Updated: Oct 22, 2022
I gain a wide perspective and learn lessons from volunteering both in and outside of Takoma Park.
Some of my volunteer work over the last few years includes:
Takoma Park Chief's Advisory Board
I attended the Takoma Park Civilian Police Academy and went on a ride-along. I've signed
up for more in Ward 1 before the election.
A few years ago, while volunteering for ACLU Montgomery County, I heard about MD House Bill 1016, which passed in 2016. It allows for Maryand police chiefs to set up civilian review boards and to offer mediation to solve some complaints against officers. I suggested mediation to our chief, he thought it a good idea, and then invited me to serve on his board. I attended for 2 years, ending in November 2020.
So that I could have a better understanding of law enforcement and solutions, I learned mediation through the Conflict Resolution Center of Montgomery County, was certified as a 911 dispatcher, and have taken criminal justice classes at Montgomery College.
It's important to know when any of our officers are involved in serious events even while not on duty, so I've brought past instances to the public's attention via Takoma Park Facebook, made public comments at city council meetings and attended the trial of one of the officers.
The Village of Takoma
I enjoyed being a driver for Village Rides, taking residents to the doctor or church and setting up the refreshments for the meetings. Now I am a recipient of the same service and I enjoy getting to know the current volunteers who serve so selflessly.
Over the years I've manned a booth selling TPFF T-shirts and shared a booth with Harold
Williams of Montgomery College doing outreach regarding astronomy.
I booked the talent for the Children's Stage one year, decided to interpret the term "folk" as "of the people" and introduced the first HipHop dance group, CultureShock, to the festival. The tiny Children's Stage was too small for the number of dancers and their energy so they took over the tennis court and the crowd was definitely caught up in their enthusiasm. I could hear them cheer blocks away.
Recently I started volunteering for Small Things Matter by helping pack groceries for distribution on Friday mornings. I met Roxanne Yamashita years ago when we both served as mentors for children's science fair projects.
Not one to let the term "intern" keep me from applying, I helped with administrative work and conference preparation at their DC office. CCL "empowers people to exercise their personal and political power for climate solutions... working to create the political will for a livable world." They work for the passage of Carbon Fee and Dividend.
HSP's focus is to create a "sustainable, ethical and inclusive stewardship of the solar ecosystem." Thanks to HSP I've worked with students around the world who attended the MMAARS Program to design a lunar space habitat. I participated in a working group to research how education can facilitate an interest in participating in NASA and commercial space programs as well as prepare humanity for living on the Moon and Mars.
There are many job opportunities that are available to our youth in the space industry, if we just help them navigate the course, starting perhaps with attending Montgomery College. I would support programs that would introduce diverse career paths to Takoma Park youth.
I taught basic computer skills to adult ESL students.
The Holiday Park Senior Center
I assisted serving drinks and snacks in the cafe.
I was a docent for art exhibits.