Ok, so I’ll admit that up until last night, I didn’t realize that The Onion website wasn’t based on facts, but instead a spoof on certain topics and people (I know, where have I been?!). Not knowing this and then reading their most recent article about Fort Lauderdale got me pretty fired up last night as I L-O-V-E this city.
For most people who know me, I’m not pretty confrontational or aggressive; however, the article brought it out in me. Imagine me reading the article, stopping my work load, getting fired up and writing for two straight hours out of anger! It wasn’t until I was finished and called my husband to vent about this White House speechwriter, that I learned it was all a joke. I’m not sure if I was more mad at myself for buying into the whole scam or still mad at The Onion.
Nonetheless, my letter showcased a lot of good that Fort Lauderdale is doing. Since my job is all about “doing good,” I still wanted to share it since I can no longer send it to the thousands of publications I was thinking of sending it to (could you have imagined?!).
I’m all about a good laugh, so I hope you enjoy the story and my response to the article.
Recently, President Obama’s speechwriter, Cody Kennan and his staff didn’t feel like there was a lot to say about Fort Lauderdale, FL in his latest Onion article. Maybe it was a cold day in Washington, D.C. and he felt jealous that he couldn’t be in paradise so he and his team felt the need to ridicule an American city. So if he needs help writing a speech if the unforeseen or unimaginable was to happen, let me help him out and put our good tax dollars to use. Here are some good talking points Cody.
You want to learn about character and resilience? South Florida was one of the worst hit areas when it came to the recession. So instead of giving up, the community came together. Economic development organizations and leaders throughout our community regrouped and worked harder to brand Fort Lauderdale (and Broward County) as an ideal headquarter city bringing thousands jobs in the last few years and “putting Americans back to work” (I think you’ve used that line before). Our unemployment rate is 5.6% – which is lower than our neighboring cities, state and country. You’re welcome that we are doing our part.
Oh, and you must have missed the memo but we’re up for an All-American City Award. Maybe you are unfamiliar with it, but we are 1 of 20 finalists in the entire county. Since you looking for things to say, you can mention that this award is given to those cities that set an example and a standard of excellence for local problem-solvers throughout the country. I think the word here you can use is innovative.
Hopefully you’ve experienced happiness before, but if not you should know that Forbes.com reported that the City of Fort Lauderdale ranks as the second “Happiest City” in the nation for young professionals. I believe you still fall in that category so come find happiness here if you want.
Yes, we have tourists and hotels, but we love them. They are a part of us and we welcome them gladly. People can travel and live anywhere in the world and yet they choose Fort Lauderdale. Why you ask? Because of the quality of life we offer.
So shame on you. Shame of you for using your position of power and promoting the idea that something unforeseen or unimagined could happen to our city instead of using your role for good. Shame of you for being embarrassed about any American city. Shame on you for not doing your due diligence and your homework on what this city means to the people who call it home. Hopefully the important speeches you write are based on facts.
Lastly, I commend you for being such a “young” and “hip” speechwriter and achieving such status so early in your career, but apparently you have a lot of growing up to do both personally and professionally. Maybe you need a break or a vacation from the daily grind. I know an awesome place to visit. Fort Lauderdale.