Left to right: Wonderfirst President and Chief Creative Officer Jason Latimer, Downey City Council Member Sean Ashton, State Assemblymember Cristina Garcia, Downey Mayor Alex Saab, Congresswoman Roybal-Allard, Columbia Memorial Space Center President and Executive Director Ben Dickow, and Laurie Tyler of the Financial Partners Credit Union.
The homeless situation continues to be a real and serious challenge not only in Downey, but in the greater Los Angeles County. Although additional resources are needed, money alone will not be the silver bullet solution.
Currently there are 44,000 homeless people in greater Los Angeles County alone. The City Council, Downey Police Department and city staff continually meet with officials from all levels of government, as well as local non-profit organizations, to address the situation not only in Downey, but in the region. Like many other issues, the homeless situation transcends city borders, therefore we need to address this not only from a local but a regional perspective.
Many have mental health issues and must be treated accordingly. Currently we have a mental health specialist that regularly rides along with our Downey police officers to provide outreach. Public safety is and will always continue to be our number one priority at City Hall.
If you haven't already, now is the time to sign up for the new Downey Alerts system. The alert system provides real time weather, traffic, emergency alerts, and more. Sign up through the City's website at downeyca.org. If you have a smartphone, I ask that you download the City of Downey App. With the app, you can submit service requests including graffiti, illegal dumping, street lights in need of service, potholes and more. This is a free and easy opportunity for all or us to do our part.
April promises to be a very busy and productive month in Downey. This Saturday, April 9, there will be an array of events from community services to family fun events. At 8 am, patrons of the Downey Library will be riding a bus to attend the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books held at USC. At 9 am, we will be hosting a passport workshop, together with the U.S. Passport Agency, for residents to apply or renew their U.S. passport.
Also Saturday, the annual Downey Chamber of Commerce Street Faire will occur on Brookshire Avenue from 11 am to 7 pm. This is the largest event in the City of Downey and promises to be bigger than ever. There will be live entertainment, kid’s fun zone a motorcycle show, as well as the traditional wide variety of food and fun. Thank you to the Downey Chamber and all the volunteers who work so hard to make this happen.
And to top off the day, the Downey Symphony will conclude its 58th season with a concert at the Downey Civic Theatre at 8 pm called "A European Exhibition.” This will be a special concert because famed Spanish composer Oscar Navarro’s “Downey Overture” will be present as we designate his dedicated piece as Downey’s official symphonic music. This is extra special given it is the year we celebrate our 60th Anniversary of the Incorporation of the City of Downey.
This promises to be a historic night. I look forward to seeing you at one or all of these events.
The entire Downey community is invited to the Mayor’s State of the City address on Tuesday, April 26 at 11:30 am at the Rio Hondo Event Center. As Mayor, I will provide updates on upcoming projects and goals for the coming year and long-term strategies for 2016 and beyond.
The Downey Police and Fire Foundation will host its annual “Police Officer and Firefighter of the Year Awards Luncheon” on April 19 at the Rio Hondo Events Center at 11:30 am. I proudly serve on the board for the Foundation and can tell you this is a very worthy cause.
The City of Downey’s first ever “Ride and Stride” event is scheduled for Sunday, May 1. “Ride and Stride” is similar to CicLAvia, which is an event that started in Bogota, Colombia 40 years ago to allow people to connect with each other in a way that isn’t possible in a car. There will be over 5 miles of Downey streets closed to vehicular traffic, which will be transformed into safe open spaces for thousands of Downyites to ride their bike, walk, play, and spend quality family time along friends and neighbors.
Along the route, there will be numerous stops bustling with music, games, food vendors, and much more. From 10 am to 2 pm, come out and explore our City like you never have before!
All forms of non-motorized transit are welcome; this includes pedestrians, scooters, bicycles, wheelchairs, skateboards, wagons, strollers, rollerblades, and more. There will be an opening ceremony at the Discovery Sports Complex at 10 am along with Kid’s Day festivities at the park.
On Saturday, May 7 at 10 am, I will be hosting a “Coffee with the Mayor” event. Join me at Tropicana Bakery for a cup of coffee and chance to discuss any ideas or concerns you have about your city. Your voice is important and I encourage you to attend.
Calling all Downey students! Have you ever wondered what you would do if you were Mayor for the City of Downey? I invite you to enter the “If I Were Mayor” contest and share your ideas on how to make our City better. Promoting good local government is important and this contest gives our youth the opportunity to reflect on the important role of civil pride and participation. Winners will be recognized with an official city certificate and mentioned in the Downey Patriot.
For more information or details on how to enter, please visit the city website or contact (562) 904-7274 or send an email firstname.lastname@example.org
I also wanted to provide some updates on some street projects around town. Firestone Boulevard, from Paramount Boulevard to the west, is scheduled to be completed by the end this month. In addition to the paving of the streets, new mediums with drought tolerant landscaping will be installed.
Firestone, from Lakewood Boulevard east to the city limit, is scheduled to be completed by June 2016. Streets have been paved, new bus shelters and streets lights have been installed, and the traffic signals have been modified for more efficiency.
Gardendale Street will see the addition of new bicycle lanes and the water lines are being replaced. Work is scheduled to be completed on Gardendale by the end of this month.
We know the construction may be inconvenient at times, however, improvements of our streets provides long-term upgrades to the roadways and the underlying infrastructure, addressing serious issues related to a street’s condition and design. It has been many years since our major streets were upgraded but when completed, our City will shine.
I encourage you to email or call me with any suggestions or concerns you may have at email@example.com or at (562) 904-7274.