By SUE PASCOE
Editor – Circling the News
People like to rage about the current presidential administration. I say save some of your rage and apply it to local issues, where one’s voice might be more effective.
I am the first VP for the Ronald Reagan Post 283 American Legion Auxiliary. My father served in World War II and I grew up around the American Legion and its programs. Since I never served in the military, I can’t join the Legion, but I can join the auxiliary, whose main function is to support veterans and the Legion.
My job as vice president is membership. I remind members to pay their annual $25 membership dues (and if you belong to the auxiliary and haven’t paid, please do).
Our current president, Joanna Curtis, was ill on Tuesday, so I ran the executive meeting. Like many organizations in town, we receive some money from the Legion for programs. I noticed that $1,000 was budgeted for scholarships.
I asked if we could have children and grandchildren of paid auxiliary members apply for scholarships and suggested that we could bring it up at the next meeting.
A follow-up email with that request went out to the executive committee, including a member who had not attended the meeting. She responded in an email that it absolutely could only go to the Santa Monica College Foundation (she works at Santa Monica College).
I asked via email, why only support Santa Monica College? Why not members? She replied, “First, the scholarship funding for 2019-2020 was already approved by the members when they approved the budget.
“Secondly, a $500 dollar scholarship is not going to go very far at a UC when tuition, housing and fees can total $30,000 per year,” she wrote. “Community college costs are substantially less and $500 goes way further.”
The discussion will come up at the Auxiliary’s general meeting on Wednesday. Will we vote for two $500 scholarship? If only five people show up to vote and there are three votes for SMC and two votes for money going to relatives of auxiliary members . . .
When the Legion members passed an order for the executive board to pursue buying Elliot Zorensky’s UDO Properties for about $33 million last week, it needed a two-thirds vote. With 90 people voting (out of a 607 membership), it passed by one vote.
Circling the News had been in contact with a Legion member and asked why he had not voted. “I have stayed out of the Legion’s fight between old and new,” he said. I asked if he was okay going ahead with the purchase, he said, “No.” His one vote might have made the difference.
(Our story about the Legion’s potential real estate acquisition was posted on February 10 https://www.circlingthenews.com/legion-will-try-…283s-benevolence/)
If you don’t express your opinion on local matters, it will be decided for you.
Want to get involved in impactful ways? Continue to monitor our Palisades Business Improvement District, which is supposed to receive about $50,000 of the parking meter money collected annually in Pacific Palisades to be used on improvement projects here.
If people forget about these promised funds…the City will be happy to forget about them.
Attend a Pacific Palisades Community Council meeting. Although that might not seem important, whatever they decide on is then presented to Councilman Mike Bonin’s office as something the entire community favors.
There are sometimes only four or five people in the audience at PPCC meetings I’ve attended over the years. Although the eight Area representatives are supposed to seek out what constituents want, most times an agenda item is voted upon the same night. People in Pacific Palisades have no idea what they “voted on.” To see what you voted on last Thursday, visit: pacpalicc.org.
Do you want the Quimby Funds ($92,000) back at the Palisades Recreation Center where they belong? Then you need to remind not only the Pacific Palisades Community Council, but also the Park Advisory Board, that the money needs to return here – and stay here, where many needed improvements need to be made.
There are concrete ways you can make a change, but they start small. As George Eliot wrote, “Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.”
That means that each one of you has power – and your power may be as simple as one vote – one letter – one email – one telephone call. You can make a difference! By monitoring local issues, and taking action, you can help bring about positive results.