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Residents, not buildings, define community 

San Luis Obispo

After reading James Duenow’s letter (“SLO city community environment must be preserved,” June 10) and briefly participating in his group Save Our Downtown, I realize that he and the group really don’t understand what makes a community. As someone who has lived in both small and large cities, including Chicago, San Diego, and now in SLO,  I know a community isn’t defined by the size, shape, color, or height of its buildings, or by its businesses: It’s defined by its residents.

 Unlike Duenow, I know both SLO city and Santa Maria very well. If Duenow knows anything about Santa Maria, he should know it is a community made up of creative and ingenious entrepreneurs; people who provide a variety of services we do not have, even in our own county. Duenow should recognize the city of Santa Maria hasn’t lost it sense of community, which is very much alive and well.

-- Michelle Tasseff - San Luis Obispo

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