Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Bakersfield Vision 2020: why it's important

Bakersfield Vision 2020 was a grassroots effort to improve our community by helping our community leaders realize what was important to the public: things like water parks, green space, better zoning, anything to help offset the "hot and dusty" reputation of our city. Why it took a grassroots campaign to help "educate" city and county leaders is another story for another time, but it's worth noting that Vision 2020 is about to celebrate its 10th anniversary. Local consultant and activist Sheryl Barbich has single-handedly (my words, not her's) pushed this agenda for the past decade, and it's good to see her still at it. Certainly others have helped, names like Bernie Herman, Susan Hersberger, Debbie Moreno, John Pryor, David Price, Larry Reider, Jim George and others. Here's a typical Vision 2020 priority, taken from the minutes of its February 11th meeting:

"John Pryor presented a request from council member (Zach) Scrivner for input on this two-mile sound wall along the freeway. Proposals include greenery and mural, both of which are encouraged in the V2020 Action Plan... it was recommended that any murals ... be in keeping with the image of cooler colors to offset the high negatives in Bakersfield's image of hot and dusty."

Glad to see Sheryl and her crew are still in there lobbying. We need more people willing to get involved and roll up their sleeves to help.

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