listed in the policy and all have to be met. It's not just a matter of a council member candidate saying they will get them installed. Of the many dozens of requirements I will list only a few that affect you that you may not have been told.
one of us are immune from the possibility of ending up with less than what we woke up with. Homelessness has become a chronic issue in many communities throughout our nation, the State of California and most specifically, here in the County of San Bernardino. Inland Empire communities have witnessed growing populations of homeless individuals, ranging from children and families, to youth, and even military veterans. In one way or another, we have all been impacted by this growing reality and it’s time to work together to end it.
Last year, the Board of Supervisors took the initiative to address homelessness by finding ways to house identified homeless veterans within the County of San Bernardino. The outcomes of this initiative were successful; 401 identified homeless veterans were housed before Thanksgiving and an additional 162 have been housed since then. This was due to the fruitful collaboration of an advisory board composed of several county departments, and community and private partners. Within a year we have confirmed the benefits of working together, planning strategically and imple-
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ume shall be more than 500 but less than 2500 through vehicles per day. This is just a small list of the requirements, aside from a traffic study, that MUST be met. You can check the SPEED HUMP POLICY at the City of Colton Engineering Department to see how in depth the requirements are, and there are many. Ronald H. Lawrence Colton, Ca. 92324
Addressing Chronic Homelessness in San Bernardino County
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1. The sponsoring group (that's you) shall deposit to the City the dollar amount required per the annual contract or obtain a private Contractor to install speed humps. 2. All requirements shall originate from the residents of the street. 3. The residents shall circulate all petitions themselves. 4. A petition supporting the installation must contain 70% of residents signatures desiring the installation. 5. The average daily traffic vol-
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We are award-winning newspapers, having been so recognized by the Inland Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists In addition to mail subscriptions a combined total of 20,000 copies are distributed to approximately 400 locations in Redlands, Mentone, Highland, San Bernardino, Colton, Rialto, Bloomington, Grand Terrace Loma Linda, Moreno Valley, Riverside
menting tactics to address veteran homelessness. We learned many lessons in our efforts to house homeless veterans and we want to use that knowledge to expand our goal to include other homeless populations within our county.
On August 16th, the Board of Supervisors voted to expand last year’s initiative and target chronic homelessness, particularly among chronically homeless youth. We were encouraged by the results brought forward by the Countyled initiative that we moved forward to expand the advisory board’s goals and strategic initiatives to focus on chronically homeless individuals. A chronically homeless person as defined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is either (1) an unaccompanied homeless individual with a disabling condition who has been continuously homeless for a year or more, OR (2) an unaccompanied individual with a disabling condition who has had at least four episodes of homelessness in the past three years. Currently, the County has identified 376 individuals as chronically homeless within our boundaries, 31 of them are youth ages 18 to 24. I strongly believe we can break some of the cyclical and chronic patterns of homelessness, especially when we start fo-
cusing on our youth.
As Co-Chair of the Homeless Youth Taskforce for San Bernardino County, I continue to advocate for additional resources to serve our most vulnerable populations. Our homeless youth face increased risks of chronic homelessness, including victimization, anxiety disorders, depression, PTSD and suicide. Too often, youth turn to a life on the streets because they do not have access to resources, adequate support systems or skills to live independently. By providing better support and additional resources we can help reduce the risk of our homeless youth becoming homeless adults.
By taking action today we can continue to be proactive to this issue and finally put an end to homelessness in San Bernardino County. I thank the Board of Supervisors for helping me expand these efforts and I would also like to thank all of the organizations and individuals who fight every day to end homelessness. Ending homelessness in our County is no easy task but by addressing the issue one day at a time we know that we can definitely get there. James Ramos, Chairman San Bernardino County, Third Supervisorial District
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