The Linda Vista Resident Leaders in Action is a committed group of community members dedicated to improving the quality of life in Linda Vista. The Leaders in Action – graduates of three generations of Resident Leadership Academies (RLA) offered at Bayside Community Center – meet on a voluntary basis at least once a month to continue their work on identified community improvement projects.
During 2014 through 2015, the Leaders in Action took tremendous strides towards accomplishing their projects and in turn addressed deep-rooted community challenges - a reflection of their dedication to Linda Vista and commitment to the Live Well San Diego vision of a healthy, safe, and thriving region.
RLAs are leadership trainings designed to empower, sustain and facilitate resident stewardship in their communities. Resident leaders learn about advocacy, crime prevention and safety, and healthy food systems and access.
“The Resident Leadership Academy has taught me to be confident and not afraid to stand up for what I believe in,” said one Leader in Action member. “I want to have a better community and will keep working towards this.”
Among a number of projects this year, the Leaders in Action focused on expanding the Linda Vista Community Garden at Bayside. Linda Vista is a food desert - lacking easy access to healthy, fresh, and affordable food in the neighborhood. The Leaders in Action responded by selling organically-grown produce at low cost from the garden to the community. The pop-up farm stand has been well-received, with produce selling out and buyers returning every week for their next pick-up of fresh tomatoes, leafy greens, squash, and more.
Another successful project for the Leaders in Action involved efforts to calm traffic outside Kit Carson Elementary School. Following several City of San Diego site visits and presentations to community planning groups to gather support, the Leaders in Action successfully advocated for the installation of “No U-Turn” signs and the painting of a yellow, center, double line on one of the school’s busiest bordering streets. Their next step is to pursue a crosswalk. These activities help ensure the safety of the students who walk and bike to school.
Leaders in Action also worked to increase lighting in Kelly Park, a neighborhood outdoor space overlooking Tecolote Canyon. The group spent hours collecting community input on the need for lighting, presenting their findings in front of City Council during Public Budget Hearings, and navigating through the process to ultimately get the project in Mayor Faulconer’s FY15-16 citywide budget. Increased lighting will not only address the safety concerns in the Park after dark, but also enrich the neighborhood. Increased access to recreational, community space for families, friends, and neighborhood kids boosts the quality of life and allows neighborhoods to thrive.
The Linda Vista Resident Leaders in Action look forward to continue to help their neighborhoods be healthy, safe and thriving in the years to come.