Gretchen Newsom: “We’re not a special interest group! We are Ocean Beach!”

by on August 1, 2014 · 1 comment

in Culture, Environment, History, Ocean Beach, Organizing, San Diego

Audience erupts into applause as Gretchen Newsom finishes her speech. (Photo by Mercy Baron)

Editor: The OB Rag is publishing the speeches of the various OB planners and other village leaders given at the City Council hearing on the Ocean Beach Community Plan, Tuesday, July 29th. The speech posted below by Gretchen Newsom, President of the OB Town Council, was one of the more effective as each time she mentioned a community group – people in the audience affliated with that group, stood – and remained standing till the end of her speech.

By Gretchen Newsom

OB City Council 7-29-14 mh GretchNI am Gretchen Newsom, President of the Ocean Beach Town Council.

Our OB Community Plan is the result of over a decade of extensive community engagement and outreach.

All OB community organizations have collaborated with one another on the Community Plan and ALL OB community groups have united together to endorse the Ocean Beach Community Plan.

We are here before you today to support our Plan and to defend and protect our small- scale community character.

Here to STAND in support of the OB Community Plan are the following OB community organizations and their members – collectively representing our community as a whole.

The OB Planning Board

With 14 elected members, led by current Chair, Peter Ruscitti,

the OB Planning Board is recognized as the official planning organization for OB by the city of San Diego – it is the FIRST democratically elected Planning Board in San Diego, in Fact, California!

OB Woman’s Club

With nearly 100 courageous, strong women, and led by current President Mel Roark, the OB Woman’s Club was founded in 1934, and is one of the oldest civic groups in San Diego. Their founders were instrumental in the paving of our streets, securing street lights and garbage disposal, and acquiring a recreation center, public library, and the Ocean Beach skate park. Their mission is to care for our community as a mother would care for her child.

Friends of the OB Library

Established in 1982, and led by President Judy Collier, this group of 78 active-dues paying members and volunteers support our Libary and its programs through various activities, including book sales, and volunteer support.

OB Historical Society

Founded in 1979, and led by President Mike James, the OB Historical Society preserves and protects OB’s history through its Sea Scrolls newsletter, extensive archives, programs, and public events.

The Ocean Beach Mainstreet Association

Led by President Barbara Iacometti and Executive Director Denny Knox, the OBMA is our community’s business organization, representing over 500 local merchants and professionals dedicated to building a thriving business district to fulfill the needs of the neighboring community and our visitors and tourists.

OB Community Development Corporation (OBCDC)

Since 1993, and led by President Tom Perrotti, the OBCDC is dedicated to improving our local environment, providing high quality affordable housing, and promoting sustainable practices while maintaining OB’s unique character.

OB Community Foundation
Founded in 1979, and led by President Cheryl Troncellito, the OBCF supports local Ocean Beach community initiatives that include educational programs, community enhancement projects, youth sports, and public safety through fundraising and volunteer efforts.

OB Rag

Led by Editor Frank Gormlie, and with over 60,000 readers per a month, the OB RAG has been our community’s online journal, blog, and website since 2007. It is an extension of the original alternative grassroots newspaper of the same name published in the ‘70’s.

OB Town Council

With hundreds of active dues-paying members, Ocean Beach Town Council expresses the will and welfare of the community of Ocean Beach. We provide forums for the discussion of community issues and we communicate the views and needs of the community, hence we passed a resolution in support of the OB Community Plan.

Finally, here today are other members of the audience, representing thousands of citizens, businesses, community advocates, residents, and supporters of OCEAN BEACH that have signed our petition in support of the OB Community Plan and to defend our small-scale community character.

We are not a Special Interest Group…..WE ARE OCEAN BEACH!!!

Our community is more unified than ever . And, we – the ENTIRE community of Ocean Beach – collectively call upon YOU to RESPECT OB and VOTE in favor of our Community Plan!

Editor: Watch the following video:



{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

gristmiller August 3, 2014 at 11:37 am

Wonderful work! Thanks.


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