Why I Joined Citizens for a Better Pompano Beach

Hi, I’m Dawne Richards! You may recognize my name from my monthly magazine column, or the magazine that I published for six years, Pompano Today, which was Pompano’s first lifestyle magazine. I also founded and run the East Pompano Civic Association, and Pompano Advocates for Safe Streets, a group of residents and business owners dedicated to improving the quality of life in our city.

Our family moved to Pompano Beach in 2005; we both had fond memories of Pompano Beach as it used to be when we were growing up in south Florida many years ago: a fun, safe, family-friendly town.

Sadly, by 2005, that fun, safe, family-friendly town was a bit worn down around the edges, to say the least. Part of what attracted us to the city was the desire to be a part of making Pompano Beach the hometown that we both remembered so well.

We voted in new, forward-thinking leadership

Finally, when we voted in new, forward-thinking city leadership several years later, we began to believe that the dream of a better Pompano Beach was possible. These leaders came up with a plan that everyone could believe in. And as we’ve all seen, that plan was put in motion and now we have a beautiful beachfront to enjoy, and so much more.

Fast forward to today. I am so glad we moved here, and that we raised our children in a place that retains that home-town feel. Not only that, but the city looks so much better, and feels so much safer and more lively, than when we arrived. Now, we can walk to many places to eat, have a drink, shop, and enjoy and support our city and the many local businesses that have opened and are thriving, in addition to the longtime city businesses that have grown right along with the city.

I was so excited about being a part of our future that I ran for District 1 Commissioner in 2016.  While I didn’t win, I met so many more great people, and learned that everyone wants our city to keep improving; we just might have different ideas about how to get there.

Now I’m Worried

Watching the City Commission meetings for the last two years has left me dismayed, to say the least. Our Commission, which was always known for its ability to work together and resolve its differences in a civil and professional manner, is losing that reputation, and I’m worried.  I’m worried that everything we’ve all worked so hard for is at risk. Worried that we’re slipping back to a time when we were so divided that nothing got done. Worried that the new local businesses that have opened up, and that we all enjoy, won’t continue to be successful. Worried that all the progress we’ve made is going to suffer a reversal.

I’ve met a lot of people in the years we’ve lived here – business owners, residents, and redevelopment experts. I haven’t met anyone that wants us to become a concrete canyon with a big-city feel. But what we do want is progress; progress that will retain our small-town feel while still giving us opportunities to live, work and play right here in Pompano Beach.

Let’s Keep Moving Forward

If you want that same thing, then please join me. Send us a note, click the “Donate” button, give us a call, or leave a comment telling us why you’re excited about our future. Join us, the members of Citizens for a Better Pompano Beach. I can’t wait for us to keep doing great things together!