[Ed. Note] VoiceWaves asked some of our youth reporters what they wish to see happen in their community in the new year. From pollution reduction to immigration support, the reporters re thinking big changes for 2014.
My new year’s resolution for the city of Long Beach is to improve the cleanliness of the city. This means reducing the amount of pollution in the air, ocean and streets. More trash cans can be set up along our streets and beaches to reduce the amount of trash in the city. More recycling bins can also be placed in the city to improve that aspect. As far as the air, we can work to make sure public transportation is releasing a small amount of pollution and work with the community to make sure their cars are also releasing a small amount. -Samantha Lopez, 22
In 2014, I want my community to make a change for the better, and set the tone for years to come by supporting one another. In Long Beach, there are so many resources available to residents and it would be wonderful for more folks to start taking advantage of them. From branch libraries with free books and internet access to the Long Beach Free Store, which can lend itself to many connections, there is plenty of opportunity for rich connection and growth. -Deonna Anderson, 23
I’d like to see there be more to do for people who don’t have a lot of money around Long Beach. Sure the movies are fun and so is eating at restaurants, but that adds up and sometimes it’s not even worth it. I’d like to see more free events, or at least very cheaply priced, but worth the money. -Chelcee Bunkley, 22
As a recent Long Beach resident, I have noticed that not many people go out to parks. I would like to see park programs that involve the community and will encourage people to go out of their homes and interact more. Having community centers at parks will encourage teens and adults to go out to the parks and have fun. -Meriely Merino, 18
What I would like for the New Year would be for the people of Long Beach to become more in tune with their city. Whether it’s getting involved with their community or even local politics, individuals have to become engaged for change to occur. Sometimes there seems to be a lack of self-worth when it comes to Long Beach despite all the great things this city has to offer. No matter how small an act, people should take any opportunity to make a difference so this city can progress forward. -Oscar Bautista, 22
I’d love to see a city that welcomes all immigrants into its key institutions while providing a path to financial wellness through challenging, though dignified work. This grand welcoming can be done through more ESL classes with operating hours sensitive to workers’ schedules, Know-Your-Rights meetings, city conferences on navigating the immigration system and getting grants for school, and also through city efforts to distance the Long Beach Police Department from Immigration Customs Enforcement as it is a partnership that has traumatized many of our neighbors- both new and old. -Michael Lozano, 26
This New Years I’m proposing a major overhaul in the way the Long Beach Transit Authority operates it’s buses. The fact that an eight-mile trip by car would take an hour by bus is just wacky. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to use the Long Beach bus system without having to reserve a couple of hours for travel. The most important work LB Transit should be doing is offering a service that is fast, efficient, and makes sense to use. –Thomas Lick, 25