In a Facebook post, Council President pro Tem Monica Montgomery wrote:
“Thank to Assemblymember Akilah Weber, MD and her advocacy for our communities, San Diego received funding to restore The Black Family statue at the beloved Mountain View Park!
This funding is more than just a check—it is about restoring the positive reflections and reclaiming the narrative of Black families. Today, we are empowering Black families throughout our region by honoring the theme of power and symbolism through the restoration art in our community. That all starts with the Black Family statue.
Huge thank you to the Mountain View Park Coalition, the Mountain View Rec Advisory, and the Wade family for your continued advocacy to restoring legacy and memories.”
City leaders gathered this week to celebrate a gift from the state of California of $195,000 to rebuild artwork that had been destroyed years earlier. It was a statue titled “The Black Family,” of which only the base and a small plaque remains. They also be celebrated the man who was responsible for all of this happening –Jeffrey Hayes.
His extensive effort to make a difference began by telling the story of his hero Neal Petties, which the park is named for, to community groups, city officials — anyone willing to listen. He told them how the former SDSU football star and Baltimore Colts player dedicated himself to the people of the community when he was hired by San Diego Parks and Recreation to supervise the park, located at at the corner of Ocean View Boulevard and 40th Street, in what is now called the Neal Petties Mountain View Park.
Hayes recalled it as a special place for his own family and other community residents, and he never forgot Petties and what he did.
“He was like a life coach for all the kids around here,” Hayes said, recalling that “Mr. Petties would stand in for working mothers in the neighborhood, helping kids who had no fathers in the house.”