My name is Julian DeLeonardis, I’m 19 years old and was recently hired as a Neighborhood News Correspondent. Having spent a long few months living in Europe and nearly two years living on a university campus, I’m currently back living in my hometown of Sacramento. “My community” for me means for the group of people I voluntarily spend time with. While I love my family and get along well with my neighbors, I consider my community to be the group of people around my age I come into contact with when I go to events that interest me and gatherings with my friends.
Being 19 in Europe puts you at the forefront of youth culture, that being clubs and raves for them, and at college parties of all ages at a university. The community of a 19-year-old in Sacramento, and in urban America in general, is somewhat nebulous and requires more initiative to become a part of. The most heavily populated district of town, the lavender district, consists almost entirely of bars and clubs that people my age are prohibited from, while people between the ages of 18 and 21 in Sacramento are generally out of high school and taking time off before college, if that is even a consideration for them.
This leaves my community as a group of people out of high school, meaning not going to their friend’s parents houses for parties, not of age to drink, and not in college or university. Most often, my community is centered around concerts and the local music scene. In Sacramento, the dominant ‘underground’ music scenes are the indie and punk scenes, based at run-down venues like the Cafe Colonial in Oak Park or the Red Museum in the industrial districts of East Sacramento, or at houses devoted to the scenes like the ‘indie’ Flop Haus in midtown or the Casa de Chaos hardcore punk stronghold also in midtown down the same street of 21st. When I think of my community, I think of the people coming of age before they’re able to go to bars and clubs that identify with alternative music scenes as a way of seeking some sort of community or culture to identify with. This is where I have met many close friends and where I would choose to spend my time and who with, making it my personal community.