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Local opinion columnists

You can run but you can’t hide from city issues

By From page A8 | February 08, 2014

What kind of community would you like your family to live in? Is Fairfield-Suisun becoming so undesirable that you are considering relocating?

Many folks have begun the mass exodus of Bay Area cities and even California completely. I understand why people choose to move out of the neighborhood when the environment becomes too violent, drug-infested, too expensive or just unlivable. I recently learned that there are some things in our society that we are going to have to deal with no matter where you go.

My mother left the turbulent, racist and troubled environment of the South in 1961. She left Shreveport, La., to raise her family in what she thought would be a more peaceful, liberal, West Coast environment of Southern California. Ironically, a few years later in 1965, Los Angeles erupted into one of the deadliest race riots in U.S. history. Did racism follow her or is it just a part of the world that we live in that crosses all state boundaries and lands?

The urban environment that I lived in as a youth was saturated with violence. As a youth, I would deal with any potential problem or conflicts one way only: I would run.

Running was my No. 1 defense. Inspired by fear, I would just take to the wind at the slightest hint of trouble. I was such a small and quick little guy, so it was rare that anyone would catch me once I took off. Eventually, the violence did catch me. When running was no longer working for me, I took to the martial arts to defend myself from bullies and street gangs. Once I become confident and well-trained in self-defense, a very sad and dangerous change of events took place in he 1980s: The handgun became the weapon of choice for most people, making Los Angeles one of the most violent cities in the nation.

Like many others, I left the ills of Southern California for a more relaxed environment of the Bay Area. Eventually, those same issues found their way north to San Francisco and Oakland. Even smaller communities such as San Mateo and East Palo Alto became notorious for drugs and violence. Unfortunately, we are learning that the problems of the Bay Area have expanded to nearby communities.

When I relocated to Fairfield-Suisun, I was very impressed and confident that this was a great place to land and raise my family. As the population here grew, more big-city issues came with it. Soon, three of my neighbors packed up and left, moving farther east.

If you can’t live in Solano County, then what? Now where are you going go? Dixon? Winters? Eureka? Enough is enough. Running away or relocating every time there’s trouble in a community is not the answer. However, if the environment reaches the point where it is out of control, then maybe it is time to separate yourself.

I believe Fairfield-Suisun is still a good place to live. It has a reasonable population size, a good location that is close enough to the Bay Area and Sacramento but not too close to get infected by the ills of the big city. I have always been an advocate of being a part of the solution by contributing something positive to the community where I live.

Nature teaches us that when an environment changes, what you should do is make adjustments to endure those changes – such as wearing a thick coat and hat in the winter. Consider this illustration. If you have a pot of boiling water, there are three items that will have three different effects when they are placed in the water for three minutes: An egg will become hard inside. A carrot will become weak and eventually break down. A coffee bean will do neither; it will not change its form but it will change the water. It will change the color, the aroma and the texture of the water.

Like that coffee bean, we can withstand the heat and have a positive effect in our environment. There are ways we can make a difference in the community in support of the local leadership.

Fairfield-Suisun is not quite Sodom and Gomorrah, but we do need to take steps to improve the quality of life here.

Deon D. Price is a youth life skills coach and writer. He can be reached at [email protected] or follow him at www.twitter.com/youthgeneration.

Deon Price


Discussion | 6 comments

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  • The MisterFebruary 08, 2014 - 8:06 am

    I wish you well with that, Deon. But the same political and/or societal corruptness that you and your family witnessed in other communities is alive and well in Suisun and Fairfield and Vallejo, etc. I recently watched two sets of movies; Back to the Future (1 thru 3) and Walking Tall (1 thru 3, from the 1970s). The similarities from those movies and from the experiences that you've described, Deon, is the societal acceptance of decreased moral ideals and increased political corruptness. If you have that acceptance growing in Suisun and Fairfield, then you will have those same situations growing that you and your family fled in the past. But people have been inculcated with the mantra of tolerance and acceptance... for everything. For Suisun and Fairfield to change, the people need to become very vocal and active and no longer tolerate that which is immoral and no longer accept that politicians innately have the best intentions of the community they serve at heart. In this paper today is a local story about a woman who embezzled from her boss and was caught. She agreed to make restitution and then fled. Some time later she was arrested for the crime and now the jury of her peers found her not guilty. Sounds like our local people really do tolerate immorality (isn't theft immoral?). And recently we find that over a $100,000 has been spent by one local politician on travel junkets. Sounds like our local people have come to accept such things as normal because there is no outrage nor tar and feathers. Deon... you may very well have to relocate your family once again... unless you know of some way to wake people out of their placated stupor.

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  • deonFebruary 08, 2014 - 1:23 pm

    The Mister, I understand and appreciate your realistic yet cynical concern. However, immorality and corruption has infiltrated every aspect of our society from politics and religion to youth sports. It's every where, so like the column states, where is there to run or move to?

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  • An ObserverFebruary 08, 2014 - 1:47 pm

    Deon, our family recently left California. Before leaving, we did our due diligence and decided upon a place that seemed a good fit for more morals and less tolerance for political corruption. For instance, it is rare, like once every several months, that I see one incident of graffiti. Our city has elected a mayor that is shutting down the "redevelopment" sham perpetrated for years by the previous mayor. While nothing on the scale of California, the people here were not going to tolerate increased debt and taxes for the benefit of developers. Deon, I'm sure you'll find bad things where ever you look, but some times the grass really is green on the other side of the fence. I've met many people here who left California recently or years ago... and every one of them are glad they did.

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  • DeonFebruary 08, 2014 - 4:01 pm

    An Observer, I understand those folks who decided to leave for a better environment. The grass may be greener in another place but if you water your own grass it will be just as green.

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  • Salty DogFebruary 08, 2014 - 5:04 pm

    Observer Im glad you made it out of California the state is getting to be a very unfriendly place to live with all of the political correctness that we have to put up with and that is the downfall of california. I hope to also one day move out of this crazy state. I have a few more years before i retire so I'm checking out other states to live so i can keep more of my hard earned money. Do you have any suggestions?

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  • An ObserverFebruary 08, 2014 - 5:12 pm

    We started with a book by Joel Skousen called "Strategic Relocation". We also went through the things we like about Solano County and would look for those elsewhere. For instance, we like the low humidity and would not be comfortable moving to the deep south. It's a tough job figuring out where to go... it's an easy decision to leave. For Deon... it doesn't look like much grass will be getting watered this year.

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