April 30, 2014 – Chula Vista, CA – Are you interested in talking about Chula Vista’s image with other local residents? The public is invited to be part of a diverse group of citizens working to debunk the myths and celebrate the reality that is San Diego County’s second largest city. The program is set for Friday, May 30, from 8:30 – 11 a.m. at the Civic Center Library Branch, 365 F Street. Reservations are not required.

“A recent public opinion survey showed a wide range of public perceptions about Chula Vista by those who live in other areas of the county,” said Library Director Betty Waznis. “In light of these perceptions, we invite everyone to join us for a lively and interactive exchange of ideas about what it means to live and work in Chula Vista. We want to talk about what we can do to promote the positive aspects of our city, and brainstorm ideas for improving its image.”

The program will be facilitated by Political Science professor and political analyst Carl Luna, director of the new Institute for Civil Civic Engagement, a partnership between the University of San Diego, San Diego Mesa College and San Diego City College. The ICCE works actively throughout San Diego County to promote public dialogue that builds community consensus and resolves problems for the common good.

“It is important for members of the public to be active participants in the decisions of the community,” said Luna. “Public issues require engagement and coordination from the entire community — not simply the government or a few activists. There is nothing we, as a community, working civilly together, cannot accomplish.”

Waznis adds that the event is an example of civic engagement at its best. “We will give people an opportunity to tell us what Chula Vista needs, and then we’ll give them the opportunity to turn those ideas into action.”

The forum is part of the Library’s Pathways to Civic Engagement program, funded by a grant to the library and the Friends of the Chula Vista Library from the Chula Vista Charitable Foundation (CVCF), an affiliate of The San Diego Foundation who houses the San Diego Center for Civic Engagement. The CVCF is comprised of community members who direct their charitable giving dollars to nonprofit programs addressing important issues in Chula Vista.

“Foundation members epitomize the ideal of civic engagement,” said CVCF Board Chair Michael Meacham. “This is a group of people who are investing in their community; learning about the critical issues in their community; learning about the nonprofit organizations serving their community; and it culminates in the members making an informed choice of where to collectively direct their charitable giving,”

CVCF grant funds are also underwriting weekly citizenship classes at the Civic Center and South Chula Vista Library branches. The classes are free to the public. Funds also have purchased library books and other materials on current affairs, social issues and civic engagement for all three library branches. Several hundred new titles, augmented by a $2,000 donation from the Library Friends, of interest to adults and youth, are available in both English and Spanish.

Refreshments will be provided by the Friends of the Library. For further information, please call the library at (619) 691-5069.

About the Chula Vista Charitable Foundation
The mission of the Chula Vista Charitable Foundation, an affiliate of The San Diego Foundation, is to improve the quality of life within Chula Vista by promoting and increasing responsible and effective philanthropy. The CVCF seeks to increase charitable giving by and for the benefit of all who live and work in Chula Vista, build a Chula Vista endowment to provide for the community in perpetuity and give Chula Vista community members a vehicle for legacy planning and gifts to benefit Chula Vista now and forever. CVCF members are active participants in deciding how and where to make an impact in their community. Half of all CVCF membership dues go immediately into grantmaking efforts, while the other half goes into a permanent endowment to sustain future efforts for the good of the Chula Vista community. For information on becoming a member, visit www.chulavistacharitablefoundation.org or contact Zaneta Salde Encarnacion, through email at zaneta@sdfoundation.org or by phone, (619) 814-1328.

About The San Diego Foundation
Founded in 1975, The San Diego Foundation’s purpose is to promote and increase effective and responsible charitable giving. The Foundation manages more than $660 million in assets, almost half of which reside in permanent endowment funds that extend the impact of today’s gifts to future generations. Since its inception, The Foundation has granted more than $860 million to the San Diego region’s nonprofit community. For additional information, please visit The San Diego Foundation at sdfoundation.org.

Anne Steinberger, City of Chula Vista, (619) 409-5446, (619) 405-6461, asteinberger@chulavistaca.gov
Betty Waznis, Chula Vista Public Library, (619) 691-5170, bwaznis@chulavistaca.gov
Zaneta Salde Encarnacion, The San Diego Foundation – Chula Vista Charitable Foundation, (619) 814-1328,zaneta@sdfoundation.org
Carl Luna, Institute for Civil Civic Engagement, cluna@sdccd.edu