MIRANDA WHITWORTH • BE PRESENT
Find out how Bakersfield stole the heart of a 19-year-old from Salt Lake City, Utah, and why she’s stayed for the past 16 years.
Miranda Whitworth • Manager of Communications and PR for Kern Medical
Bakersfield has always been so good to me. After I broke up with the boy who brought me here, I realized I didn’t want to leave. I had an amazing friend base, and there were opportunities for my career that I couldn’t pass up. Bakersfield homes are affordable to rent or own, and there are always fun things happening.
I worked in media, radio, television, and as a contributing columnist for the Bakersfield Californian and the Bakersfield Life Magazine, before making the jump to marketing and PR in 2012. I’ve always been successful here, and I’ve always loved this town.
As president of the North of the River Chamber of Commerce and on the board for the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, I get the privilege of working with small businesses, leaders, and Latino innovators. We encourage small business growth and education, and it’s so easy to get involved.
Before coming here today, a friend jokingly asked what I was going to talk about, “Come see the smog!” But that’s the issue right there. Let’s not talk about the problems, let’s talk about the opportunities for change. Sure, the air quality won’t be changed overnight but we are going in the right direction, and that’s what’s important. Having the right balance between industry and environment is critical, and as we progress the air quality will improve.
Now, let’s talk about Los Angeles. A lot of people feel trapped in the shadow of LA and other California coastal towns. Unfortunately, we seem to always be the butt of jokes when it comes to California, and residents are made to feel ashamed of their town by these outsiders.
But let’s think about this, people in Duluth don’t sit around and compare themselves to LA. Just because we’re in proximity doesn’t mean we should compare ourselves. Life in LA is hard, and life on the coast is hard. Things are expensive and you can’t have even half of what you can have if you live here. The cost of living in Bakersfield is second to none in California, career opportunities are available to anyone who wants them, and we have incredible academic opportunities such as Bakersfield College and our local Cal State.
Move to Bakersfield and you can own a home, raise a family, have an actual backyard all to yourself, have a good job and amazing career opportunities. If you’re smart, ambitious, and have even just an ounce of creative thought, you could run this town!
So forget about what’s happening in other cities. Focus on the beautiful homes, the gorgeous architecture, the thriving downtown area and the job opportunities in the city of Bakersfield. Be here and be present. Don’t fall for the unfair comparisons to larger cities or beach towns.
A lot of fun things happen in Bakersfield that many people don’t even know about. For example, we held a Dia de los Muertos event and it was HUGE. Over 7,000 people showed up and lined the corner to get in. There were food vendors, Aztec dancers, gorgeous altars built, and it was an incredibly touching representation of Hispanic culture.
We also have amazing art galleries all over Bakersfield, consignment stores that have items from many decades past and so many music events on the weekends… there’s always something to do here!