Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a national holiday honoring one of the most influential and iconic leaders of the civil rights movement. It is celebrated each year on the third Monday of January, near his birthday of January 15th. 

The holiday was signed into law in January 1983 by President Ronald Reagan and it was first observed three years later.  In his proclamation speech, President Reagan noted,  "This year marks the first observance of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as a national holiday. It is a time for rejoicing and reflecting. We rejoice because, in his short life, Dr. King, by his preaching, his example, and his leadership, helped to move us closer to the ideals on which America was founded. . . . He challenged us to make real the promise of America as a land of freedom, equality, opportunity, and brotherhood." 

Today, while many of us are enjoying a day off from work, let us remember the meaning behind the King holiday: to honor the total legacy of Dr. King, to focus on the issue of civil rights, to highlight the use of nonviolence to promote change, and to call people into public service. 


The Escondido City Council is preparing to begin its recruitment for volunteers to serve on eight boards and commissions.  Vacancies will occur on all of the following:  Building Advisory and Appeals Board; Community Services Commission; Historic Preservation Commission; Library Board of Trustees; Personnel Board of Review; Planning Commission; Public Art Commission; and Transportation & Community Safety Commission. 

For the most part, the qualifications to serve are residency within the geographic boundaries of the General Plan.   

The Historic Preservation Commission requires a resume to assure that you have specific expertise.   The Planning Commission may require evidence of certification for design professional classification. The Library Board requires either residency or that you work within the geographic boundaries of the General Plan, and the Public Art Commission requires that you either reside or have a business within the designated boundaries. 

Meeting times and frequency vary, depending on the commission, and the term of office is four years, with the exception of the Library Board, which has a three-year term.   The application period will begin on January 2, 2016 with a closing date of Friday, February 12, 2016. 

More information is available on the City’s website at or by calling the City Clerk’s Office at 760-839-4617. 

Dine Out Escondido! Restaurant Week

I’m pleased to announce that Visit Escondido, in partnership with 28 local participating restaurants, will offer “Dine Out Escondido!” from January 24th through the 30th. In its third successful year, this important economic program continues to grow, adding 10 new participating restaurants. 

In conjunction with Visit California’s January “California Restaurant Month,” Escondido will leverage the vast reach of the statewide program, which represents over forty cities and has a robust marketing reach of over 70 million impressions through its website, social media, and advertising efforts. 

Everyone can savor the diverse culinary flavors of Escondido during “Dine Out Escondido!” by taking advantage of this opportunity to visit their favorite eateries, discover many new ones, and enjoy the creativity of Escondido’s fantastic chefs and restaurateurs.  

Each restaurant is celebrating “Dine Out Escondido!” and is ready to welcome you! For a complete list of participating restaurants and their specials, please go to


If a fresh, green Christmas tree is part of your holiday tradition, the City of Escondido provides two free, convenient ways of recycling it. After removing its decorations, cut the tree into 4-foot lengths and place it next to your trash and recycling bins on your regular collection day. Another option is to take your whole tree to Jesmond Dene Park, at the north end of town (2401 N. Broadway), or to Kit Carson Park, at the south end (3333 Bear Valley Parkway). Christmas tree recycling will be available at these parks from December 26, 2015  through January 15, 2016.

And, speaking of recycling, don’t forget to save and reuse ribbon, gift bags and uncrushed paper. Reusing materials is just another form of recycling. Unfold extra cardboard boxes so they’re easier to store, or pass them along to a friend who’s moving.

Remember, every time we reduce, reuse or recycle, we lessen the load going to the landfill. And that saves money and natural resources.