The Big Small Difference

By Solano County Supervisor Linda Seifert

Margaret Mead said that “A small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world” and I witnessed that last summer when I joined Fighting Back and hundreds of Vallejoans at Fighting Back’s National Night Out event.

I was impressed by Fighting Back’s efforts and its focus on bringing neighborhoods together to share experiences and reinforce the importance of saying NO to crime.

Even more, however, I was elated to see that committed volunteers organized the event—planning and delivering an experience that honored the importance of community and service.

As most know, National Night Out is an annual event when, all over the United States, citizens come together in a spirit of collaboration, support, collegiality and cooperation to oppose violence, drugs, gangs and alcohol. And Fighting Back and its volunteer corps was the catalyst for why it worked in Vallejo.

In coming together, people found friends—new and old—to strengthen the resolve to make a difference in their own neighborhoods. The commitment that each person made to change lives is the heart of why Fighting Back was able to make National Night Out a huge success.

In my work as a County Supervisor, I have the chance to witness the tireless efforts of volunteers in the Vallejo community. And none are more willing or more active than those that serve through Fighting Back.

As resources from government and even private sources dwindle in our faltering economy, we are compelled to rely more and more on the generous contributions of people’s time, expertise and energy and less on their financial contributions.

The recognition that we must rely on one another is one of the key motivations for volunteers working with Fighting Back. They deserve our thanks and appreciation and support.

They can also use our help. Next time National Night Out comes along, or the opportunity otherwise arises, join the corps of volunteers and keep in mind the words of Civil Rights Leader Marian Wright Edelman:

We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee.

Supervisor Linda Seifert and her staff can be reached at (707) 784-2974. To receive her eNewsletter, write to Cathy Ritch at


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