Letter: From Nextdoor to the City – How do Locals Get Visibility?

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To whom it may concern, I’m sure you’ve received a few emails on this, but I wanted to speak up as a local who grew up here and just moved back a month ago.

The city has moved “local” Bluebird concerts to the fairgrounds (where they already had live music) which was a huge locals event in the summer. I was greatly looking forward to bringing my 2.5-year-old to freely play with other neighborhood kids and listen to music with our neighbors this summer and then I found out it moved to the festivals. It won’t be the same at the festivals and it will lose its localness. Even though I live within walking distance to the new location, it won’t be the same and many locals won’t trek that way into tourist central on a Sunday.

What can we do as local residents to have a voice and speak up to preserve the activities that the locals love and thrive in? The town feels like it’s being built more for tourists than the people who live here now. I’m feeling saddened by some of the city’s recent surprise changes. Maybe the locals will ban together to keep Sundays at the park going.

Thanks for listening,

Lili Mannarino, Laguna Beach

1 COMMENT

  1. Lili, you ask: “What can we do as local residents to have a voice and speak up to preserve the activities that the locals love and thrive in? The town feels like it’s being built more for tourists than the people who live here now. I’m feeling saddened by some of the city’s recent surprise changes. Maybe the locals will ban together to keep Sundays at the park going.”

    You pose a great question and make an important observation. There’s a number of locals that speak up on city related issues only to be labeled troublemakers if they have an opinion that differs from the council on who/what our city should be prioritizing. They have created a resident vs tourist stand-off environment. The Bluebird Park concert venue change without resident awareness is just one of many issues that city managers and city council blindside locals with. Then they act surprised at the pushback or backtrack as did CC Kempf when she remarked that the BB concerts weren’t attended by just locals anymore anyway. Really? This happened because the city advertised it on the trolley’s and who knows where else to attract tourists. What did they expect? And just look at their obsessive removal of street parking downtown replaced with costly taxpayer funded pop-up corrals and promotions to close streets? Don’t blink – the Laguna Beach we know will be gone soon.

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