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Column: We need unprecedented leadership 

–I don’t know about you, but I would be delighted to never hear “unprecedented” again. It is a roller coaster living through these “unprecedented” times. However, I am not looking forward to going back to normal – I hope we move forward to a brighter and more empowered, and compassionate future.

This requires bold and decisive leadership from our mayor, city council, and school board. Our elected leaders need to get out and listen to us – their constituents. What worries and concerns can be addressed? What needs do we see in our community? What hopes do we have for our future, our children and grandchildren’s futures?

Leadership requires listening beyond people’s fears and worries to build dynamic coalitions of community and government leaders to craft action steps toward lofty and extensive goals. Leadership requires taking a stand for solutions that build from now to 10, 20, 50 years in the future. Leadership requires listening skills, creative problem solving, visionary thinking and practical hands on action steps.

One recent example of such leadership was reported in The Tribune on March 18, Kate Irby wrote “One California Republican voted on Thursday to advance a bill that grants a path to citizenship for young immigrants, bucking his party leadership on a proposal favored by Democrats.”

Reps. David Valadao, R-Hanford, voted to approve the Dream and Promise Act, which would provide a path to citizenship for immigrants who were brought into the country illegally as children, known as Dreamers. It also grants a path to citizenship for immigrants in the country with temporary protected status or other protections.”

In addition to dynamic and innovative leadership we as community members have the responsibility to participate and be involved. There are adopt-a-street clean ups, food distributions, serving meals at shelters, donations of goods, services and funds. Each us has much to contribute to make our larger community healthier and happier.

We also have the responsibility to communicate and engage.

School Board meetings are on Youtube and now translated into Spanish. Meetings start at 5pm with open session usually beginning at 6 p.m. or a little later. The calendar is available here.  The next two meetings are 4/27 and 5/11. Call in during the meeting to 805-608-4230 or email by 3 p.m. the day of the meeting to

City Council meetings are the first and third Tuesday of each month at 6:30pm. Go here to see agendas, minutes and more information.  You can make public comments by calling in during meetings to (805) 865-7276 or email before the meeting to

I look forward to hearing you at future meetings, seeing you at service opportunities and meeting you in person. Let’s work together to build a stronger, inclusive and joyful Paso!

Columnist Laura Parker is a retired public educator, mother, and grandmother. She was recently a candidate for the Paso Robles Joint Unified School District Board of Trustees. She’s been a part-time resident of Paso Robles since 2007 and a full-time resident since 2016.

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