Cecily Hastings


About This Author

Cecily Hastings owns and operates Inside Sacramento and offers her insight and views on local issues each month.

Articles by this author

‘Only Kindness Matters’

I recently joined the Community Advisory Board of the local Del Oro division of The Salvation Army. My financial donations started with my father, who gave my sisters and me dollars to stuff into Red Kettle campaigns at Christmas.
My parents loved how the mission helped communities in inner city Detroit, where we grew up. I’ve made donations for more than 60 years.

Recognized throughout the world for its humanitarian work, thrift shops and donation kettles, The Salvation Army is an evangelical Christian church. It has one agenda: to meet the human need in the name of God without discrimination. Because they work on the frontlines where people are in need or suffering, Army workers refer to themselves as soldiers.

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Healing Thyself

I first met Christopher Price 25 years ago when he became our family doctor. He was straight out of medical school, and I recall him making the case for a family practice. Here’s what I recall: When one physician treats all members of a family, the doctor can interact with the family more frequently. In the process, the physician sees people when they are healthy, not just sick.

This idea made sense to my husband and me. At one point, Dr. Price saw me, Jim, our children and my elderly mother. It worked out for everyone, and I had the opportunity to get to know our doctor.

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Murderous Trends

Last year, 43 people were homicide victims in Sacramento. The number was a 26% jump from 2019, when the city endured 34 homicides. The trend has continued this year, with 44 homicides as of early October.

The increase comes from a variety of factors, not just the pandemic, Police Chief Daniel Hahn says.

“For example, our specialty units, whether it’s our problem-oriented policing officers or our gang officers, they’ve been pulled out of our communities to work protests,” he says. “So they haven’t had a presence. They haven’t been working as much as they normally do in our communities.”

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Workers Wanted

When the pandemic broke out, my big concern was our small business community. Obviously, global attention focused on people’s health and the rising COVID-19 death count. But I figured there was nothing much I could do about it, other than try to keep safe and my family safe.

I knew local small businesses were in for a rough time. Eager to help, our COO Daniel Nardinelli and I created the “Pledge 100% Local” campaign.

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Thorny Decision

More than two years ago, the city of Sacramento embarked on a major construction project at McKinley Park—an underground water vault to pull excess water from storm drains during heavy rains. The goal was to prevent the recurrence of floods in the neighborhood.

This month the city moves to the final step—renovation of the eastern part of the park between the McKinley Rose Garden and tennis courts. Renovations include new turf, trees and picnic areas. A heater for Clunie Pool will create a year-round aquatic center.

I lived across the street for about 90 percent of the construction. It was exhausting. The nonprofit Friends of East Sacramento—founded by Lisa Schmidt and me in 2010—manages the Clunie Community Center and rose garden, adjacent to the vault construction. The impacts on the center and garden were significant.

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