(This is an updated version of my Summer 2015 BPA Newsletter column.)
In the right context, good ideas beget more good ideas. In the BPA, we are seeing the evidence this year with the emergence of a number of new events and volunteers for the BPA. Two years ago, former board member Lydia Kou started cultural diversity events with the first (Chinese) Lunar New Year celebration. She organized another successful Lunar New Year event earlier this year, which inspired BPA member Jaya Pandey to propose an (Indian) Deepawali celebration event. With the help of board member Gwen Luce and a small army of new volunteers Gwen helped recruit, we can now look forward to this event in November. For another example, late last year membership chair Lisa Landers suggested an informal member event to enhance interaction between BPA members and the board. We held the first BPA Community Happy Hour in January, and it is promising to become a regular and popular event (attended by 10-15 residents each month). In turn, it was the first Happy Hour where BPA member Catherine Hendricks proposed a new kind of event where residents and friends of Barron Park present and teach their expertise in small groups. This became the BPA Meet and Learn, and we have had four so far.
All of these events came out of suggestions from BPA members, and the board has been happy to support them. Past efforts also included support for a booth at the Palo Alto Chili Cook-Off, for the Juana Briones Run, and for several bicycle events. In the meantime, Lydia Kou turned her energy to organizing another Movie in the Park event, and BPA member Jeannie Lythcott, who volunteered for the BPA in the past, stepped forward with several new ideas for community events. (See the event calendar in the upcoming BPA newsletter.) And of course there was our very interesting annual meeting in March, and board member John King, former resident Sarah Van Zanten, and an army of volunteers put together another fantastic May Fete.
It is wonderful to see all of these activities from volunteers contributing to the community. They are not limited to community events, but those currently see the most popularity. Other recent BPA-sponsored activities included the bike path committee and a group that invested substantial time to investigate the proposal for a hydrogen refueling station on El Camino Real. Also, Maurice “Maury” Green recently joined the BPA board to take on Neighborhood Safety and Emergency Preparedness, and we’re very grateful to have such an experienced member support this important area. Look for articles on these activities in the upcoming BPA newsletter.
Where else could we use help? Two committee chairs that are currently vacant are Zoning and Land Use, and Traffic and Streets. We know that BPA members care about these. In fact, those were core topics at the recent Palo Alto 2030 Summit, and Barron Park was well represented among the large number of attendants. Or perhaps you’re interested in our surrounding businesses and/or schools; we would benefit from liaisons to these organizations. If you have another favorite topic that you believe the BPA should support, please do not hesitate to bring it to the board. In fact, join us at an upcoming Happy Hour and tell us all about your interests. The board and your neighbors will be very happy to hear your ideas and benefit from your contributions!