By Isabella Virzi and Matthew Bagdasar
Community coffee town hall
On Thursday, Aug. 24, at the American Legion Post 282 in La Mesa, over 80 community members came together to ensure their state and city representatives heard their voice.
At a community coffee town hall hosted by California State Senator Joel Anderson and co-hosted by La Mesa Councilmembers Kristine Alessio, Bill Baber, Guy McWhirter, Colin Parent, and the La Mesa Chamber of Commerce, energized and passionate constituents discussed the issues that are affecting our political climate today.
One constituent, Jennifer Berguvoy, stated the importance of attending events like these.
“Be open to listening to different ideas whether you agree with it or not, but just listen to it and keep an open mind about it,” she said.
This is event was an opportunity for individuals in Anderson’s district to learn about legislation and receive new insight on state issues, regardless of their political preference.
A significant amount of young adults attended the community coffee. Attendee Vic Martin, the Veteran Advocate for Shelter to Soldier, believes that “more young people need to be involved in politics.”
“Fortunately, events like this allow for the entire public to be a part of it,” Martin added. “I was kind of excited to see so many young people at this meeting.”
These events are an excellent way for constituents of any age to involve themselves in the creation and adoption of laws.
Community coffee town halls are an opportunity to let legislators know the issues and concerns the community has with state government. Anderson shared that voicing one’s beliefs at an event with their local representative is the best and most effective way to influence them. It also gives residents the opportunity to hear responses directly from the representative themselves. Anderson highly encourages his constituents to come and to speak with him.
“You’re my boss, I work for you,” he said. “I need to hear from you how I can make government work for you.”
For help on an issue with a state agency, or to submit a legislative idea, please contact the office of State Senator Joel Anderson at 619-596-3136.
—by Isabella Virzi
Padres Pedal the Cause
Community members gathered on Saturday, Sept. 9 at CrossFit Kivnon fitness center in La Mesa to raise funds and awareness for the Padres Pedal the Cause event happening the second weekend of November. Padres Pedal the Cause is an annual cycling event that allows participants to bike through the gorgeous landscapes of San Diego while raising money for cancer research.
CrossFit Kivnon hosted the Padres Pedal the Cause’s “Workout of the Day” (WOD). This unique fundraiser allowed participants to get a rigorous CrossFit style workout, while also supporting the cause.
One of the organizers, Megan Parker, who is a development associate with Padres Pedal the Cause, took pride in the work she was doing.
“Working for Padres Pedal the Cause is very rewarding to me for my history with cancer and losing my father,” she said. “It’s just inspiring to see so many people want to rally behind this cause and really support funding cancer research to save lives.”
Since 2013, Padres Pedal the Cause has raised over $4.7 million dollars towards funding cancer research projects and has had continued participation growth every single year.
State Senator Joel Anderson provided Senate certificates of recognition to the Padres Pedal the Cause and CrossFit Kivnon Staff, Megan Parker, and co-owner Mick Wilson for organizing the event that encouraged La Mesans to easily participate in the fight against cancer.
“It is always an inspiration to witness individuals, businesses and organizations in my district come together to support such a worthy cause. CrossFit Kivnon has found a unique way to give back to the community, and I am honored to recognize their selfless efforts,” Anderson said.
Participant Rich Esperanza was thrilled to know that Anderson was involved in the event.
“I think it’s awesome that the senator is reaching out to a place like a CrossFit where there is a huge community of people who come out and attend events such as this,” he said.
CrossFit Kivnon is located at 8333 Case St. and if you are interested in learning more about Padres Pedal the Cause or would like to participate, visit their website at gopedal.org.
—by Matthew Bagdasar
—Isabella Virzi and Matthew Bagdasar are legislative interns for the office of Senator Anderson.