Self reflection and the year ahead

2018 Happy New Year imageThis time of year inspires self reflection for many, including me. Looking back on 2017, I was proud, had regrets, felt sorrow, and have cause for hope.

First, the regrets. I regret being baited a few times into overly-emotional back-and-forth as it relates to Donald Trump. That shouldn’t be confused with expressing passionately absolute disdain for the man. It’s really about execution; how I communicated my contempt for someone I truly feel is a threat and embarrassment to our country and democracy. I could have and should have done a better job of not being dragged into the mud. I will do my best to avoid the mud in 2018 and beyond.

I also regret not fishing at all. It’s the first time in 27 years that I failed to wet a line all year. Fly fishing is one of only a few past times that helps me maintain balance in my life, and this year I didn’t make it to any of my favorite fishing spots like Hat or Hot Creeks, the Middle Fork of the American, or even the Lower Sac. That’s going to have to change.

Sorrow . . . Over the past year, Roxanna and I lost her mother and brother – two wonderful people we loved very much. The losses were very tough on our entire family, and it gave me/us cause to contemplate just how brief life is, and how much we love our family. Our memories of Tita and George sustain us, but we miss them terribly.

2017 was a busy year. At the Board of Supes, I led a successful effort to substantially increase resources to enhance safety and maintenance of the American River Parkway – our region’s “crown jewel.” It wasn’t easy by any means, and actually took months longer than I thought would be required just to reach a 3-2 split vote. It was the right thing to do and long overdue, but consistent advocacy by those of us who cherish the Parkway will be needed to keep it a safe and clean place to enjoy.

In November, months of effort concluded in an historic unanimous BOS vote to re-assign tens of millions of Prop 63 funds to serve people suffering both mental illness and homelessness. It was and is a significant milestone in a collective regional intent to ameliorate the most complex issue we face at all levels of government.

At the California Air Resources Board (CARB) we approved the Climate Change Scoping Plan, with a specific eye towards environmental justice – something that was years in the making. This accomplishment was an especially important reminder that despite climate change denial by some, our state leads a global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions so that future generations have a fighting chance to minimize impacts.

Looking forward to 2018, I’m hopeful District 1 voters will re-elect me to continue serving as their Supervisor; I’m hopeful that an idea I first set in motion about two years ago – the Royal Chicano Air Force’s “Flight” artwork piece at G1C – comes to fruition in March with all the attention and gratitude our RCAF artists deserve; I’m hopeful we can continue to do great things in the South Oak Park/Fruitridge Pocket Neighborhood; I always hope to spend more time with Roxanna and I’m crossing my fingers that we can finally take a much needed vacation, something we haven’t done in more than 12 years; I’m hopeful to continue learning more songs and recipes; and finally, as I turn 50 years old in only a few months, I hope to continue tempering humility, experience and understanding to best represent the people who’ve placed their trust in me.

Wherever you are, whomever you’re with, I wish you and your loved ones all the best in 2018.

Happy New Year . . . Feliz Año Nuevo!”


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