Volunteer Corner: Arlene Becker, Tahoe Truckee California Democratic Club
Name: Arlene BeckerOrganization: Tahoe Truckee California Democratic ClubResidence: Donner LakeHow did you get involved with the club?Ive always been politically active, and was new living up here. I thought how do you meet people, you join clubs. The meeting was over in Incline, and the first person I saw I knew from another life! Ive had a second home here since 96, and I joined the club in 2002.Tell me about the club.We support the values of the Democratic Party community, conservation, and security. We get voter registration, in election years we have Get Out the Vote, go door to door with literature. Its hard up here to do the door to door, so when Charlie Brown was running in 2006, we stood out on the road with signs one day a week. It was so funny, some people thought we meant Charlie Brown the cartoon. Big trucks would honk. Well be in the parade (Fourth of July) this year, and we bring in speakers.What type of speakers?We have them at our meetings, the last Thursday of each month at the Sierra Apartments on Jeffrey Pine. We have training sessions to learn how to explain things not in detailed policy, but to make voters feel understood and appreciate the partys values.How did the club get involved in cleaning highways?I was driving on 395, and the adopt a highway sign said Mono County Democratic Club. Our club had discussed how to get involved in the community in non partisan ways, I presented the idea, and we did it.Where and when does the club clean?On a section of Highway 267. About a week before most major holidays Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day.About how much litter do you pick up?We wind up with 20 bags. Large items like hubcaps we put by posts, and we notify CalTrans when we finish.Are there special CalTrans regulations?I was oriented through Cal Trans, and I coordinate the safety training, which is mostly safety dos and donts. We wear orange safety vests, hard hats, gloves, and use a tool to pick up the trash.What type of stuff do you find?After winter its pretty yucky. Baby diapers, cigarette butts. That drives me insane. Last year, we were picking up butts while there was a fire on the side of a highway. The lack of regard for starting a fire concerns me.How do you round up volunteers for a yucky job?Everybody enjoys it. We wouldnt live up here if we didnt love the outdoors, and we get together after for a picnic lunch at the Regional Park. Twelve to 14 people make a lot of labor. After the snow this year it wasnt so bad. We either did a great job last year or the people are getting better. Ive gotten good with the trash picker.Tell me about volunteerism in your life.I also help run Hands on Tahoe, with about 150 community organizations at any time. We have about 15 pages of volunteer opportunities, for numerous skills. Helping seniors, clean ups, hike leaders, community outreach. Hand on Tahoe helps match the volunteer to the needed service. It gives a sense of accomplishment to contribute to the community and help improve someones life. Everyone has a bit of time, its a matter of setting your priorities. The Sierra Suns Amy Edgett interviewed Arlene Becker for this weeks Volunteer Corner. Please send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org, subject Volunteer Corner. For volunteer opportunities in the North Tahoe Truckee area, visit http://www.handsontahoe.org.