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Wreckage from the San Pedro Elks Lodge fire, which occurred on April 15, 2014 (photo: San Pedro Elks Lodge) Click to enlarge.

I gave up on New Year’s resolutions years ago – when I figured out I did not have the commitment to lose those “extra ten” (or probably more) pounds, nor the focus and time commitment to learn a new language. However, I never gave up on New Year’s wishes, and as we enter 2020, the following are some random and not-so-random wishes for San Pedro and beyond.

Wish #1: that the Pentagon would have to hold “bake sales” to purchase paper for their copy machines and our public schools have all the resources and supplies necessary to provide our students all of the educational opportunities they need and deserve.

Wish #2: that the Elks Lodge will reopen this year, the redevelopment of Rancho San Pedro will be complete in a few years, and the renovation of the former Ports ‘O Call Village will happen during my remaining lifetime.

Wish #3: that the 91 units of affordable housing being built at 9th and Pacific Ave. will move forward quickly and will be replicated ten times over in the coming years, as the working poor in our community that number in the thousands need affordable housing, and without it, are one missed paycheck away from being homeless. My fear, of course, is that we would continue to solely fixate on temporary homeless housing and not this great(er) need.

Wish #4: that our neighbors will take full advantage of the Harbor Community Clinic’s new pediatric center, which will open very soon (maybe this month) between 4th and 5th Streets on Pacific – with both extensive medical and dental services for our youth.

Wish #5: that rather than eliminating hundreds of thousands of people from our nation’s food assistance program, we would increase opportunities for additional food support for the same working poor who do not meet the current eligibility threshold but nevertheless are often food-deprived. Note: The President’s current and first of three proposed food program cutbacks will save the nation $1 billion while we spent $16 billion this year subsidizing our farmers for food not purchased by China and other countries due to ill-advised tariffs. Does that make any sense?

Wish #6: that people who can’t wait to pay $10 for their macchiato/gelato/stunado drink from Starbucks on 9th Street will stop trying to make a left-hand turn into the drive-thru, unnecessarily holding up all kinds of traffic each morning on both 9th and Gaffey Streets.

Wish #7: that rather than denouncing climate change as a “hoax,” the United States will once again commit to the conversation and actions necessary to assure future generations do not live in a world similar to the ones depicted in Book of Eli, Mad Max and Waterworld.

Wish #8: that the amazing San Pedro of my youth – where we readily played every day and evening in the street and had so many additional opportunities (Pro Bowl, Hacienda Golf Course, slot cars at Weymouth Corners, 9th Street and Pacific bus lines to Cabrillo Beach, San Pedro Drive-In, Hilltop and Midtown Little Leagues, etc.) – no longer with us can somehow be replicated for the future youth of our community.

Wish #9: that hate inflicted on humans both here and around the world due to race, religion, sexual or political orientation, or similar excuses will suddenly disappear and that each of us will be judged (if we must) on our actions rather than optics, perceptions, and ignorance.

Wish #10: that all of our amazing community-based organizations, like my Boys & Girls Clubs of the Los Angeles Harbor, will continue to receive the great support of our citizens and local companies so our important work and impact will be sustained and grow this year.

Final Wish: that you and all yours have a most happy and healthy 2020. spt

photo of san pedro today author Mike Lansing

Mike Lansing

Mike Lansing is the Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Los Angeles Harbor.