by Velva Rowell
I first met Julie Lovins in 2001 when I volunteered to help deliver the OMVNA Newsletter. We got to know each other a bit better when I became editor in 2003 because she was not only the newsletter distribution coordinator but also one of my writers. I like to think that we make a good team, so I was excited to learn more about my friend and colleague.
Julie opened our conversation by saying, “My personal motto is ‘keep moving.’ I walk a lot and people see me walking and I observe things.” She also shared her favorite quote: “An opportunist is a person who, finding himself in hot water, decides to take a bath.” Our conversation moved rapidly through several topics because Julie has an interest in many aspects of the community.
Julie moved to Mountain View in 1979 and has lived in Old Mountain View since 1981. Her first volunteer involvement was with OMVNA shortly after it’s founding, however she didn’t get really involved with that group until the mid-nineties. She served the Steering Committee as the liaison to the Downtown Committee for two years and then served on the Downtown Committee for two more years as an independent businesswoman.
According to Julie, “my big interest in the neighborhood is in improving communication.” This is what brought her to the role that you, the reader, are probably most familiar with. Julie has been the distribution coordinator of the OMVNA Newsletter for approximately ten years (she doesn’t precisely remember how long she’s been doing this job). She and her team of collators and delivery people distribute over 2000 copies of eight issues per year.
Like many members of OMVNA, Julie expanded the scope of her volunteer work after participating in Leadership Mountain View (she’s in the class of 2001). As a result of this program, she started working as a volunteer for the Mountain View Friends of the Library taking one or two shifts per week in the lobby shop at the library and helping to coordinate the online book sale which is managed on Amazon. The Friends of the Library raises money for the library to assist with the purchase of things such as extra copies of bestsellers and brochure racks, as well as providing funds to help ensure that essential library programs can continue.
Julie also volunteers for the League of Women Voters as their Mountain View city council observer. She attends almost every council meeting in this capacity. She also does other work for the League in order to improve general participation in the political process and to improve the process. As she says, “I try to keep track of what’s going on, and that is for the purpose of communication and action.”
Recently Julie has turned part of her focus to the environment. She is a member of the Mountain View Cool Cities Team (http://coolcities.us/cityProfiles.php?city=132&state=CA) which does outreach connected with global warming. She is also a member of the recently appointed Mountain View Sustainability Task Force which is an advisory group to city council. You can find more information about this group by going to the City of Mountain View home page at http://www.ci.mtnview.ca.us/ and clicking on Environmental Sustainability. About this new group, Julie says “Participation by the larger community is very much desired, and you will be hearing about ways you can participate.”
Julie’s favorite volunteer job is coordinating a small agricultural group to bring boxes of organic produce directly from farmers. More information about this group is available at www.fullbellyfarm.com.
When I asked why she does all of this and more, Julie responded that “my goal is to leave the community better than I found it.”
This is part of a series of ongoing articles about people who are active in our neighborhood. If you have a friend or neighbor whose activities you would like to see featured in this series, please contact email@example.com.