Saturday, June 6, 2020     Volume: 21, Issue: 14

Santa Maria Sun / Letter To The Editor

The following article was posted on January 7th, 2020, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 20, Issue 45 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 20, Issue 45

The public can be engaged

By Jan Lipski, Vandenberg Village

Ron Fink’s lament about a disinterested public (“Time for an overhaul,” Jan. 2) isn’t so much about civic disinterest as it is about the changing methods of attracting attention. Most of it has evolved to the # awareness, but even that has morphed to, “OK I passed on a #, so I’m good, did my part, and now I can get back to my all-absorbing social life on the phone.” 

However, a demonstration still has the attraction of a social event. First, you have to find the issue that affects the most people, and then, as has been previously demonstrated, organize a “flash mob.” 

Recently, Vandenberg Village became concerned about a methadone clinic moving into the community. It started with yard signs. There apparently was no news coverage from radio or TV. I found a small story posted on an online news organization and a notice about a community meeting. Eventually, the Sun featured a story about the plan. Finally, a county commissioner reached out with an email. An impressive gathering of concerned citizens at the announced meeting made it clear that the project was not welcome. It didn’t take long for the clinic applicant to abandon the project. 

People are concerned and can be motivated. A free press still can be part of that awareness. You just need to find the new connection.

Jan Lipski
Vandenberg Village

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