Letter to the Editor: Submitted by Zahir Robb
I have spent 40 years in South Pasadena. I was born here, I met my wife here, and we are raising our children here. It turns out that South Pasadena has been home to 23 members of my immediate family.
Why did we come here? Why have we stayed here?
A huge part is the community, built around parks, the library, and police and fire department personnel who actually show up, and do so fast, whether to help my ailing grandmother or to free a child locked in a hot car (it was my daughter, it was an accident, and she was fine!).
Why do we have these things while people in other cities don’t? It’s because of South Pasadena’s sense of community, one we see on Mission Street every Fourth of July, one we see every Thursday at the Farmer’s Market, and one that has led the people of our city to renew our Utility Users Tax (UUT) for almost 40 years.
It is time once again for us to come together to renew South Pasadena’s UUT by voting yes on Measure U.
Without the UUT, the parks, library and public safety services that my family — and yours — enjoy, will be cut back. So, too, will senior services, street maintenance, city infrastructure projects and more of what provides us with the quality of life that makes our city different.
I am endorsing, volunteering on the committee for, and asking you to support Measure U. I know as a lifelong resident, as a parent, and as a South Pasadena Unified School District Board Member that our UUT is essential to continuing the services and public amenities that make our city special. My wife and I are educators, so of course I did the math, and the UUT accounts for 12% of our city’s budget. Without it, cutbacks will be followed by closures — there is no way around it.
Pre-COVID-19, our family, on at least a weekly basis, enjoyed the soccer fields and baseball diamonds in the Arroyo, the playgrounds and open space of Garfield Park, the library, and the Farmer’s Market. My kids were escorted across the street every school day by our city-funded crossing guards. And I slept soundly at night knowing that whatever emergency may occur, help was minutes away.
When the pandemic is over, I want to get back to my South Pasadena life. We all should. It’s why we came here. It’s why we stayed here. Let’s keep South Pasadena, well . . . South Pasadena. That’s only possible by voting yes on Measure U.
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