Photos by Rebecca Mathews
It was an inspiring evening to remember. Middle school and high school members of the Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula in East Palo Alto held a “Night with the Mayor,” which featured East Palo Alto’s Mayor Carlos Romero. Their meeting with the mayor took place at their East Palo Alto clubhouse on Pulgas Avenue. During their evening meeting, the youngsters had an opportunity to ask Mayor Romero questions that concerned them the most.
The youngsters seemed genuinely excited about their meeting with the mayor, and he seemed equally excited about being able to spend time with them. One of the youngster’s asked the mayor to name his “be” word.
Rising to the occasion, Romero said, “My ‘be’ word is to be a good listener. I strive to be a good listener.”
When asked, “What would you like East Palo Alto to be?” Romero said, “I would like EPA to “be’ a place where everybody feels comfortable being who they are and where everyone feels comfortable in community… a close knit but a very friendly community.”
In talking more about the community he had in mind, the mayor said, “I really think it is important for people, kids, parents and everybody in this community to have access to their elected officials …. The only way you get good government; the only way you can make changes in your community is if you as children, as youth and as adults engage political leaders -- elected officials like me. If not, we will do whatever we want. That’s not what politicians should be doing. Politicians should be following what the community wants,” Romero said.
Given the questions the youth asked and the mayor’s answers, the “Night with the Mayor,” which took place on April 21, made for a candid evening and the youth, themselves, seemed impressed.
When asked what he thought about the meeting, Romero said, “It’s always fun to be with the youth and hear their questions. I very much appreciate the work the Boys and Girls Club is doing, along with Free at Last and College Track….They’re really vital to strengthening the community.
“The Boys and Girls Club is just a great organization. I’m glad they invited me.”
To contact Rebecca Matthews, the author of the above article, email email@example.com.
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