Lynda Daniels

Tell us about yourself.

My name is Lynda Daniels, I am a native Vallejoan, I am Vice Chair of the PB Vallejo Steering Committee, I represent the Vallejo Branch 1081 of the NAACP, and I am a member and Administrator at Kyles Temple AME Zion Church. I am retired and work more now than I did when actively employed! I enjoy life and people. I have three biological children (all grown up) and several adopted children (kinship) and 10 plus grandchildren. I truly believe that with God all things are possible, and thus, I work passionately and pray without ceasing for the best is yet to come.

How did you first get involved in PB, and why?

The President of the Vallejo Branch of the NAACP invited me to breakfast; I am not going to turn down a “free” meal. We went to breakfast, and during our conversation he told me about an opportunity to get involved on some sort of commission with the City. He convinced me that it was something I would enjoy, and he really fed my ego along with my belly, so we picked up the paperwork from City Hall and I completed it, still feeling good about all the nice and wonderful things he said about me and about how confident he was that I could and would do the best job if I got involved. I turned in the paperwork, got and a call, and here I am, dang! Vice Chair of the PB Steering Committee. Wow, he was right: once I got involved with PB, there was no stopping me! PB Vallejo is the greatest opportunity for the residents and the City government to become transparent so that a rapport of honesty, commitment, and respect can become the norm in our City of Vallejo.

It was surprising to listen and comprehend that no matter what part of the City the person lived in, no matter what ethnicity, no matter what economic status, everyone had ideas as to how to improve our City.

What did you end up doing in the PB process?

Not only did I become Vice Chair, I am a CHAMPION for PB! The process was new, and the people were new, and we were all treading unknown territory. We read the stories, saw the videos of PB in other countries, states and cities and thought, wow, this could work here in Vallejo, yes it can. At times I felt like Alice, you remember, the naïve little girl who follows the rabbit into the hole–a whole new world. The rabbit running looking at his watch saying “it’s late, it’s late,” and Alice asking “late for what?” Well, the naysayers were running and looking at their watches saying “now is not the time, now is not the time.” And all the while, PB keeps showing up at council meetings, in the news, on the radio, in our faces. The time came and PB was right on time! We are now beginning PB Year 2 and looking forward to the same energy and excitement generated in PB Year 1 for PB Year 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and so on.

What most surprised you about your experience with PB?

The desires of all the people involved to do the right thing. There was no good or bad, white or black, ugly or pretty. The people simply wanted to do the right thing for the good of all. That being said, it was surprising to listen and comprehend that no matter what part of the City the person lived in, no matter what ethnicity, no matter what economic status, everyone had ideas as to how to improve our City, make our City safe and to be inclusive of all our City residents – the young, the old, the disenfranchised, the homeless, whomever. We must and will be inclusive.

What were the biggest impacts of PB on your community? On you as a person?

One of the biggest impacts of PB in and on our community was that it became our “bond.” We the people became one single force in working together to improve our City, making democracy truly work for all, and demonstrating to the City, County, State, Nation and the World that people do care about their city and their residents, and when given the opportunity, their joint creativity can lead them out of crisis and into collaborations of growth, sustainability and respect.

As a person, PB has helped me to flourish in my love of participation with life, improved my confidence level when speaking publicly and to capitalize on the need to be ready at all times and all places, for you never know when you will be called upon to “shine,” and I am still “shining.”

– October 2013