Times Change. Values Don’t. The Lakewood motto adorns dozens of monument signs at the entrances to the city.
Although some think that this motto dates back to the city’s incorporation in the 1950s, the motto actually was coined in 2003 when Lakewood was approaching its 50th anniversary.
At that time, city leaders wanted to update the city’s original slogan of “Tomorrow’s City Today.” That moniker dated back to the 1950s when Lakewood was America’s largest planned community—with a design that truly embodied the future of America’s suburban cities. But 50 years later, in 2003, “Tomorrow’s City Today” seemed antiquated.
So Lakewood city officials set about crafting a new motto or values statement. City staff worked with communications consultants and generated the phrase “Times Change. Values Don’t.,” which was presented to and approved by the Lakewood City Council. The motto was unveiled to Lakewood residents and broadly welcomed during the 50th anniversary year in 2004 as a reflection of the community’s civic pride and unity.
At the time, the description of the motto spoke of timeless community values that were central to Lakewood’s identity and widely recognized and appreciated, including:
- Well-maintained streets, trees and public infrastructure.
- Beautiful neighborhood parks.
- Recreation for all.
- Volunteerism by residents and businesses.
- Public safety.
Importantly, and with great relevance today, diversity and tolerance were also listed as essential Lakewood community values in 2004. They were included because Lakewood was becoming one of the most diverse cities in California, and city leaders wanted to acknowledge, embrace and celebrate that, as continues to be the case today.