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A View From The Mesa: Let's repair Westside streets next

April 19, 2012|By Crissy Brooks

Life isn't fair. I get it.

Growing up, this was pointed out pretty much every time my sisters and I fought.

When we whined about one getting something another didn't, my parents would point out that life does not dole out everything equally. However, my parents did have a sense of justice, and while we may not have received exactly the same stuff at the same time, over time we were shown equal favor and provision.

We learned that whining and throwing fits did not help in winning favor.

So I'm not one to whine, which is what people say right before they are about to whine.

Here's my complaint: How come Mesa Verde got all new street pavement and the Westside still floods with the slightest rain?

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Last week, when the rain came, the disrepair of the alleys and streets particularly around 17th and 18th streets, and Placentia Avenue was terrible.

As I navigated potholes in the Center Street alley and jumped over flooded gutters on Monrovia Avenue, my inner child welled up, asking, "How come they got new streets?"

Don't get me wrong. I drive in Mesa Verde and enjoy the roads. I'm as happy as anybody about that patch of Harbor Boulevard being fixed up in front of Jack in the Box that used to almost swallow your car.

I have sat in city meetings prioritizing funding and even rolled my eyes at the thought of fixing streets over issues that seemed more pressing in my mind. I realize there are limited resources and we cannot do it all at once. And I would like to have alleys and streets fixed for the whole city. I would suggest too that some streets and alleys have more pressing problems than others.

And it is not just the Westside. The neighbors on Baker Street have sent letters and met with city officials asking to have their fairly small alley repaved. This has been going on for more than a year and in the meantime, all of Mesa Verde was repaved. I do not presume to understand what is involved with the work of repaving streets, but it seems the leftovers from the big Mesa Verde project could cover the Baker alley.

I am glad that Mesa Verde is getting fixed up. I would like us to keep moving forward and not stop until that is true for the whole city.

Fair doesn't have to mean exactly the same stuff at the same time. But fair does mean equal consideration and equal response. Fair is not responding to the loudest voices but listening for those whose voices are being drowned out.

If we don't get the streets fixed up in my neighborhood, the rain may literally drown us out.

CRISSY BROOKS is co-founder and executive director of Mika Community Development Corp., a faith-based nonprofit in Costa Mesa, where she lives.

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