As was reported last month, at its November meeting, the College Area Community Council (CACC) board approved the draft community plan update report. Even though the report included much of the content of prior visioning sessions and workshops, the board also approved a 30-day public review and comment period so that residents can have an opportunity to see the final draft and provide comments or suggestions, if they wish. The report is posted on the CACC website, collegearea.org , under the community plan update tab. A separate executive summary of the report is also there. You can provide comments in the same page or in the comment section, also in the tab. The report will also be available at the College-Rolando Library. Arrangements have been made with the library to allow visitors to check them out to read at the library. You can ask for them at the front desk. Comments will be accepted through Dec. 31, 2019. All residents are encouraged to read it and help shape what our community will be in the next 10, 20, 50 years.
As the year ends, the CACC is launching its annual membership drive. If you are a member, you will be receiving a notice asking for any updated information and requesting donations. The CACC voted to pursue becoming a 501(c)(3) nonprofit entity. A few months ago, we received the approval from the IRS. This means that your donations may be tax-deductible. It also allows us to apply for grants in support of projects that benefit the community.
To simplify the approval process, it was decided to create a new entity with a somewhat broader mandate in order to accommodate potential projects of both the CACC, the planning board and other community entities that merit support. The new entity is the College Area Community Coalition — same acronym, CACC and the community council will function as a project of the new entity. The nonprofit’s board is a subset of the CACC board.
You may wonder what your donations are used for. Over the past year, the council has funded more than $5,000 for the preparation of the community plan update report. It is also funding the costs of outreach efforts to organize sections of the community that did or do not yet have organized community groups such as the new College Triangle community group that covers the area between El Cajon Boulevard, Montezuma Road and College Avenue. These subgroups of the College Area community are vital to the dissemination of information, creating community and working together in a cohesive way toward goals that benefit all of us. There are still two or three areas that need to come together.
We have also launched a series of fun, social events to support community-building and bring in new residents and families that have not, traditionally, gotten involved. A united community presents a stronger voice to the city and other entities with power over us. The first event was a family movie night at Hardy Elementary. Local businesses were also involved, providing treats. It was a success and more events are in the works.
We hope to finally be able to launch a campus/community project to assist residents unable to tidy up their homes. This will be a joint project with the associated students at SDSU. The barrier we had encountered was the need for insurance coverage, which we could not obtain without the 501(c)(3) designation. We hope to actively look into other community improvement projects and your donations will be key to our efforts.
Thank you for your past support and we look forward to it continuing and growing. We are building a cohesive, inclusive community that will serve the needs of its members now and in the future. Our mantra over the years has been neighbors helping neighbors. Help us deliver on that goal. Happy holidays!
—Jose Reynoso is board chair of the College Area Community Council.