Letter to the Editor: Resident Throws Support Behind Takahashi

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Letter to the Editor:

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I first met Tamala at Toastmaster Club* 6 years ago. Having been with the club for many years, Tamala achieved the highest level of educational achievement in Toastmasters. She is not just a good speaker on the surface. I love listening to her speech because of the content, more importantly the logic and critical thinking she put into the content.  She is also a great organizer for the club, serving various functions, and organized leadership events at international toastmaster conferences.  

As I know her better, I am awed that she has homeschooled all her three children while working, done a lot of volunteering works and later on served on boards and commissions in our city.  

Since the beginning of this year, Tamala hold a “Freeway Side Chat” at IKEA, once a week. It was an opportunity to have open dialogues with residents. From these chats, Tamala gathered the concerns and suggestions from Burbank residents for our city. But not only that, she took action right from there, e.g. she helped a senior resident to find where to apply for senior housing, joined the Equity Diversity and Inclusion committee at BUSD after discussion with voters about the importance of equity issues in our schools. The week before school closure due to COVID-19, I stopped by to talk to her about my concern on homeschool, because some schools have already been closed in other parts of the country by that time. She then hosted two zoom seminars on homeschool for parents like me, which provided fundamental suggestions to help us with this crisis.  

During the COVID-19 quarantine, she continued to hold the “Chat” online by posting videos on her Facebook page. In those posts, she continued shared information about things we all cared about, e.g. police policies, Burbank’s rental assistance program, things discussed in city council and school board meetings.  

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No matter you make up your mind for any city council candidate or not, I recommend you follow Tamala’s Facebook page. There is rarely a post about “voting for me”, most of the contents are useful information for our life, epically for Burbank residents. For example, you will find business reopening updates, family friendly activities in Burbank, cooling center info during hot waves, Burbank housing survey, etc.  She has communicated discussion on city council or school board meetings, summarized work done by BUSD DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) committee, and held discussion on Burbank measures. As a parent who deeply cares about our children’s future, Tamala also shared sustainability efforts across the country. In another word, while some other candidates using FB to promote themselves, Tamala has used FB as a platform to serve the community and build a bridge for communication. 

Back to the days when we were both at Toastmaster Club, we talked about our favorite quotes and inspirations at several meetings. Tamala’s favorite one is always this: “Be the change you want to see”. And she has truly fulfilled it all these years I have known her. She has a natural sympathy for people and advocates for those who may not have much voice. She not only cares about the critical issues but has taken the time to learn the reasons behind and move forward to tackle the difficulties.  

Tamala has served our city in many ways for a long time. No matter elected or not, I know she will do the same as she has always been doing. However, I do believe she would contribute much more for our city as a leader in the Burbank City Council. 

We need a leader who asks “how can I help”, not the ones repeating “vote for me”. We need a leader who studies the issues in further details, not the ones who simply shout emotionally. We need a leader who solves the problems, not the ones only voice their criticisms. 

Please join me in electing Tamala Takahashi to Burbank City Council. 

*Toastmaster Club: a nonprofit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of clubs.

Yifan Zhang

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