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JERRY NIEBLAS, San Juan Capistrano

Finally, some great news this month, and hope we’ll soon be reading more about it in The Capistrano Dispatch. The majority of our City Council, 4-1, voted to approve and move forward with a new city seal. Kimberleigh Gavin did an outstanding job in her new design creation—definitely telling our story in everything she incorporated into the new seal.

We finally have a new, awesome and fantastic San Juan Capistrano city seal! This new city seal design and change is long overdue and a change that is being welcomed by many of us; I’ve heard nothing but positive so far. This new seal truly represents well all our rich historical layers that make San Juan Capistrano so important and unique.

The first people of these lands, the Juaneno/Acjachemen, are finally being recognized and represented in the Kiichas that are now very much a part of this new seal design.

The Mission no longer dominates our city seal, as it now includes all the historical elements so important to our rich layered history. It sends a clear message that “we are not here and do not exist because of the Mission—the Mission is here and exists because of us”; they are a part of a community so unique and historically important! There is definitely so much more to the history of this community that exists outside the walls of the Mission. Kimberleigh has done a great job and created a unique, colorful and beautiful design! Her design is definitely all-inclusive, and that’s exactly what makes San Juan Capistrano so great!

One individual actually attempted to possibly change Kimberleigh’s design—to simplify it! Well, that didn’t work, and the new seal was approved—again by the majority of the Council. I say thank you to them for approving our new city seal! Kimberleigh, thank you for this new city seal gift to our city. You’ve respected and carefully represented us, our history, and many of us welcome this very long, long overdue change! Many will be excited to see it proudly displayed in the San Juan Capistrano Council Chambers!

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