Youth Leaders Engage Legislator in Muscoy

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Last month, a group of youth and community residents initiated a meeting with Assemblymember Eloise Gómez Reyes of the 47th District in San Bernardino County. Youth representatives from the group Soar IE envisioned an initiative for safer sidewalks around neighborhood schools in Muscoy. Muscoy is unincorporated area of San Bernardino that has a CalEnviroScreen pollution burden profile of 96-100%, is low-income, and the population is 82 percent Latinx.  Glenda Barillas, a member of Soar IE says, “ It saddens me that children in unincorporated areas are allowed to be forgotten. We walked those streets and saw the dangers children face walking to and from school firsthand. If your average adult wouldn't feel safe walking into the street to avoid large trash bins alongside busy roads, then why is it acceptable for children to do it? This community deserves better. The children deserve better.”

During the meeting, the youth and community leaders discussed concerns around unsafe walking conditions to schools due lack of both crosswalks and sidewalks near busy intersections. Assemblymember Reyes led a tour with Soar IE and the Safe Routes Partnership around two elementary schools in Muscoy. Together, we identified potential unsafe traffic hazards around the schools. Along the way, we talked with families walking with their children home along the shoulder of the road. The group took notes on a map to document a wish list for future sidewalks and crosswalks. 

Assemblymember Reyes, her staff, Soar IE and the Safe Routes Partnership will work together to find solutions to engage the community and address concerns on traffic safety. The ultimate aspiration is to make the schools safe and walkable for everyone in Muscoy. “The safety of our children is of utmost importance and one factor to ensure our children get the best education possible is to reduce their anxiety and probability of injury while in transit to school,” said Assemblymember Reyes. “ The millennials brought this idea to us by dreaming big, and together, we can achieve safe routes to schools in the community of Muscoy.”