Laurene Weste: Happy holidays!

City Councilwoman Laurene Weste smiles during a council meeting. Katharine Lotze/Signal

On behalf of the city of Santa Clarita, happy holidays! The magic of the holiday season is in full effect. Sparkling lights are shining a festive vibe from rooftops, boutique shops and throughout Old Town Newhall. Family, friends and neighbors are enjoying shopping, watching holiday movies, curling up with a mug of hot cocoa and just spending time together. Whatever you are doing, I hope you are enjoying this cherished time with loved ones, while looking forward to the New Year.

For our city, 2019 was a year of great progress. From new public art pieces and additional new passport acceptance facilities to an increased number of electric vehicle charging stations and the completion of the Newhall Ranch Road bridge widening project — the city achieved our ongoing goal of providing services and amenities that add up to a high quality of life for residents.

With the many successes we’ve had this year, I also know the past couple of months have been extremely difficult for our community. We have grieved together and begun to heal together and in the aftermath of such tragedies, the Santa Clarita community has come together with a force I have never seen before. The light that arose out of dark circumstances was a sense of togetherness shared by all in our community. This holiday season, I want to express how grateful I am for the united city we live in and for all those who wrapped their arms around those who are hurting. Santa Clarita is a special place, and it is because of caring residents like you.

So many of our community members go above and beyond to share support and care for one another, including doing exceptional work to help those in need through our local nonprofits. Your support is appreciated all year-round, but it plays an especially critical role during the holiday season.

For those of you looking to make a positive impact in the community, consider making it a New Year’s resolution to help a charitable organization. There are a wide range of nonprofits that work to address different challenges members of our community face, and they can use your support. You can spread the giving spirit this season through a monetary donation, but a donation of your time is just as valuable. Volunteering is also a great way to meet new people and make connections with those who share similar interests and values. For a list of charitable organizations in Santa Clarita, visit

With a new year on our horizon, I hope all will share in my excitement for what 2020 will bring. I know it will be a year of continued progress for our city, with numerous projects making strides toward completion, including the new Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, the new Canyon Country Community Center and even a new inclusive play area at Canyon Country Park. It will surely be a year to remember!

As we say goodbye to 2019, I want to thank Santa Clarita residents for our strong rekindled sense of community strength and unity. I wish everyone a happy holiday season.  

Councilwoman Laurene Weste is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at [email protected].

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