Aberdeen Mayor embraces diversity and population growth

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Aberdeen has thrived off the growth of the city for the past 15 years.

"We estimate that we've grown from about 24,000 in 2004, to right around 30,000 right now," said Mike Levsen, Mayor of Aberdeen.

With that growth comes change, but not everyone is open to all of the cultural changes.

"It's understandable that it's difficult for people here who have troubles with change, and it's been a struggle for some of them to deal with it properly," Levsen said.

The Mounga family experienced some backlash when they moved from Hawaii twenty years ago.

"It was unique to come here to Aberdeen and meet the people. It was definitely a different culture here, coming from the islands," said Salesi Mounga, Director of Operations at The Oil Room.

But Salesi and his wife say things are changing, and they enjoy living in Aberdeen. The owner of the oil room has played a large part in that.

"We see ourselves as a place where people of all backgrounds, all interests. all talents, so much diversity, can come together and form a community," said Ruth Gough, owner of The Oil Room.

That mindset has helped Salesi and his family overcome some hard times as a minority family.

"I think if everybody found more time to serve other people that we'd find we all have a common need, and that we would look past each others colors," Mounga said.

Pulling together as a community and helping each other will help Aberdeen reach it's full potential, especially since Mayor Levsen knows these changes are just getting started.

"There's no reason to think that the trend toward more diversity is going to change at any time," said Mayor Levsen.

The Mayor said he is excited to add more cultures to Aberdeen over the next five to ten years as the city continues to grow.