Time for AV to show world what it has to offer

 

In Jen Sincero's book "You Are a Badass," she ends virtually every chapter with a call to love yourself.

If there was ever a region that needed that advice, it's the Antelope Valley.

We have an amazing knack for talking trash about ourselves. If self-pity was an Olympic sport, this region would be gold medalists.

We complain about the cold in winter, the heat in summer and the wind, 24/7/365.

We whine there's nothing to do. We whine about the lack of amenities.

We whine that nothing is good enough here and everything is better elsewhere.

At a recent Lancaster Chamber of Commerce luncheon, Lancaster City Manager Mark Bozigian touched on this desire we seem to have, to shoot ourselves in the foot.

Bozigian asked the audience what they would do if they went to a restaurant and the staff told them the food and service was better down the street.

"That's what we do with our community every time we trash it," Bozigian told the audience. "We don't tell our own story. We focus on the negative."

We agree.

We need some self-love. We need to stop and take stock of what we really have and be proud of it.

Let's take a quick look at some of the things we can be proud of.

First off, we just went through the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. We took punches to the gut, but at the end of the bout, we're still standing.

With the exception of housing, our economy is running strong. Jobless rates keep falling, restaurants and shops are opening and major businesses such as BYD, Kinkisharyo and Lance Campers are growing and adding jobs.

Our aerospace industry is on the upswing and hiring like crazy. We have an aerospace history, culture and know-how that is unrivaled.

We're going to build a new high-tech bomber and private industry is working hard to put tourists in space.

Try to find that in any other place.

We have a performing arts theater that is the envy of other cities, an art museum that is becoming a cultural gem, an amphitheater that draws crowds on warm summer nights and sports fields that draw major regional and national softball and soccer tournaments.

We have terrific parks. On a given night, a visitor to Lancaster's Sgt. Steve Owen Memorial Park can find softball, basketball and tennis games going on, while football practice, a dog obedience course and a fencing class are in session.

Drive by Palmdale's Pelona Vista Park on a spring weekend day and you'll see hundreds of kids playing soccer.

We need to take pride in these things and boast about them when we talk to ourselves and those outside of our Valley.

No one outside of this Valley will do that for us.

Our elected leaders need to step up their internal promotion game. Too often, the cities of Lancaster and Palmdale act like a bickering couple having a screaming, glass-throwing row. Then they wonder why no one accepts invitations to their parties.

The Valley Press has been at events in which an elected official will tell an audience about the need for greater cooperation between the cities, then immediately start trash-talking about the other city the moment they step from the stage.

When one city fires shots at the other, they're shooting bullet holes into the bottom of the social-economic boat in which we are all passengers. It has to stop.

We need to be united. We need to generate positive energy to tackle the many issues we have - rising homelessness, obscene poverty rates, rocketing housing costs, to name just a few.

No single entity can tackle these issues alone.

They require partnerships. They require civic pride and a positive can-do attitude.

This Valley can do amazing things when we all row together. A great example of this is the creation of the Aircraft Fabrication and Assembly Rapid Training Program by multiple entities and employers to meet the needs of our aerospace industry.

We need more training programs like this.

The subtitle of the Sincero book is "How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life."

That is what we need to do - stop doubting, start being awesome and be our bad ass selves.

 

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