Liquor Store Group Run by Outspoken Chaldean Leader Mails Hit Pieces Against Filner

My personal experience of interacting with Filner in the local community is that he takes a lot of time and thought into the community initiatives that he supports (like educational programs for youth), and ones he does not support (like liquor store coalitions). Earlier this year, Congressman Bob Filner attended the inaugural conference entitled, Bridging the Hearts and Minds of Youth, hosted by the UCSD Center for Mindfulness. The first day of the conference, I overheard a few people say, "A Congressman, he's not going to show up - they never follow through with things like this." Not only did Filner show up and offer some encouraging words before a keynote speaker, he also attended several sessions about the neuroscientific research which has documented benefits of mindfulness training for teenagers, and the role of mindfulness in enhancing leadership and creativity in educational settings. It was heartening to see a political and community leader recognize the growing research showing that social-emotional intelligence plays a significant role in the academic and life successes of youth. Filner later spoke about his personal experience of using mindfulness practice to increase self-awareness, reduce stress, and generate insights into his work as a public servant. I hope that more of our political leaders will also make the changes in themselves that they are working to create in our communities and country. David Viafora
— May 29, 2012 10:58 p.m.

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