“Beware that our differences don’t blind us to the unity that binds us.” This quote by historian Huston Smith came to mind as I listened to a neighbor complaining that the Mar Vista Neighborhood Association (MVNA) had not taken a stand on a recent political issue. I explained that MVNA does not pick sides on political issues because it would divide our community. I further pointed out that MVNA’s mission is to bring people together: Neighbors connecting neighbors – together we are a better community.
“What is MVNA doing to make us a better community?” She snapped back.
To answer her excellent question, let’s briefly look at what it takes to building a sense of community:
Membership: Investing ourselves in our community. Do people address community issues or just sit on the sidelines complaining?
Emotional Connection: Sharing common places, events, and important events. How well do we support our local business, participate in MVNA activities, and assist neighbors?
Influence: Making things better by being engaged. Do people choose to make a difference in our community?
Fulfillment: Developing and promoting community resources. Are citizens willing to contribute to each other and to the common good?
During this Covid-19 pandemic, the MVNA board has continued to meet (via zoom) to try to fulfill its mission by addressing these four areas. I think we have made some progress. (e.g., sending out e-blasts, alerting the community to city projects, updating our website, planning the annual meeting…). But I don’t think we’ve progressed as much as we would like…
Therefore, what has been difficult to do collectively, we are trying to do individually. Your board members are each building community in their own way, from their homes. Here are a few actions they are taking that you might consider adapting to build our community brick by brick:
–Friday’s at 4: Meet at the end of a driveway to chat for 15 minutes (mask on, socially distanced)
–Take out: Order take out to help our local restaurants
–Stop by: Stop and say hi to neighbors working in their yard when you’re out for a walk.
–Bake: Bake a pie, cookies, or bread for your neighbors.
–Volunteer: Serve others helps them and you. (We have MVNA board openings!)
Perhaps I didn’t have a great answer for the upset neighbor who asked, “What is MVNA doing to make us a better community?” But we are doing the best we can collectively and individually during these tough times. How about you?
Thanks for listening,
MVNA Annual Meeting on
January 27, 7PM
Will Be Virtual
We are planning a MVNA Annual Meeting to be on Zoom, Jan. 27, 7-8:30pm. Our theme is “Managing the Stress and Strain of the Pandemic.” Our focus will be on hearing your COVID-related concerns and providing tools, tips, and techniques to address them.
Your annual dues are now due. Your support helps our efforts to build a sense of community in Mar Vista. This includes our annual picnic, printing of our newsletter, and supporting our various clubs… Yes, it’s true that many of our activities have been on hiatus due to Covid-19, but we still need your help. We want to jump-start these services and events when it’s safe, That’s why we need your dues. Please select one of our three levels of membership ($100-platinum, $50-silver, $20-basic). Pay securely by going to our website and scrolling down:https://mvneighbors.org/join/which is where you can pay via PayPal. You may also mail a check to our treasurer, Rob Kadota at 3759 Barry Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90066 (payable to MVNA). Thanks so much!
Join the Board
Looking for opportunities to get involved with your community? The need for connecting with our neighbors is still vital for our personal and community health. SO, if you would like to serve your neighborhood (a few hours per month), make Mar Vista an even better place to live, and meet a great team of fun-loving, dedicated board members, we invite you to apply to join our board. We have a few openings.
To qualify, you must live within the MVNA boundaries (see map at https://mvneighbors.org/about-mvna/), be a member in good standing of the MVNA, and be willing to attend and contribute to our meetings and events, currently held online. If you have any questions about serving on the board,
call Dave Jensen, President of MVNA, at (310 717-4966).