By David R. Shorey
East County program manager, Institute for Public Strategies
Photo: Lakeside Life Town Hall was held May 29, 2019 at the Lakeside Community Center. Photo courtesy IPS
June 19, 2019 (Lakeside) -- Resident involvement is strong in Lakeside. This was very evident recently when more than 40 people came together at Lakeside Life: A Town Hall Conversation at the community center on the shore of Lindo Lake.
The event was sponsored by the Lakeside Community Collaborative and the Institute for Public Strategies (IPS) East County Project to provide residents an opportunity to become involved in improving the community.
In February, I was invited to take on the chair position to work with the Lakeside community to re-energize the collaborative, which has been a community asset for years. The collaborative exists to represent and promote coordinated health, education, social and recreation services to enhance the health and safety of our community. This town hall was an example of that mission in action.
Photo, right: Lakeside Rodeo via Creative Commons
The IPS East County Project, funded by the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, works with and provides support to communities to promote resident and civic engagement; support health equity with an emphasis on alcohol and drug prevention; break down barriers that prevent collaboration for building better health; and to address power disparities. IPS is a nonprofit agency working primarily in Southern California neighborhoods for positive community change. IPS and the collaborative share a community health goal.
Panelists at the town hall included Division Chief Bernie Molloy from the Lakeside Fire Department, Lt. Fran Passalacqua from the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department Lakeside Substation, Monique Myers from the San Diego County District Attorney’s (DA) Office, and IPS staff members Craig Reed and Megan Gustafson.
Representatives from the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) provided information to the public about their activities and opportunities, while also serving as a chance to recruit volunteers.
Photo, left: Lindo Lake via Creative Commons
There were also presentations on Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) and Crime Free Multi-Housing (CFMH) by Monica Cordero, Crime Prevention Specialist (CPS) from the Lakeside Sheriff’s Station and further information provided by Craig Reed, who is the program manager of the Binge and Underage Drinking Initiative staffed by IPS.
CPTED, pronounced “sep-ted,” is a proven effort for reducing crime through landscaping, lighting, building design and visible deterrents to criminal activity. Its strategies aim to reduce victimization, deter criminals from committing criminal acts, and build a sense of community among residents so they can collectively reduce opportunities that may lead to crime and the personal fear of crime.
The CFMH program embraces a teamwork approach to crime prevention and is comprised of a unique partnership of law enforcement agencies, rental property owners, managers and tenants. Through a voluntary, solution-oriented training and certification program, this team collectively works to keep illegal activity out of rental property.
More information about the Crime-Free Multi-Housing Program can be obtained by contacting CPS Monica Cordero at (619) 938-1364.
Marijuana, Homelessness, Response Times Are Top Concerns
Photo, right: downtown Lakeside via Creative Commons
After the brief presentations by the panelists, audience members began the conversation about what was at the forefront of their concerns in Lakeside. Marijuana was a significant issue at the town hall, especially when it comes to advertising and use in our local parks and near schools.
Homelessness and affordable housing were also concerns raised by the crowd, as was public safety as it pertains to response times by sheriff’s deputies and the fire department.
This is the first time in a while that fire, sheriff and the DA have come together at a forum like this in Lakeside and it provided a free flow of ideas and discussion with a solutions-based focus.
Opportunity to Get Involved
Attendees who are interested in continuing to work on addressing the issues raised are invited to attend Lakeside Community Collaborative meetings. The collaborative meets on the fourth Monday of every month through December (except July and November) at 3 p.m. at the Lakeside Union School District office at 12335 Woodside Ave.
For additional information about the Lakeside Collaborative, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (619) 476-9100 x109.