A Holiday Message from CSAC President Vito Chiesa
Hello, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you from California’s Great Central Valley. There is a lot about this time of year to like. Most of us are anticipating holiday celebrations with friends and family, good food to share and hopefully, at least a little bit of the “Peace on Earth” we all hope for. As your new CSAC President, I am especially happy and humbled this holiday season that my colleagues in California’s 58 counties have chosen me to lead them through this year.
I walk in the footsteps of people who wore some pretty large shoes before me in this position. I have my work cut out for me just to live up to the legacy of CSAC’s Past Presidents. Thankfully, the CSAC Staff represents some of the best and brightest in Sacramento. Like those who have come before me, I know I can rely heavily on Matt Cate and his crew not just to keep the ship afloat, but to make sure it is effective and proactive. I am looking forward to a good year.
I am happy and excited at the chance to continue serving my constituents in Stanislaus County, and to expand that service into more of a statewide role through CSAC. But with that larger role comes a larger set of responsibilities—to you my colleagues, and to the people of California. And to be honest, that responsibility weighs heavily, especially this time of year.
For all the anticipation we feel for the coming holiday, there are many who do not fully share in the bounty California offers. There are people who need a home, food and healthcare. There are people who need mental health care instead of incarceration, and those who need more public safety and security too. There are plenty of people who just need a chance to get back on their feet.
As you know, Counties administer the programs that deliver those essential services. Even as I anticipate the holidays with family, friends and colleagues, it’s hard not to worry about meeting those obligations. Usually about this time of year, someone in my family reminds me that I do public service work on behalf of others throughout the year, and that it’s okay to let go of the worry for a few weeks during the holidays. I try hard each year to allow myself to enjoy the season and the blessings I have.
I hope you can do the same. Yes, there are problems to solve, people who need help, and I hope you do find ways to give to those less fortunate this holiday season. But I also hope you allow yourself to spend some quality time with friends and family. I hope you get some time to relax and recharge your batteries. I hope you spend a little bit of time counting your blessings—as I do—because the issues will still be there next year, and I look forward to working with you then to solve some of them! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!