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Dana Point Times Staff

On Friday, April 16, the Dana Point Civic Association will be exploring and unpacking the city’s mission statement: “To set the standard for an exceptionally livable city.”

Guest speakers will be Kelly Reenders, Dana Point’s assistant city manager, and Susan Parks, a Dana Point resident and CEO of OC United Way.

“Livability directly benefits people who live in, work in, or visit our community; increases property values and business activity, and improves public health and safety,” a civic association press release states. “Livable cities provide opportunities for people to connect with one another and with city government by providing places and sponsoring programs that bring the community together.”

The release listed examples of Dana Point programs that help build a sense of community, including youth sports, the Dana Point Senior Center, concerts and movies in the park, and parks and recreation programs.

“Our April talk is not an in-depth discussion on the attributes of livability, but at the end of this coffee chat, we hope that the audience will understand how the programs presented help make Dana Point an exceptionally livable city by connecting those served to our community,” the release said.

The first speaker, Reenders, also serves as Director of Economic Development and Community Services for the city. Additionally, she’s led the establishment of Dana Point’s homeless outreach program.

The second speaker will be Parks, who also serves on the Orange County Commission to End Homelessness. In her presentation, she will share how through Orange County United Way’s initiative, United for Financial Security, her organization enthusiastically took on the effort to create a program to improve the quality of life for those struggling financially in South Orange County.

“(Parks) is a Dana Point resident, so this program is not only being piloted in our community, it is being piloted in her community,” the release said. “What do these two programs have in common? Both programs treat participants as valued members of our community who, with some assistance, are capable of improving their quality of life.”

The coffee chat Zoom meeting will be held on Friday, April 16, from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.  The link can be sent to interested readers by emailing

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