2021 was an Unusual Year for Everyone
By all accounts, 2021 was an unusual year for everyone — in the world! So many activities of our normal lives were upended by the COVID-19 pandemic. Friends and family weren’t seen as often, if at all, in person. We all became Zoom Meisters as we transitioned into a “virtual” world for work, school, shopping, entertainment, and community service.
For Mt. Washington Jessica Neighborhood, Inc. (MWJN), we persevered with activities that fulfilled our mission while trying to be safe. Here is a brief overview of our activities.
Our primary mission is emergency preparedness for our neighborhood, and toward this end, Ben Park conducted 19 Block Update meetings to refresh the Map Your Neighborhood (MYN) information and commitment of residents on the blocks of 20-odd houses that have been organized so far. Ben also conducted two coordination meetings with block leaders via Zoom. Based on feedback from previous drills, we revised our disaster radio communications plan, and tried it out during our neighborhood-wide MYN Disaster Drill in October in conjunction with the Great California Shakeout earthquake drill. Continuous improvement!
As part of our emergency preparations, we conduct a radio net every Sunday evening to test our radios and to practice using them. In 2021, we had 52 radio practice sessions, one every week. Nine different people served as Net Control, as we try to expand the capabilities of the neighbors to handle the radio net in any emergency. By of the end of 2021, MWJN has distributed over 200 FRS radios to neighbors.
BEAUTIFICATION COMMITTEE ACTIVITY
Another major MWJN focus is neighborhood beautification, especially at the public pocket park known as the Jessica Triangle, and at the Olancha/Oneonta Stairs.
At the Jessica Triangle, at the direction of Beautifications Committee member Paula Sirola, MWJN paid a gardener twice to do maintenance at the Triangle, and Gwen Poindexter, our Beautifications Committee chair, donated a pair of Adirondack chairs and a side table in May. The original chairs had seen better days, so she replaced them in August. We ended the year with a community clean-up event in December, and the MWJN board submitted a formal requisition of funding support from Council District 1 to pay an arborist to trim the oaks.
At the Olancha/Oneonta Stairs, Nerice Zavala led a clean-up event in June, and Gwen has (again!) officially requested a clean-up service from the LA City Office of Community Beautification for that public right-of-way.