By Mary McKenzie | Hillcrest Town Council Update
This month’s meeting of the Hillcrest Town Council (HTC) announced the departure of HTC’s chair, Kath Rogers.
Kath will be moving to Los Angeles after accepting her “dream job” with the National Lawyers’ Guild-Los Angeles. At the meeting, representatives of Congresswoman Susan Davis, president pro tempore of the California Senate Toni G. Atkins, Assemblymember Todd Gloria and City Councilmember Chris Ward presented commendations to Kath. The HTC board presented her with Champagne, flowers and a vegan cake. She was also thanked by several community members for her dedication to Hillcrest.
Benny Cartwright now serves as HTC chair, with Jae Mohr stepping up as vice chair. Daniel Merk-Benitez was appointed to serve as HTC treasurer. Mary McKenzie will continue as secretary and David Vance remains the at-large board member.
Hillcrest’s public representatives addressed the night’s focus — “Good News in Hillcrest” — emphasizing great strides in the state and local fight against homelessness, especially of youth, and increased efforts for enhanced gun and school safety.
Zach Bunshaft from Susan Davis’ office spoke about increases in the federal budget for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Community Block Grant program and transportation infrastructure projects. He also announced that a federal court has dismissed the lawsuit against her for displaying the Pride flag outside of her Washington D.C. office.
Community members were invited to join Davis for a panel discussion on “Understanding the Korean Crisis,” featuring several local scholars and former Ambassador Karl Eikenberry at SDSU on April 21. (For more information about the discussion, visit susandavis.house.gov.)
Reverend Cheri Metier of the University Christian Church encouraged the audience to attend a Workers’ Memorial Day Service sponsored by the Interfaith Worker Justice of San Diego County (IWUSD) on April 27. The Stonewall Citizens’ Patrol invited the crowd to a public picnic supporting the Ronald McDonald House from noon–3 p.m. on April 29 at the corner of Sixth Avenue and El Prado in Balboa Park.
Lastly, the keynote speakers were Gerrie Trussell — executive director of the Uptown Community Parking District — and long-time Hillcrest resident Trent St.-Louis. Trussell reminded the community of the free Lunch Loop shuttle which runs along parts of Washington and University avenues from 11 a.m.–2 p.m. every Monday through Friday, as well as free parking opportunities at the DMV on weekends.
She also addressed the continuing deliberations on the future of Normal Street, placemaking in Hillcrest, and the efforts to work out a balance among pedestrians, bikes and cars in the neighborhood.
St.-Louis shared his thoughts and pictures of positive changes in Hillcrest. These included the almost-completed fire station, new coffeehouses, fitness centers, and businesses along University Avenue; the anticipated MO’s Universe restaurant at the “red building”; and smaller cosmetic changes to several businesses to beautify the neighborhood.
The HTC invites community members to attend The Center’s 12th annual fundraiser — Dining Out for Life — at Bo Beau on April 26. The summer social is scheduled for July 27, at a location to be determined.
Next month, the HTC is co-sponsoring a “LGBTQ Debate” between the Log Cabin Republicans and the Democrats for Equality on May 8 at 6:30 p.m. at the LGBT Center.
HTC meetings are held at 6:30 p.m. on the second Tuesday of every month at the Joyce Beers Community Center. The HTC always welcomes new volunteers. If you have any comments or questions, look for the HTC on Facebook, or contact Benny Cartwright at firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Mary M. McKenzie is secretary of the Hillcrest Town Council.