By Dr. John E. Warren, Publisher

It has been said that “we” should have no permanent friends and no permanent enemies, just “permanent interest.” This being the case San Diego’s African American community has a golden opportunity in the the year 2014 to build some new alliances both within and without its own social groups. This means that with a new mayor, the city will have an opportunity to revisit its goals and priorities and while there is a great deal of talk on all sides about “neighborhoods”, that discussion will not be inclusive unless we make our issues and positions known. But we cannot do that without first having a discussion among ourselves as to what is important in 2014. In addition to healthcare, will be jobs, more African American representation in law enforcement both at the city and county levels? Will our concern for transportation extend to blocking freeway ramps on 805 that reach neighborhoods we care about? What priority will be placed on gang violence and how will we honor those deserving young people among us who keep out of trouble, get good grades and seek to add to the community, in spite of their surroundings?

We have many organizations among us and since 1990, the Publisher of this newspaper has attempted to bring us together for discussion, planning and eventually the taking of some actions. Today we are blessed with a new generation of young adults who are rising from the ashes of complacency to continue our struggle with real commitment. We who are older must honor their efforts with our support and partnerships. This means that even if we are not on the same sides of the political campaigns before us, we still talk and work together where our mutual interests are involved. Jesse Jackson once said “right wing, left wing, they are both on the same bird.”

We won’t have our agendas and priorities in line by February 11, for the run-off election, but we do have time to prepare for the elections which will come later this year; we do have time to register new voters and re-check existing ones so that none are lost. We must not forget that while we can vote without much difficulty, there are states now seeking to impose state issued voter identification cards as a condition to vote.

In the weeks and months ahead, the San Diego Voice & Viewpoint will be conducting a number of joint Town Hall Meetings with the inclusion of members of community organizations, just as we have done in the past. Please start putting your issues together for this new year and new opportunity to make things happen.