In a time when fear and divisiveness plague our country, we all play a vital role in shedding light on what is good in our community. The author of “American Canyon is not part of the Napa Valley” (Nov. 2) shares a hurtful view held by a few that only serves to fuel unnecessary and divisive dialogue.
The author’s tone and content are at best elitist and wholly dismissive of American Canyon’s contributions to the county as a whole. Perhaps passersby like the author have not had the opportunity to experience the rich diversity of American Canyon, its contributions to the county, and are unaware of the fact that American Canyon is a powerhouse when it comes to elections. So let me catch you up.
American Canyon brings a diverse community which is 35.1% Asian Pacific Islander, 27.3 % Hispanic, 23.1% Caucasian, 7.9% African American and 6.6% other. The richness of this community creates a beautiful tapestry of engaged citizens that care deeply about the future of the Valley they call home.
Over the last 20 years, American Canyon created a welcoming community, bringing young families to Napa County. Young families increase our workforce, add to school enrollments, and diversify economic opportunities. With the challenges in the rest of the county on school enrollment, finding sufficient workers, and broadening our economic base, we all benefit from these new families.
American Canyon also carries political clout and swings elections. In both Measure H (NVUSD school bond) and Measure C (Watershed & Oak Woodland Initiative), the votes in American Canyon were determinative of each race. American Canyon not only participates civically, its constituency is influential in determining our future.
Surely, if American Canyon’s diversity and contributions to the community have gone unnoticed by persons sharing the author's opinion, let me turn your attention to the money side of things. The 2019 assessed value of properties within the city of American Canyon was $3,107,929,000. Properties taxes realized within American Canyon brought $15,994,672 to the County of Napa and special districts in 2019. Between 2004 and 2019 the taxes contributed to the county and other special districts totaled $190,144,532. The Napa Valley Unified School District, the Napa County Resource Conversation District, Napa Valley College, Napa County’s library system, and the American Canyon Fire Protection District all benefit from these funds.
American Canyon is more than an asset to Napa County, it is a partner for each and every disaster that has stricken our county over the last six years. Let’s start with the earthquake of 2014, American Canyon Fire, Public Works, and Community Development assisted the city of Napa who was disproportionately damaged. In 2017, 2019, and 2020 when the city of Calistoga was evacuated, who opened its arms and welcomed Calistogans? American Canyon did.
The suggestion that American Canyon should be renamed North Vallejo insinuates that the community I have called home for the last 15 years is not worthy of its own name and identity while at the same time slighting our southern neighbor, Vallejo.
Noteworthy is American Canyon’s unofficial slogan, “We love everybody.” And truly we do. It is my sincere hope that the author and any persons sharing his viewpoint can take these facts about American Canyon, the second-largest city in Napa County, experience our welcoming, engaged, and diverse community, and formulate a positive opinion that is worthy of the richness of the place I proudly call home.
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