Thursday, October 29, 2009

Ammiano, Maxwell, and KP at Quesada Gardens

Local politicos and corporate public affairs executives took time from their busy days to visit the Quesada Gardens Initiative last Wednesday. Quesada Gardens residents shared lemonade made from backyard garden lemons, and showed the visitors a bit of the Quesada Gardens project.

It was Assemblyperson Tom Ammiano's first visit to Quesada where he found community-based prevention work florishing. "Kaiser Permanente gets it," he said of the healthcare organization's practical commitment to communities creating grassroots change and improving the wellness of the people who live in them.

The Quesada Gardens Initiative is a model of community-building, growing community and backyard gardens, public art projects and volunteer events to raise social capital as a primary strategy for positive, sustainable change.

District 10 Supervisor Sophie Maxwell added that community-building should be considered "as fundamental to community development as roads." Maxwell is a frequent visitor to the Quesada Gardens which are within walking distance of her own home.

Kaiser Permanente Public Affairs Director Randy Wittorp agreed, saying public health leaders like Kaiser Permanente understand community strength as "structural health."

Elizabeth Ferber, also from Kaiser Permanente, organized the visit as a way to honor the Quesada Gardens Initiative and the work to reduce health disparities in communities like Bayview Hunters Point.

The Quesada Gardens Initiative received a $15,000 grant from Kaiser Permanente to support its work in the heart of the Bayview neighborhood.

Residents turning out to meet the visitors included, Corine and Linda Pettus, James Ross and his sons Isaiah and Apollos Ross, Tony Tarket, Joel McClure, Jeffrey Betcher, Jonathan Bonato, and Sudeep Rao.

1 comment:

Jason Greenberg said...

Congratulations QG!

Its great to see you continuing to get the recognition for the positive effect you are having on your neighborhood.

Your efforts act as a great role model (even to me, a Mid-westerner!) I am working to set up a community-based group and also tending an organic garden in my neighborhood; so thanks for inspiring me.

Keep up the good work!

-Jason Greenberg
Chciago Illinois