Livermore residents have been very outspoken and passionate about Measure P and our downtown development. Let's cool those embers a bit and look at some numbers:

91,039 – Livermore’s population (per the California Department of Finance in the Welcome Livermore 2019-2020 Resource Guide for Visitors and Residents).

7,244 – The number of Livermore voters who signed the referendum to put "No on P" on the ballot (according to the Protect the Central Park Vote/No on P mailout I received last week).

8 – Percent of Livermore voters who put "No on P" on the ballot (actually, less than 8%).

3 – Number of ways you, as a registered Livermore voter, can vote: “Yes” on Measure P, “No” on Measure P, or abstain if you don't care either way (though I do encourage you to vote).

2 – Our commUNITY has been divided because of this issue. I wish this referendum had never happened in the first place, and yet, here we are, pitting neighbor against neighbor. We should respect the process that has brought us this far. I'm no expert on city planning. Are you? I gave my input, but it is up to the city to work out the details.

1 – Our commUNITY should be united as ONE. Now that this referendum exists, let's at least be civil toward one another and agree to disagree. No nasty words or attitude, please.

0 – There should be zero tolerance for any vandalism or removal of ballot signs. What is this, preschool? There are probably preschoolers out there who are more mature than that. I run the streets of Livermore, and I know what I have seen. Respect difference of opinion.

As I have mentioned in past letters to The Independent, I grew up in Livermore. I went to St. Michael's. I graduated from Livermore High School (Class of 1989). I worked at the Vine before it was cool. I taught myself to snowboard, thanks to my job at Fletcher's Team and Ski (yes, we did have a ski shop then). And I earned my AA degree in University Studies after my third year of indecisiveness at Las Positas College.

I have lived in Dublin, downtown Walnut Creek, and even Central Florida, but ultimately chose Livermore in which to raise my boys and establish a home. I have become friendly with Livermore’s downtown business owners and employees – real people with families, college loans, utility bills, rent and mortgages – just like us.

My husband, New York-born and Florida-raised, was a California transplant, courtesy of the U.S. Navy, by way of San Diego. Many thanks to Livermore businesses that support our veterans, and thank you for Veterans Way. My husband has said that, while it has many conveniences of bigger cities, he really enjoys the “small-town feel” of Livermore.

Tony Bennett may have left his heart in San Francisco, but my heart is clearly rooted in Livermore. I’m not sure I ever really left, but rather went on a voyage of discovery. The grass will often seem greener somewhere else, and you can, indeed, go home again.

Like children, relationships, and careers, cities go through changes and periods of growth. Friends, we are at a new stage of life in our commUNITY; now is the time for growth. Vote how you will, but be informed when you do. On March 3, I’m voting “Yes” on Measure P.