If you’ve taken notice of the campaign signs around town, you’ve probably noticed the www.vallejoisburning.com signs as well. The site claims to be “The Voice of the Unsilent Majority.” While real fires rage in southern California, consuming homes and displacing thousands of people, there’s a fire in the form of foreclosures destroying homes here in Vallejo, and a growing tension between the old and the new heating up the race for power in City Hall. I say let it get hot. Let’s get everything out in the open.
People often get in the way of Mother Nature’s methods for cleaning house. Fires start naturally in the wild, cleaning away debris and dead things laying around, and making room for new growth. When the smoke clears away there is a clean canvas. Vallejo is long past due for a house cleaning. It’s not just our public safety that needs to be examined.
Everything to do with the arts in this city also needs to be examined. Our Commission on Culture and the Arts is ineffective in promoting or supporting the arts in this city. Marketing of Vallejo as an arts destination should be a primary goal of the Empress Theatre as well as local artists and arts groups. There should be better representation of the diversity of Vallejo in the programming that is supported by the Vallejo Cultural Arts Foundation. The decrepit condition and vision for the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum is like a symbol of everything wrong with downtown.
Merchants and building owners in downtown Vallejo have heard for years now about plans that have not happened. The groups who are supposed to be working to turn things around in the downtown have broken down to bickering among themselves, and becoming even less effectual than they were before. But I do believe that there is a change a comin’, and those who have been silent or silenced will soon breathe fresh air.
We can do this! Those people who have vision, a willingness to work and do things right, can come together and sweep away what is tired and played out. So don’t stop with voting for change. Act for change by working for and supporting the things that create community and enrich our lives. As my husband Tony would say: “don’t go for the okey doke.”