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By Troy Bourne

Dear Neighbors,

Yesterday, I helped a downtown restaurant manager load perishable food items into a truck to be distributed to San Juan Capistrano families who lost their employment this week. Volunteers in surgical gloves took time off their own jobs to package and drop the food on doorsteps of appreciative recipients. This experience, and reports of similar efforts around our small town, highlight two important realities. 

First, the current public health crisis and the associated economic disruption of efforts to battle the virus’s spread are having real and significant impacts on our community’s families and businesses.  These challenges are likely to persist for some period of time after the spread of the illness has slowed.  It will require a focused effort to revitalize our local economy and homes.  

Secondly, the adversity associated with our current challenges presents an opportunity for our community to come together and care for each other. Neighbors are stepping up, setting aside differences and lifting where they can. This outpouring of service and unity during challenges has been and will continue to be the legacy of the San Juan Capistrano community.

Thank you for all that you are doing. Each of us can play a part in slowing the spread of this virus and in helping and healing those most affected. Though we must limit physical contact, we can still lift each other up. Whether by calling to visit and check in on an elderly neighbor, supporting a local business by ordering take-out, offering a prayer for our health care workers, or simply staying home to reduce the spread of illness to those most at risk, no gesture of kindness is too small.

During this time of uncertainty, please know that your City government is working to provide important services to the community and protect the health and safety of our residents. Like you, we are eager for life to return to normal, and we are coordinating with our local and state partners to identify resources that will allow for a vibrant social and economic recovery. We are thinking of you and your families every day. And we are confident that, looking back on these events, we will remember, along with the struggles, the care shown by our neighbors. We all will have added to the lasting generosity of spirit woven into the fabric of San Juan Capistrano.

Troy Bourne is the mayor of San Juan Capistrano.

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