DOWNEY – Local attorney Blanca Pacheco has announced her candidacy for City Council.
Pacheco is seeking to replace Luis Marquez, who will be termed out of office this November after eight years of representing District 1 (south Downey).
Her goal as a council member, she said, would be to make sure south Downey isn't overlooked when it comes to public safety, economic development and street repairs.
"I didn't notice the neglect in south Downey until I moved into the district 11 years ago," she said. "We're not south Downey – we're Downey."
Pacheco, 42, graduated from Downey High and earned an AA degree from Cerritos College and a BA in Political Science from UCLA. She earned a law degree from Loyola Law School.
Her law office is located on 3rd Street in Downtown Downey, where her field of practice includes living trusts, probate, DUI defense and eviction cases. She is also a part-time instructor for Downey Adult School's paralegal program.
She is an active volunteer, having served as president of the Downey Kiwanis Club in 2015. She is a commissioner on Downey's Public Works Committee, and also volunteers her time with the Mexican American Bar Association, Southeast District Bar Association, and California Council for Adult Education.
She also assists with Teen Court, a juvenile justice program recently launched in Downey. Assemblymember Cristina Garcia named Pacheco her "Woman of the Year" for 2016.
Pacheco credits her community service with spurring the idea of running for City Council.
"As I became more involved, I saw how I could make a difference in the community," she said.
Where does she stand on the issues? In regards to increasing the local sales tax, Pacheco is opposed to the idea.
"Right now I don't believe it's necessary," she said. "It would hurt too many Downey businesses."
She is adamant about keeping Downey's police and fire departments under local control: "Having our own police and fire departments, and our own school district, is what makes Downey unique."
Pacheco praised redevelopment efforts downtown, and said she is happy to see more restaurants opening in Downey.
Crime continues to be a concern, particularly in south Downey, Pacheco said.
"I've been talking to my neighbors and almost everyone has been burglarized or had their car broken into," she said.
Candidates for City Council can officially submit nomination forms in July. The election is Nov. 8.