When a company has been around for 32 years like Oster and Associates, it is no surprise that community involvement is part of our company culture. The extent to which you immerse yourself into a neighborhood, cause or event can vary. Taking action is something that most people expect from companies these days and rightfully so.
In our line of work, building relationships is vital to success no matter how large or small the task. By getting involved in the communities where we live and work, we are able to gain knowledge and understanding about why things happen (or don’t happen). That feedback is valuable in an information-based business like ours.
A few years ago, I decided that I really wanted to be part of what my neighborhood, Mission Valley, was going to look like over the next 20-30 years. Timing was ideal as the Mission Valley Community Plan Update Subcommittee (MVCPUS) was formed via the City of San Diego and Mission Valley Planning Group. I simply showed up at the public meeting, put my name on the public sign-in sheet and listened intently to what was being discussed. The discussion ended with an ask for volunteers to serve in the categories of business owners, property owners and residents. Being a resident of Mission Valley, I raised my hand, put my name into consideration and ended up being selected to fill a resident position.
I dedicate a couple hours each month to attend a monthly meeting, participate in community open houses where residents give their opinions about what they want to see happen in Mission Valley and contribute my feedback whenever possible. MVCPUS will be wrapping up its community plan responsibilities in early 2019 and every step of the process has been rewarding. It’s been an honor to serve my community in this capacity.
Planning groups and community plans can have a measurable impact on microlevels of a big city like San Diego. I knew that I wanted to make a difference for current and future residents of Mission Valley – my neighbors. It’s why I am proud to serve on the MVCPUS and why I was unanimously approved to join the Mission Valley Planning Group as a Board Member (Resident Class III) just last week.
It might seem daunting as to how you can make a positive impact in your community. My advice would be to pick something that you are passionate about and pursue getting involved, however you can. A growing city like San Diego needs new faces and fresh ideas to give well-rounded representation in making decisions. These time commitments might be significant or rather minimal, but the most important thing is to make them matter. The future of San Diego is very bright, so get involved in your community however you can.