Steve Escovar, Isaac Garcia, and I represented the newly formed Altadenans for Action (AFA) at the Pasadena Education Foundation (PEF) meeting yesterday which (I think) was originally scheduled as a fundraising and general community outreach event.
According to the host, Jeanne Register, the turn out was much larger than predicted, most likely due to the heightened community concern about the proposed use for Noyes.
In attendance were, PUSD Superintendent, Percy Clark, President of the PUSD BOE, Ed Honowitz, the PEF supporters (somewhat bemused), the usual cohort of angry parents and rabble rousers that seem drawn to controversy, and neighbors of Noyes with an agenda.
I'm not sure where Isaac, Steve and I fall in that spectrum, but probably somewhere between angry parents, rabble rousers and neighbors with an agenda. The difference is, we are organizing the community and making a concerted effort to structure the discussion in a positive way rather than simply going negative.
AFA's primary tack is to address the issue on its merits (or lack there of), and work with the 7-11 committee and the district to find a more appropriate solution for the Continuation School. We also are committed to engaging in the process and helping to identify an appropriate use for the Noyes property. We see this crisis optimistically, and are hopeful that we can not only help resolve in constructively, but that the net result will be the organization and uniting of a new generation in our community.
If things don't go as we expect them to, judging from the response that was rallied on two day's notice at the first neighborhood meeting (last Saturday at the Escovars), I am confident that the resources and resolve are available in the neighborhood to bring a phalanx of much more aggressive tactics online if it comes to that.
Anyone who is interested in staying informed and participating in this effort can find information and resources at http://pasadenaschools.info