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December 16, 2009 > Community center suggested for 2nd Street and Mission Boulevard

Community center suggested for 2nd Street and Mission Boulevard

By Shavon Walker

Youth and adults attended Union City's Council meeting on December 8 to promote the idea of a community center at the corner of Second Street and Mission Boulevard.

Mary Schlarb, Angelica Campos, Todd Benson, Victor Martinez, Jerico Abanico, Jerik Buado, Dexter Paule, Mike Bonin and Mamel Gallando all spoke in favor of a youth center at the location. Vice-mayor Richard Valle had been contacted by some of the speakers opposed to housing development or retail stores in the area and prefer to have something youth-oriented instead.

"The to request a rezoning change of that plot to accommodate the potential of having something there for our youth," said Valle. "... [This] would directly benefit the kids in our city but, more specifically, kids in our neighborhood, the Decoto neighborhood."

"We need a youth center because many kids don't have anything to do after school," Angelica Campos stated. "Kids from all over Union City would benefit from this."

Dexter Paule, a member of Filipino Advocates for Justice, pointed out that youth need a free, safe place to go as an alternative to turning to the streets. He also asked for the Council's support for the center.

Many adults also support the community-center idea.

"We see it as supporting our mission, too, which is youth [and] leadership development," stated Victor Martinez, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

"I think it's very well suited for regional activity," added Councilman Manny Fernandez who is also ready to see the land used.

Economic and Community Development Director Joan Malloy stated that the process would take some time. A six-month time frame would be needed to meet all the requirements for a zoning change. Council agreed to postpone a decision until January 12. At that time, a report containing comprehensive details on requirements and procedures will be submitted.

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