Neighbors and Friends:
As the final day of 2020 is upon us, I pray this … finds you and yours well, safe, and healthy.
Normally, at this time of year we are gearing up for the annual Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game and welcoming thousands of visitors to our great City. This year, however, many of us are limiting our physical gatherings while we expand our reflections on this most exceptional year.
As I reflect on our growth together as a community as we worked through this pandemic and our most significant civil and human rights struggles since the 1960s, I am optimistic about our future in the New Year given the strength of character we’ve shown these past 11 months. Together, we made it through a difficult year – we worked the problems, we kept going, and we persevered.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and, without a doubt, took its toll on our community. Like many other cities, our community experienced significant and immeasurable losses – we not only lost our sense of normalcy, we lost school attendance, we lost special events, we lost some local businesses, and some in our community lost precious loved ones. And yet, throughout these challenges, we also found the best of our City.
In a year where we could have allowed our isolation to let us forget about our neighbors, we reached out to one another as we never had before. Many found time to volunteer, donate much needed food and supplies for our most vulnerable families, find safe and creative ways to engage our youth, and sometimes just extend a kind word or gesture to our neighbors. We also found ways to express our support and solidarity with our healthcare workers, first responders, grocery store workers, and other essential personnel. In a year where we could have turned away from the significant civil and human rights actions rising up across the nation, we safely took to our streets and made sure all voices were heard. In a year where we could have allowed many of our businesses to flounder, we reached out to support and patronize our local businesses because we want them to be here next year.
While Pasadena is a small city it draws the attention of the world on one day every year. We demonstrated this year that we are a great community where neighbors care for each other every day of the year. And, this year, we all highlighted in the biggest way just how much we all can and do care for each other every day. As we look forward to 2021, let’s build on the strengths of our community.
I hope you will join me in my optimism for a Great 2021! From my family to yours, we wish you and yours a safe and very Happy New Year!
Mayor Victor Gordo is Pasadena’s third elected mayor in modern history