Thoughts from the Board : Babs Adamski

Hello dear readers!

My name is Babs Adamski and I am a recent addition to the St. Johns Center for Opportunity (SJCO) Board of Directors. I joined in Fall of 2016 after having been engaged at varying levels with the former St. Johns Main Street and more recently,  the St. Johns Center for Opportunity.

I am a long time grassroots organizer and I am guided by a personal mission to encourage creativity and justice in my environment. Volunteer and paid work has given me opportunities to work in capacities that serve the community. I don’t want to go into too much detail, but feel free to ask me what they are and I’ll tell you.

When I was approached about becoming a board member for SJCO, I took some time to consider how my personal goals would align with the goals of SJCO. It was particularly helpful that SJCO had just gone through a time of introspection about who they were as an organization, what they would do, and how they would do it.

SJCO has four specific areas of focus: community building, workforce development, affordable housing, and local business support. As I considered my personal goals and mission in a “hyper-local” manner, I could see that the work SJCO was doing in the community, matched well with my desire to encourage justice in our community. I see sustainable behaviors as a conduit for making a community more livable. Shop local, work as close to home as possible, commit to your community by engaging with your neighbors, and advocating for resources for your neighborhood. It is a matter of social justice that we all have a secure place to live (renting or owning a home), healthy affordable food, and equitable opportunities for education and work.

To me, SJCO works toward all these goals, and as a generalist, I want to be involved in all of them. But, as a person with a busy life and big family, I realize that I will be more effective if I focus my efforts. Currently, my greatest fear is that local residents, especially renters, will be forced out by the current housing market. Because of this, SJCO’s affordable housing advocacy is what I am most excited about. Whether it’s gathering groups together to canvass for the recent bond measure, being part of the Welcome Home Coalition, or gathering housing advocates to discuss their shared work in affordable developments, we’re working to help the St. Johns community consider what efforts we can make to increase housing stability.

As events and campaigns are publicized, please join in with your support - financially or by volunteering. If you have any questions about the work SJCO is doing, or want to grab a coffee and talk about the neighborhood, you can reach me at babsia@gmail.com