by Noam Livnat
This is my second year with the Old Mountain View Neighborhood Association (yeah, it’s a mouthful). I had never been involved in community work and when I joined I figured this would be a good way to start since, despite my and my wife’s wunderlust, we seem to be putting down roots in this unique community.
It’s been an eyeopening experience.
Beneath the quiet, leisurely moving surface of OMVNA there’s constant activity. Take our newsletter for example: People need to write the articles. Somebody needs to sell the newsletter ads which sponsor most of our activities, including our upcoming ice cream social. Thousands of copies need to be printed. Prints need to be divided into packages, which need to be delivered to a small army of vol-unteers who then tenderly deposit the newsletter at your door-step, rain or shine. No mean task.
In fact, OMVNA has its tentacles in many other activities. We play an important role with our neighborhood CERT (community emergency response team) and help fund some of its work. We have a person serving as a community liaison with the City to ensure that we can keep you informed of any important developments. We serve as a voice for the community when new development projects are considered and when charities or organizations can use our support – as was the case in bringing the Soap Box Derby to Mountain View.
We do all this as part of our mission to encourage our sense of community, help residents obtain important information, and improve our quality of life here in Old Mountain View.
OMVNA enjoys a unique status with the City, which makes it easier for us to keep everybody informed and to look after our interests. This special position was achieved over time, and is based on the continuous commitment that OMVNA has shown to its goals over the 16 years since it was established, willed into being by a few people (one of whom lives a few doors down from me) who took the initiative and made it happen.
And in truth, this is what it is all about – initiative. There’s a lot more that we can do for our-selves, and all it takes is a little initiative. Want to organize agrouppurchasing of hybrid cars? Feel like helping raise money for our local schools? Have some time to teach a new immigrant better English or how to deal with banks? Whatever it is you want to do, you can do it, and OMVNA can probably help. As a community focal point, we can help you reach out to the community and find resources. We might even be able to help with funding.
Each of us can make a difference, even in small ways, by getting involved. When you feel the urge, you should also consider taking an active role in OMVNA to find out for yourself. We’d love to see you at our next meeting.