Being involved with several groups, many involved with advocacy, I need to make clear to others the hat I am wearing at any given time. At the moment I am wearing the "Roberta who lives in District One" hat.
I've been practicing wearing this hat for a while. James and I have been living here for 30+ years. Well, only one year is contained in the plus, but the 30 is worth noting.
We moved here partially because we liked the mix of the neighborhood. Children and families of all stripes and plaids and paisleys - to carry the analogy to silliness. But truth is on our block we have folks who are young (as we once were), those who are elders (as we are quickly becoming), and families who are long time residents and folks who are new to our block. It is the differences of the households that gives our neighborhood a good part of its unique character.
Representing this neighborhood and the other neighborhoods of District One has changed over the years. Decades ago our Northwest Pasadena was predominantly black. Shortly after we moved it here it was predominantly Black and Latino.
Now it's district demographics represent a shift that has taken place in the city. The majority of D1 is white, followed by Latinos, then Asians, and then Blacks.
The socio economics of the area has changed, too. We have families who are still struggling with multiple jobs, but there are greater numbers of families that have more flexibility in their work hours it appears. It's not uncommon for me to see folks I'm assuming are the parents of babes being pushed in strollers talking on the phone with someone or the other. Sometimes the pair is accompanied by a dog.
So who will sit on the Pasaden City Council to represent this ever changing place?
James and I are solidly behind Brian Biery.
I've known Brian for close to 20 years, I think. First met him when he was working at Neighborhood Connections. It was with his help that I began to learn about other parts of Pasadena. I had no real idea that East Pasadena was different from where I lived. Brian knew.
Later Brian was helpful in work that we did with Latino Heritage. He was a great resource for information.
Turns out that he is third generation Pasadenan. He roots are deep and his experiences pretty darn interesting. Here's a link to more about Brian - http://www.bieryfordistrict1.com
Over the years Brian and I have agreed on a lot of things. Over the years we've not agreed on everything. Even when we disagreed I knew that he had been thoughtful about the comments or choices he'd made. I always knew that he was thinking about the "greater good".
I would love to have someone representing me on council of whom I could say the same.