Loren is 2022 Citizen of the Year

Jesse Loren will formally be recognized as the 2022 Citizen of the Year honorees at the Toast of Winters event on March 31. (Courtesy photo)

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Loren advocates for Hispanic community inclusion, brings a voice for Winters residents

Describing the moment when she found out she was named one of the Toast of Winters 2022 Citizens of the Year — teacher, community member, and city councilmember — Jesse Loren said, “Paul and Linn Myer gave me the news at my front door in a surprise visit. I was flabbergasted, shocked and then really proud to even be considered!”

But Loren’s nomination letters for the award leave little surprise as to the reason for her selection. The nomination details her extensive work in and around Winters since she arrived here including that as a teacher, during “her 18-year teaching career…she was involved in bringing a dual immersion program to Winters as a best practice model to promote bilingual education.”

Loren was also lauded by the nomination letters for “work(ing) tirelessly to be a voice for our Hispanic community members” noting her tenure on the Winters Hispanic Advisory Committee (Winters HAC), her central role in the Festival De La Comunidad, her work in helping create a Día de los Muertos celebration. 

Loren herself echoed a number of these stated accomplishments as being points of particular pride for her work in Winters, including her work in the 90s researching dual language immersion programs and the formation of Winters Community Corazón (a nonprofit organization to financial support efforts of the Winters HAC) and the organization of the Festival de la Comunidad. 

“Planning a party for 4,000 with an all-volunteer crew” Loren explained, “and feeling filled with love, joy and friendship after the event, is the absolute greatest thing.”

Loren said she still wished to bring more festivals like this to Winters but described her main priorities as “completely dedicated to serving those who have historically been excluded from the decision-making process, having more citizenship workshops, working with the Latinx community, and championing more Affordable and Inclusionary housing.” Future projects she wished to be seen completed include the renewal of the Community Center and Rotary Park, the establishment of a sports park, and the completion of a senior center. 

When asked about the path to this award, Loren credits her parents “who were great examples of serving the community, especially the primarily Spanish-speaking community and those in need of food support” and who “modeled public service above self.” She also expressed her gratitude for the Winters community which has been “kind, friendly and has always had a strong history of volunteering” as well as her family, including her husband, Brian Bellamy, and her children.

Loren ended her statement with a call for volunteers, saying “Winters needs more opportunities to gather, share food, slow down and build more friendships” giving her contact information at Jesse.Loren@cityofwinters.org for any readers looking to volunteer, but concluding that she is confident that — for Winters “the future is bright and caring.”

Loren will formally be honored, alongside fellow honorees Pat and Chris Calvert, as the 2022 Citizens of the Year recipient at the annual Toast to Winters event, planned for Friday, March 31 at the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Sacramento–Winters. Learn more on the Winters District Chamber of Commerce’s website www.winterschamber.com.

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