Some of my fellow columnists may disagree with me, but I’m probably the biggest cheerleader in this magazine. “I love progress, yes I do. I love progress, how about you?” I’m going to have to put my pompoms down for a second and pose some very serious questions.
San Pedro is in the middle of a great redevelopment, but have we stopped to think about who’s going to be there to receive this new San Pedro? Who will be there to pass the torch onto? Where are the future leaders of San Pedro?
I recently attended a board meeting for one of our local organizations and these questions started tugging at me. It’s not the first time they’ve presented themselves to me, but this time they seemed more desperate for an answer. There’s no point to name the organization because it doesn’t really matter and because the same people are in nearly every group all over town.
There is definitely a core group of the “usual suspects” all over San Pedro. My first thought was to cry cronyism until I realized these people are the loyal subjects and champions of San Pedro who freely give up their time for the betterment of the town. You hardly hear a complaint because theirs is a labor of love, but chances are you have heard the “chorus of the should’s” from other civic spectators, “it should be like this” or “someone should really do that.” These San Pedro regulars hear you and most times agree with you, but their hands are really full at the moment. They are spread far too thin and they need help.
There will always be a councilperson. There will always be a port governing body. Los Angeles will never loosen its grasp on our little satellite city. We need to worry about the groups that preserve the culture and small town goodness that is San Pedro – the societies and friends groups that tie us together and fight for the things that make us more San Pedrans than Angelenos.
It’s time for the future leaders of San Pedro to step up and make themselves known. If you want the San Pedro you know and love to be there when your kids and grandkids grow up, you need to get involved – today. If you’re already a willing participant, I thank you for your service.
If you want to get involved but just don’t know where to start, I suggest you begin with something that interests you. If you’re the bookish type, then Friends of the San Pedro Library is a wonderful organization to hook up with. Maybe there is a civic issue you feel strongly about, one of our three neighborhood councils would be a great place to start. There is definitely a group that fits your interests and would appreciate your help. But if there isn’t, you should start one. If Facebook pages alone are any indicator, San Pedrans have never been shy about starting their own groups for like-minded people.
While I’m on the subject, there is so much more to San Pedro than Facebook. Yes, it is a great way to connect neighbors and get information out quickly, but we have also seen how very detrimental it can be, as well. Get out there, get involved and meet your neighbors. Strong community bonds are what make San Pedro so wonderful; please do your part to keep it that way. spt