Thursday, August 18, 2011

Largest Inland Port, But Not Gateway To Mexico

The natives don't care much for logos so it won't matter when the city does away with the "Gateway To Mexico" slogan.  Of course, it's a symbol that's been used to draw in potential visitors, but it should be a sense of pride for us being that we have two cultures influencing us greatly every day.  Alas, it'll be gone soon enough.

Newbie councilman, Jorge Vera, brought up the item of dropping the slogan at the last city council meeting.  He opted to table it because he wanted to research the issue further.  The mayor, on the other hand, explains why the logo must go.
So I think that we're gonna craft something that will be extremely appropriate.  We went through all this trouble of creating a little slogan for the city, and somebody won, so we have to recognize and appreciate that.
Right.  The city is changing the slogan not because they want to, but because they have to in order to give credit to the young girl who came up with the new slogan, "Always A Reason To Celebrate In Laredo."

The mayor explains how we will always be the 'Gateway To Mexico' regardless of any slogan, but it sounds to me like we're trying to distance ourselves from our neighbors even more.

Three months ago, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Dept. of Transportation for that matter, got some heat for covering up "Nuevo Laredo" on one highway sign on southbound I-35.  The mayor pled ignorance and reassured our neighbors that this was by no means a sign of rejection.  He however didn't mention that a new slogan was already chosen, and was in the process of usurping the old one, the one that connects us with our sister city.

Ultimately it's just a slogan and the city can change it a thousand times.  I just find it convenient how they boast about being the United States' largest inland port, and sign agreements with San Luis Potosi, but act to portray Laredo as some sheltered oasis on the southern border.  Laredo, all of a sudden, is the last stop on the map.

I realize that a lot of people don't cross into Nuevo Laredo nowadays because of the crime and violence that's gripped the city.  For many, Laredo ceased to be the "Gateway To Mexico" some time ago.  But this new tactic closes the door on our history and culture.  This kind of tactic is the reason we celebrate George Washington's birthday every year.  Laredo leaders long ago decided to establish the event (WBCA) to assert its place in America.  And now our current leaders are doing the same thing, only with another bogus ploy.  Most Laredoans don't know why we celebrate George Washington's birthday.  And in the video link provided above, the mayor has trouble explaining why there's always a reason to celebrate in Laredo.  His conscience trumps him a bit, but he manages to hand us some disingenous answer that's as half-hearted as our new slogan. 

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