I love Arcata so much because we are surrounded by redwoods, ocean, foggy mornings and bright clear afternoons. We have education in our backyard. We have a community that wants the best for the environment and their children’s future. I love Arcata so much because we see each other when we are out and about or enjoying local events. I may not remember every name, but every face has become memorable. I have lived in big cities where I never saw the same face twice. The opportunity we have to be able to see who our community is and interact with each other as families, students, visitors, and locals continues to grow my love for Arcata.
My experience in the Pacific Northwest has been challenging. I have experienced accessibility issues with the medical professions for myself and for my children, transportation issues, job & home insecurity, and discrimination. The last few years I have been listening to over 6,000 members of Humboldt Moms on facebook as well as families at playgroups who have also faced challenges in the redwood curtain. Many of them with the same challenges. Their resiliency continues to inspire me.
After my youngest was born I discovered playgroups: an environment for kids and their families to socialize, learn about child development and become familiar with community resources. I loved it so much I got a job there. I have since become fascinated with the playgroup model because it empowers parents with children ages 0-5 during some of the most challenging years for families. I have continued to pursue professional and community trainings on child development, trauma, adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), resiliency, and the intersection of children, race and ACEs. I am also CPR, basic first aid, mental health first aid certified and a certified naturalist because I believe in knowing about the basics, too.
During any given campaign season, I see lawn signs and paper mailers everywhere. While these are proven as successful marketing strategies, they aren't going to work for me or my community. The cost and waste of temporary paper products is not something I can support financially or ethically. Instead of printed signs, supporters are offered sunflowers in donated and up-cycled fabric pots.
Grow Arcata Up
I want to encourage our community to Grow Arcata Up by supporting vulnerable populations like familes with young children. By creating space and intention to support families with young children, we can grow a community that is resiliant, informed, and just. Growing plants like spinach or sunflowers also takes intention. It requires us to check in regularly and tend to their needs of water, nutrients, protection from the elements, and time. All people require intention from their environment, themselves and each other to facilitate growth.
We Grow Together
I want to consider what kind of people we expect our kids to grow up to be and make sure that we lead by example to create a sustaniable life for them that balances resiliance, social justice, and environmental consciousness.
Created with images by Victoria Palacios - "untitled image"