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Town Hall Meeting Two

The second Town Hall Meeting was held Monday, July 28, 2008 6-8 pm at the JFK Library's Joseph Room. 
The theme for the evening was "Mission Update".  The three teams updated the Tennessee Street merchants, residents and supporters about what they have done in the last 3 months and what they plan to do in the next 3 months.
Team One spokesperson Tony Pearsall proudly spoke about the Business Watch and the Neighborhood Night Out that his team along with the help of Fighting Back Partnership has implemented on Tennessee Street.  They plan to solidify a Business Watch Phone Tree and continue with the graffiti clean up on Tennessee Street. 
Team Two spokesperson Suzanne Harrington-Cole was pleased to report the 12 banners put up before July 4.  The tree lights and banners from Monterey Street to Tuolumne Street is the goal for the next 3 months.  Clark Blasdell spoke about 2 arches to be put on Tennessee Street with an approximate cost of $25,000 which should be erected within 3-5 years.
Team Three spokesperson Lyndy Pickens, armed with a binded report sheet, spoke about the Business Alliance they have formed with the merchants.  She presented a $250 idea they have come up with to draw attention to pedestrians on crosswalks and also repainting the curbs green and red as most of them cannot even be deciphered.
The group then turned to brainstorming more ideas for the Team, Vallejo City Councilmembers Gomes, Schively and Hannigan contributed to the process by answering questions dealing with the City's role in helping Team Tennessee meet it's goals.  Councilwoman Gomes, who launched an anti-graffiti program herself, spoke about not waiting for any City program to start but to reach out and volunteer within programs that already exist. 
Nimat Shakoor-Grantham, Senior Code Enforcement Officer, was ill and could not make it at the meeting. She did send a message that said she is more than happy to train members from Team Tennessee to be Code Enforcement volunteers.  This way the Team can monitor Tennessee Street, and help merchants comply with the Code.  Also, the Vallejo Police Department will be contacted so the Team can also be trained to write citations to those who are not complying with the parking laws.
It was a very successful meeting indeed.  Everyone was pleased with the progress of the Team, and words of encouragement and support filled the room.
Good Job Team Tennessee! Way to go!!!

For Team Tennessee, work has just begun

TINA FOWLER, who works for Newcomb & Sons on Tennessee Street in Vallejo, voices her concerns during a Team Tennessee meeting Monday at the J.F.K. Library. (Mike Jory/Times-Herald)
In the past three months, members of community action group Team Tennessee have hoisted banners, scrubbed graffiti and strategized about pedestrian safety, but the work is only beginning, they said.

About 20 team members and city officials gathered at the JFK Library on Monday night to review progress on the three-month goals established in May and to set their sights on new ones.

Hoping to improve the roughly 20 blocks of Tennessee Street from the waterfront to the freeway, Team Tennessee stemmed from Leadership Vallejo, a class for community members interested in becoming leaders in local government, business or volunteer organizations.

Since its inception, the team has grown beyond Leadership Vallejo participants to about 40 members divided into three teams, each focusing on an aspect of street improvement: crime and graffiti prevention, street beautification and traffic safety.

"Team Tennessee is this thing that's motivating everybody," team Member Maria Guevara said, noting that business owners on Broadway and Springs Road are considering similar projects.

Team Tennessee member and Fighting Back Partnership executive director Tony Pearsall said the group working to eradicate graffiti and crime is getting "a lot of cooperation" from businesses and has launched a business watch program.

The group working to beautify the street has put up 12 business-sponsored banners between Monterey Street and Napa streets, and plans to add more, as well as tree lights.

If you go:

What: Team Tennessee National Night Out

When: 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 5

Where: 37 Tennessee St. at Gene's Auto Repair; 815 Tennessee St. at Kelly Moore Paint; 1200 Tennessee St. at US Bank

Citing high-speed traffic and unsafe pedestrian crossings, a third group researched ways to improve pedestrian safety, suggesting installation of in-street crosswalk signs - each costing $250 - at each of the corridor's 11 crosswalks.

In the long term, the team hopes to receive training from police and city code enforcement, enhance cleanup efforts, and continue building business partnerships.

Hoping to foster a sense of community and to get neighbors interacting with one another, the team will host three National Night Out on Tennessee Street locations next Tuesday.

"We'll see finally a unity where there was none," Guevara said.

For more information about Team Tennessee, visit

• E-mail Sara Stroud at or call 553-6833.

Thank you to the Councilmembers who came:
Councilwoman Stephanie Gomes
Councilwoman Joanne Schivley
Councilwoman Erin Hannigan

Questions? Comments? 

~*~ Making Vallejo better ~*~
~*~ One block at a time ~*~