From Vice Mayor Joshua Simmons:
For many, 2020 has been a very difficult year — and for others, it has been a pretty good year.
This year has challenged us all in many different ways. It has asked more of us than any year in recent memory. Yes, towards the end of the year, there are always internet contests about how terrible a year was, but I wager 2020 for most of us is pretty high on that list.
Someone reading this may have lost a loved one due to the coronavirus, or they lost a loved one due to some other circumstance and could not attend the funeral; either way, the holidays this year have been difficult to get through.
To those folks, please know that your city cares for you, loves you, and if you need to talk, please reach out to a friend or family member to talk through your feelings. I still believe we live in a world full of kindness and good-hearted people.
This year has brought out the best in most of us. You sacrificed, adjusted, and found a new normal all to make sure you protected yourself, your family, and your community. Your city government did the same thing. We all know that Coral Springs loves the holidays and loves celebrating the diversity of our community. Instead of cancelling all events, we reimagined how to present our events and continuing to provide moments of celebration and happiness to you.
We held multiple drive through graduation parades, the first-ever Juneteenth celebration, a drive-by Fourth of July parade, and a drive-through holiday experience. We continued to honor our veterans by holding drive-by events such as the honor flight parade and city recognitions hand-delivered to our city’s veterans. We also drove by on residents’ birthdays to show people that they were not alone on their most special day and held nine food distributions to serve those in need.
We also grew as a city as we committed ourselves to equality and equity within our city’s public safety departments. We supported protests for racial justice in the wake of the George Floyd murder to show solidarity with the Black community, who suffer more in the justice than it should be.
This was one of the watershed moments of 2020, and we were right there, lifting our voices together. With the city’s support, I personally held “Conversations with a Commissioner,” where I talked with members of the Coral Springs Police Department to discuss how we move forward as a society and their commitment to finding ways to be an even better law enforcement agency.
Our healthcare workers, essential workers, and first responders truly showed how dedicated they are to our safety and well-being. They are the real heroes of 2020. Please continue to lift them up and show them support. We have not even begun to see the sacrifices they have made during this pandemic, and we must make sure to stand up for them when they are tired, frustrated, or on the verge of breaking down. We need them, and they need us.
I would be lying if I said I was Mr. Positivity during this whole ordeal, but like you, I had my own challenges, but I was forced to sit down and think about the things that were truly important to me. I learned more patience. I learned to relax a bit more and let some things work themselves out. I learned to trust in God more. I also learned to listen better.
I know many of you have your own stories and experiences during this pandemic, and one day I hope to hear them all. I love the holiday season, and Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year. I love the movies, music, and genuine positivity in the air.
Please celebrate the holidays, but do so safely. Please continue to wear your masks, and please continue to adhere to social distancing measures.
So as we near the end of 2020, let’s go out full of all the happiness we can muster and look towards the new year with renewed optimism. Things can only get better from here. Merry Christmas everyone, have a happy holiday season, and a happy new year!
Vice Mayor Joshua Simmons
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