As we recover from another election season and get a reprieve from all of the repetitive ads, whether on television or social media, life moves forward, and our daily lives and pocketbooks are impacted by those we elect.
For some, the impact is more than others, and the benefits can differ depending on your life situation. From a big picture, though, the election results show that our country is still politically divided. Yes, power shifts from party to party, but the sense of unity comes from the top. My father used to say, “When the fish starts to smell, it starts at the head.” In this case, unity must start at the top and must start with leadership.
At times, I feel that all sense of logic goes out the window when politics are injected into any conversation. Although our politics are divided more than ever, I firmly believe there is more that unites us than divides us, and we are all part of the diverse quilt that is America. Our grandparents and parents left everything behind to make a better life for themselves by coming to the United States, especially for us. Many never returned to their homeland, while today many kids of immigrants are just starting to discover their heritage. Our generation is the fulfillment of their sacrifice of leaving behind all they knew to build their American dream.
Together we must appreciate the heritage and cultures of our own diverse families and friends. For example, my kids are not only Italian, but also Mexican, Aztec-Indian, and Irish. We are a reflection of America, as are many of you and your families. It is our cultural diversity that unites us, not divides us. It is what I love about our country and what I love about San Pedro. Together we must stand united and celebrate our diverse cultural heritage that is America and not buy into the groupings that we are put in by our government or the division that is tied to the color of our skin.
As we look forward to another new year, societal issues will occur that are spun to divide us. Making us believe that we are less united than we are. But we can combat this in our daily approach to each other, to what we post, and to what we perpetuate with our political talking by doing our own homework to understand the opportunities at hand.
For example, locally, the focus has been (and should have been) on the homeless issue. Although this is not going away anytime soon, an improvement has been made on our streets. The waterfront development is in full swing, and the recent groundbreaking of West Harbor is a testament that we will be enjoying new restaurants and entertainment soon. Ponte Vista is also in full swing, and new residents are becoming part of our community.
So, what’s next? For the waterfront, the next phase of projects are in discussion, such as relocating the USS Iowa to the fishing boat slip without displacing our local fishing fleet. This would bring even more visitors to West Harbor. Implementing clean technology at the Port to achieve net-zero emissions by 2035 without displacing jobs. The redevelopment of Rancho San Pedro and our San Pedro Courthouse will bring a new dimension to our downtown. Finally, clean and safe streets are still on the list of areas that require focus. Too often, we are finding out about crimes occurring in our neighborhoods. Whether a shooting, robbery, or car theft, neighborhoods are required to get involved personally to curb such activity.
My closing thoughts are this: We have been given the gift of life from God and should use it for the betterment of our families, our community, and our country. We must continue to elevate San Pedro to a new level of prosperity, and we must do it together. It’s not about how fast we can go, but how far we can go. It’s not about can’t, but can — and we must give of ourselves “unconditionally” to make it happen. spt