Our Voice: Students set example for public participation
by Press Editorial Board
Apr 12, 2013 | 2671 views | 3 3 comments | 129 129 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Popular wisdom says you can’t fight City Hall. But sometimes, you can get City Hall to listen.

Dedicated eighth-graders from North School are the latest to remind us that a small group of people can have a big impact on the world.

Instead of merely complaining about the shortcomings they see in Tracy, eighth-graders in Jo Hensen’s language arts classes decided to try and improve their home town.

Setting aside jokes and cynicism, students took to heart the encouragement of Mayor Pro Tem Michael Maciel, who went out of his way to visit their classroom.

They brainstormed ideas, conducted research, wrote the City Council and appeared twice to state their case in public.

The result is likely to be a full-sized basketball court in El Pescadero Park that won’t close evenings and weekends, like the school courts near the corner of Holly Drive and Kavanagh Avenue.

Our city needs more people like these teenagers, who got off the sidelines to make something positive happen. They are an example to be emulated.

They have given others a perfect template for what active citizens can do to change their city, and shown once again that our youth more often than not rise above the challenges placed before them.

Their effort also shows this is a City Council that listens to residents who have ideas about how to improve their city.

We hope council members continue to support and assist those who suggest ways to make Tracy better — even if those ideas haven’t received personal attention from a council member.
Comments-icon Post a Comment
April 12, 2013
It has been years since a council was this involved with kids (besides Steve Abercrombie).

Thank You Council Members Charles Manne and Nancy Young for motioning to add the basketball court to the agenda. Thanks Mike Maciel for visiting the classroom and encouraging the students to speak up.
April 14, 2013
Our City Council is phenomenal! Each and every person took a personal interest in these students. It was a pleasure to watch our city government at work. Additionally, our City's Police Chief shook the hand of each student after the meeting adjourned. We must never under estimate the importance of these adults in the lives of our youngsters. It is an experience these young adults will always cherish.
April 12, 2013

We encourage readers to share online comments in this forum, but please keep them respectful and constructive. This is not a space for personal attacks, libelous statements, profanity or racist slurs. Comments that stray from the topic of the story or are found to contain abusive language are subject to removal at the Press’ discretion, and the writer responsible will be subject to being blocked from making further comments and have their past comments deleted. Readers may report inappropriate comments by e-mailing the editor at tpnews@tracypress.com.