Chalk one up for "Hawaiian Gardens Diplomacy"
By Randy Economy
Stop Labeling our Community
I have always been compassionate about an open and honest dialogue between our local city halls, and the community residents that are the heart and soul of the
world around us.
Norwalk, Pico Rivera, Cerritos and Hawaiian Gardens have all been in local, state and national headlines recently, and many say for all the wrong reasons.
In Norwalk we have seen sexual harassment lawsuits against two elected city council members and a third city councilman is currently under scrutiny by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. Many are calling the Norwalk's City Council the "Most Touchy Feely" City Council in California. Get my drift.
In Pico Rivera we have watched one controversial City Councilman have his home, business and city hall office raided by the District Attorney's Office of Public Integrity a couple of weeks ago. An investigation is underway, but the DA is tight lipped about what they are looking for and if anyone else under their microscope.
In the All-America/Green City of Cerritos, we have watched as television news stations and national media outlets label the community as having the "Most Toxic Air" in America. The City has a pristine image and they want to keep it that way.
In Hawaiian Gardens we have watched "America's Largest Gang Raid" ever conducted over the past two months. Hundreds of people have been arrested and it has divided The Gardens into "us versus them," and the serious pain inflicted over the situation is almost humanly unimaginable.
Labels can destroy the image of a community, and it's time to stop putting cities into "classifications" or "categories." It's time for everyone to listen to each other openly and honestly without fear and retaliation.
Hawaiian Gardens Diplomacy
In The Gardens, I want to salute three community leaders this week.
Pastor Barry Bruce for his amazing ability to open a dialogue with both the Hawaiian Gardens City Council and with Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca over the pain that has been caused on the recent gang sweeps and federal injunctions here.
I also want to congratulate HG Mayor Mike Gomez and Sheriff Baca for LISTENING to Pastor Bruce and to the People of Hawaiian Gardens this past week during a very tense and heated city council meeting.
These three passionate community leaders are proof that all sides of a controversial issue can be heard and that solutions can be reached when people just begin to talk to each other.
All of us can learn from the conversation that is occurring in Hawaiian Gardens.
It's time for diplomacy and healing to occur within our great neighborhoods, one conversation at a time.
Drop me a note to RREconomy@Cerritosnews.com