. A planned Goodwill Store on Carmenita Road was the subject in question. Residents and their elitist attitudes were out in full force to voice opposition.
The consensus was "we think Goodwill is a great organization - we just don't want them in OUR backyard." They voiced their certainty that the attended drop off area would bring undesirable characters to the location (in that case let's ban those drop off boxes for food banks and Toys for Tots around the city as they must attract scavengers and undesirables as well) and the shoppers would also be undesirable.
I enjoy thrift store browsing and in my many ventures into Goodwill stores in both L.A. and Orange Counties, I only see polite young people and families who are looking to make ends meet as well as a few treasure hunters and browsers like myself - no dirty, drunken hobos in sight.
This isn't the first time I've seen this elitist attitude in Cerritos; it wasn't long ago that the city council chambers were packed with residents who didn't want to see affordable housing in the city because those lower income bracket folks are "undesirable". I was shocked to hear this as the income level being discussed was the income level I earn working and living in this city. In other words, the residents found me to be undesirable to live in Cerritos. Thanks, residents of Cerritos, for making me feel so welcome.
Much discussion was made by commissioners that Goodwill, being a non-profit, will bring no sales tax revenue to the city. But, they forget, it will bring people to the store who will perhaps have lunch, dinner or shop other places within the city too (the stock answer for why we continue funding a theater that loses money).
. The lone voice of humanity was Frank Yokoyama. Before voting, Mr. Yokoyama spoke eloquently, rather than the usual political grandstanding done at city meetings, about the diversity of Cerritos (both ethnic and socio-economic) being what makes our city great. He spoke about the many months of work and due diligence city staff spent in making sure Goodwill would be a good neighbor. He spoke about how residents look out for one another and take care of their neighborhoods, making sure that Cerritos is a great place to live. To me, Mr. Yokoyama was speaking of what it means to be an American and I was proud to hear him voice this viewpoint as it allowed me to see that there are some in the city who are not elitists and who care for their neighbors and care for those who are less fortunate than themselves.
As for Goodwill, you won't be finding any good will in Cerritos.
A Concerned Cerritos Citizen
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