Why I Worked to Restrict Tobacco and Alcohol Use in South Kern Parks, and How We Won

Mar. 10, 2014 / By

By Chris Romo for South Kern Sol

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, and to have made some difference so you know that you have lived and lived well.”

These are the words of American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson; it inspires me to everyday ask myself, Have I made a difference in this world?

This past month I could finally say yes to myself – the day I presented to the Kern County Board of Supervisors to limit alcohol and tobacco consumption at our local parks and they accepted our measure.

I along with my partners and now good friends from our Building Healthy Communities (BHC) Recreation team: Ana Karen Yanez, Jose Pinto, Marylou Chavez, Gema Perez, and the teams coordinator Amerika Niño had been working for almost two years to draft two ordinances, one to limit alcohol consumption at parks and only allow it with a permit, and the other to limit tobacco consumption to the parking lot of the parks. Both of these ordinances were made as an attempt to try to make our parks in South Kern safer.

Read more at South Kern Sol