Education Mini-Forum, Part 3 of 3

Thanks to all those who attended our Education Mini-Forums in the last couple months! In June we discussed #2 of three things children need in their lives that cost NO money:
  1. High standards
  2. A caring adult
  3. Meaningful participation  
 Here’s what we learned from each of the three panelists:
The local high school counselor representing a CURRENT hands-on perspective of her experiences dealing with youth on a daily basis referenced several challenges, including:
  • attendance
  • attitude
  • how to act/how to dress, etc. 
The large company employer representing youth’s FUTURE employment opportunities gave us a blatant example of how “the bar has been raised” and that many employers inform potential applicants “Do NOT apply for this job if you are currently unemployed“.
And finally, we had mentor & mentee success stories to represent REAL examples of of how powerful it is to have a caring adult in a child’s life.
We conclude our 3-part Series with #3, “Meaningful Participation” and now leave it up to YOU to take the lead and get involved. In addition to getting involved with “Be a Mentor“, here are some local events and ways to participate:
(June Education Mini-Forum sponsored in part by Anna May, Greg Jones and Be a Mentor)

“Horton Hears a Who” by Dr. Seuss

Horton Hears a Who

As I recall, Horton the elephant tried desperately to save an inhabited little “world”. He believed in something so strongly that he inspired the inhabitants of this little world, the “Whos”, to fight for their existence.
And all it took to be taken seriously was one last little “Who” to raise her voice and make some noise.
Although I personally decided not to run for re-election, I’m a bit emotional over the results of the most recent election on June 8th. There were people so well-qualified who didn’t win, truly good people with their hearts in the right place and their integrity intact. 
Never before have I been emotional about any election, not even my own election and victory as a political newcomer two years ago. There are two ways to go with this:

  • Shall I  step back and not care as much?
  • Or shall I put the pedal to the metal and get out there full force to help a candidate campaign to win?

There are so many mixed feelings I have about this because I’d never been particularly political. One reason is because of the “typical politician-type” who quite frankly, is a complete turn-off for me. However, I’ve always wanted to do the right thing for my community, be a responsible citizen, pay my taxes, floss daily, etc.
A vast majority of my community feels the same way I do about how deeply they want to get involved in politics…
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” — Dr. Seuss (?)

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UPDATE: MY Own Loan Modification Endeavor

Today I received a Fedex package from my lender wondering why I have not yet submitted my financial information.
It made me suspicious.
Why would my bank care if I haven’t turned in the info? They shouldn’t be in a  hurry to modify my loan, right? They’ll miss out for allowing me to pay less, right?
So in my skeptical mind, I determined that they’re just nosy and want to know my financial info whether or not they eventually modify my loan.
You might remember from an earlier post that I had a couple things I wanted to do before turning in the loan mod paperwork anyway:

  • finish filing my 2009 taxes
  • balance my checkbook

Furthermore, I had doubts about my loan mod being taken seriously since I figure the banks won’t sympathize with folks who have reserves. (sigh) In my experience, the banks are more interested in accomodating higher-risk folks rather than modifying loans on those who are most likely to pay. Odd…

Helping a Colleague

What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, what’s good for a colleague is good for the company, what’s good for the company eventually benefits EVERY BODY!
I write this as I’m showing a colleague how to post blogs on her web site…

“It’s Someone Else’s Job” (Kids Can’t Do It Alone!)

Education Mini-Forum #2
Saturday June 12th, 10:30 a.m.-Noon at Hayward City Hall, Room 2A, 777 B Street
Last month in Education Mini-Forum #1, our guest speaker was Dr. Marlena Uhrik of the California Department of Education. Dr. Uhrik listed three things children need in their lives that cost NO money:

  1. High standards
  2. A caring adult
  3. Meaningful participation

On June 12th, we will cover #2 of Dr. Uhrik’s list with the following panelists:

  • A local high school counselor to represent a CURRENT hands-on perspective of her experiences dealing with youth on a daily basis
  • A large company employer to represent a child’s FUTURE employment opportunities
  • Mentor & mentee success stories to represent REAL examples of how powerful it is to have a caring adult in a child’s life

This event is FREE and the public is welcome!
(Sponsored in part by Anna May of Realty World Neighbors and Greg Jones of Gregory Jones & Associates)

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Toilets Seats and Homes For Sale

Here’s something that REALLY amuses me:
Photos of homes for sale with shots of the bathroom toilet seats left up!
How many do you think you can find while browsing the internet?
Try this link and go on your treasure hunt!

Reptiles and Mom’s Cooking

The advantage of having my own blog is that I can write about whatever pleases me.
Two things have pleased me in the last few weeks:
1) The Reptile Room on “A” Street. Last month I spent some time with my friend’s 8-year old and was delighted to bring her to this wonder in downtown Hayward. They have all kinds of exotic little creatures! (Amazing…and also cheap entertainment if you need something to do one afternoon!)
2) Mom’s cooking!

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Election Day; Government Intrusion?

One bit of irony I’ve faced while serving on the Hayward City Council is the fact that we have:
1) a Climate Action Plan
2) a Green Building Ordinance
…yet City of Hayward employees are still manually writing their time on timesheets!
Though I’ve protested often about such nonsense, imagine my surprise when last week a City of Hayward committee considered an ordinance that could require energy efficiency audits and retrofits when a home is sold!
Are we out of our minds? As if local real estate isn’t already suffering from too much regulation…

Choosing Our Kids

(My Niece Gia)

Ever wish you could choose your kids?
I write this on the heels of getting (accidentally) assaulted by my 2-and-a-half year old niece’s toy block on my nose which led to a bruise on my face. Poor kid can’t talk yet so the only way she could express how bad she felt about knocking me in the nose was to cry!
Going back to being able to choose our kids:
Last night I had an incredibly rewarding experience choosing kids — well, teenagers in this case — to be Commissioners for the Hayward Youth Commission in my capacity as Hayward City Council Member. These young people are SMART and dedicated and I was SO proud of all of them!
One of the most rewarding aspects of the process was the people I worked with to choose the Commissioners. The team consisted of the following individuals:

  • HARD Director Paul Hodges
  • HARD Director Minane Jameson
  • HUSD Trustee Sheila Sims
  • Councilman Francisco Zermeno

And credit, of course, should also go to City Clerk Miriam Lens who demonstrated her skills in organizing the applications and interviews. Her efforts and the collaborative nature of my fellow interviewers also led to a smoother ability to choose the Youth Commissioners. It was all conducted in such a way that was very collaborative and inclusive and all of us panelists felt as if our voices were heard.
It was certainly a far cry from what I experienced two years in a row working with the Hayward City Council to choose (adult) Boards & Commissions members. Hmm, maybe I’ll elaborate on this later…