How to make a difference in your community

SAN BENITO — Many people complain, but they never do anything to fix what they’re complaining about.

Dr. Enriqueta Ramos is known as an upstanding, outspoken, well-educated resident of San Benito.

So naturally, she cares about San Benito and what happens within the city.

As an activist who has spurred change statewide and nationally, she knows that in order to make a change, you have to speak up.

Staying silent will never help.

Yesterday morning, over coffee and pastries, Ramos made her voice known during the San Benito Chamber of Commerce weekly “Coffee With.”

“You have to be the change,” Ramos said.

She was also at the meeting to discuss ways members of the community could become more involved with their city.

By participating in the Citizens Academy, Ramos said her eyes were opened to the inner workings of the city.

Academy organizers are currently recruiting for their third class.

The class teaches residents about the inner workings of their city government, Ramos said.

Participants will learn how city departments operate and at the end will better understand the challenges the community faces as it prepares for growth and development.

There are many perceptions about how and why city projects are created, funded and put into action.

Ramos said the classes clear up any confusion and assumptions residents might have about their city.

The goal of the program is to give residents a deeper understanding of what the city does while forging a stronger relationship with the community.

“If you are going to live here be a constructive citizen,” Ramos said. “If you don’t like what’s happening, get out there and talk to the people who can change things.”

Students of the citizen’s academy will be given an in-depth presentation by every department.

They will be able to experience real-life scenarios on many different topics.

Instructors are city department heads and personnel from the department, who will speak on their areas of expertise.

Participants must be at least 18 years old.