Opinion: Aurora, Colorado — diverse and proud


Oscar Perez, Review Staff

Feature Photo By: Oscar Perez – “Aurora-All-American City” signs are scattered around the entrance of Aurora, Colorado.

Aurora, Colorado: Home to many different unique places to visit like the Cherry Creek State Park, various shopping centers, and multiple family friendly events to attend.

Unfortunately, some say it is the worst city in the state to live in despite tourist attractions and a beautiful and unique city full of diversity and opportunities. But people believe that our negative past is what is representing us now.

If we ignore the “fun” parts about Aurora and the “rich” parts — like world-class diversity — Aurora gets a bad reputation through the rest of the state, and it’s not fair or accurate. It is true our unemployment rate isn’t going down as fast compared to other states/cities, or maybe our income rates haven’t gone up as fast as some would hope, but it’s still a great place.

I have a cousin in Boulder who has lived in a rented house for almost all his life. His dad owns three different restaurants throughout Colorado — they are not necessarily living in any state of poverty. They could own a nice house here, but they are scared to death of Aurora.

Homes in the Boulder area are much more expensive compared to houses here in Aurora, so it would make sense for them to be able to buy a house here where they can be closer to family, right? The issue is they are worried about reputation, not reality.

I spoke to my aunt about the problem. She answered, “…personally Aurora is too ‘ghetto’ or ‘lower class.”

I can easily say that throughout my young childhood, minors have gotten into things that are mentally damaging. Drugs, alcohol and abuse have all occurred within the people I have associated with at school, but that can in a rich place like Boulder, too, and it does.

Across the nation, people can associate our city with the Theater Shooting that took place in 2012, but again, mass shootings happen everywhere in America these days.

The 7/20 memorial that was built to remember those who lost their lives & those who were deeply impacted from the theatre shooting back in 2012. (Oscar Perez)

Over the years I have grown up thinking only positively about my city. Aurora has gotten a bad rep from people who just had seen the negative things about Aurora on the news; they don’t see the great city it has become.

Junior and resident of Aurora Dhalun Bennet agrees that Aurora’s reputation is unfair.

“It sounds like they want us chained up or something,” he said about Aurora’s negative reputation across the state.

Depending on whose opinion is being shown, different problems and issues can be described, but how can we as citizens of Aurora actually fix these negative opinions?

We must take into consideration that there are multiple problems wrong with this city, just like any other large city. Working to move as one community is the first step to ensuring we can change the minds of others. There are opportunities such as volunteer work and feeding of the homeless that have gone on that help link the community. But ultimately, more can be done.

I believe with things like help to benefit someone else’s life, it gives many the opportunity to then be able to move up in the world as one.

I love this city. I was born here, raised here, and I plan on living here for as long as possible. There are people that make it worth trying the city out. We might not be the most wealthiest, but sometimes wealth isn’t what is the key to living a happy life. I’m Mexican and speak Spanish fluently, and I am also an American, and Aurora gives me an opportunity to be me.

This city is known for being a good place to raise or become a future athlete. There are tons of ways kids have interacted with each other and a big way is sports. The Aurora Sports Park is an amazing place to start, its 220 acre span of fields have been hosted for tournaments and competitions for teams to come from all over.

Diversity is also a huge factor to the city. People can experience being around different types of people and different cultures. It is by far the most diverse large city in the entire mountain time zone.

Many would agree that Aurora is also known as a  “retail paradise.” Southlands Center for example is a 1.7 million square foot area for retail, dining, and entertainment. If there is a place where families want to visit together, this definitely brings happiness.

We must not criticize more than we are willing to help fix the little negatives affecting the city. We can’t let our city’s past be the face of how we live now.

Issues may arise but definitely aren’t impossible to come up against, and that’s why I am happily able to say that Aurora is my home and I’ll always be here to represent the best parts of this city.