Little Mexico – Assistance Letter From Gordon Brown
Below is a letter from a good friend of ours, Gordon Brown. Gordon has been a proactive and driven person in this area for years. The Little Mexico Cleanup is just the latest cause he has taken under his wing. Among some of the others are the Think Tank that works effortlessly to make education key for this area, the Greater San Tan Area Coalition, Friends of the San Tan Mountain Regional Park, San Tan Historical Society… his resume is impressive and this short list doesn’t even begin to shed light on everything.
And in Gordons’ off time he is the County Commissioner of Planning and Zoning for Pinal County. But mostly Gordon is a man that fights the good fight, plain and simple.
This letter will surmise the need for the cleanup. You can download the letter here for distribution to your contact list. Little Mexico Help Request
As you may know, the Pan de Vida foundation has a revitalization program underway for the small Pinal County community commonly known as Little Mexico. This project has a great many complex and interrelated elements, a few of which have timetables. A community cleanup is slated for October 16th. Preceding the cleanup a get acquainted and get involved party will be held on October 2nd. Bryan Martyn will host that party. Rebecca Rios and Amy Fuller will be guest speakers. Pinal County Public Works Director Greg Stanley will also be one of the speakers and he will present a timetable for mitigation of the community’s flooding issues. A nationally recognized band, XS, will provide the music and restaurant owner and former Queen Creek Councilmember, Toni Valenzuela will be preparing a Mexican dinner, offered free to attendees.
In Little Mexico, community leaders are being identified, encouraged and empowered. Block watches are in the works and ways to provide the community’s children with opportunities for community service and access to athletic/art/performing art/and academic programs are moving forward. Inspirational field trips, tutoring, and the use of public art as a vehicle for redefining a community identity are taking root. The creation of an education foundation is being pursued. An abstract vision is evolving into relational bridges, trust, understanding and the capacity to dream and care as a community unit with something unique and valuable to offer. A vague but compelling potential is acquiring tangible substance and becoming less ethereal.
A portrayal of ideas and possibilities is now on the easel, but there are still large areas of bare canvas to be filled for the point to be understood and the vision made clear. In the Little Mexico community are many occupied homes in need of refurbishing. Kids need a safe place for organized play and mentored socialization. A place for community gatherings and meetings is needed, and a nearly empty commercial center needs to thrive and find its role in the community. Many homes are empty, some vandalized. Some homes under construction remain unfinished and are deteriorating. Money is scarce everywhere right now and this community is particularly vulnerable to general economic lows. But there are also substantial assets to build on. In Little Mexico there is talent. There are tradesmen and an industrious work ethic. In Pinal County Government, are people who care and in the surrounding communities are people with a history of looking out for one another.
We are living in a time of fear and free floating anger. Such times tend to showcase the worst in people, but what is actually necessary for our spiritual and economic revival is for people to believe in, recognize, inspire and empower the best in each other. I believe this is our Rosetta Stone and measuring stick. As an interwoven community, how good are our best achievements and how bad are the lives of the most vulnerable? So much for theory.
Where’s the beef?
Pinal County Public Works has a big job and they’re good at it, but helping individuals fix their homes isn’t included in their prescribed responsibilities, but only in their hearts. It was Public Works that put us on to seeking a grant that if secured can buy materials for community participants to do for each other and the community by uniting to fix each other’s homes and accomplish together what none could do alone. And that is when an abstract notion of community becomes a sticks and bricks reality.
For the sake of clarifying affordable homes as different from bland soulless housing built of cheap materials and requiring inordinate amounts of maintenance, energy and water consumption, we will need expert guidance. To define a Little Mexico personality and a life style that taps some of the best ideas of hispanic architectural style, we will need trained talent. To establish Pinal County as the epicenter of a new way of looking at housing and community building, we need people of ideas and talent, people willing and equipped to leave their mark here. We will need new housing products, based on intrinsic value rather than investment potential and we need to start somewhere. We need dreamers and a renewed faith in dreams. Shameless and blatant, I want ASU thinking about Pinal County a lot because to jump start our fearful economy, we need a bolt of lightning to strike in the darkest environment so as to light up the sky. And we are definitely working on this.
Long way around the barn I know, but here is the punch line. This project needs financial support, some of it right now. To put on the October 2nd party and October 16th community cleanup at least $3000 is needed, and it’s needed immediately.
If you can help with a tax deductable donation to the Pan de Vida foundation, earmarked for this purpose, please let me know, or contact Mary Gloria firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thank you for taking the time to read the above.