Recently we held our annual State of the City address at the beautiful Rio Hondo Event Center. Each year the State of the City address brings together the community to celebrate accomplishments and preview the year ahead.
I am happy to report that this has been another great year for the City of Downey. Our top priority is to work for you and to maintain the quality of life Downey is known for. At this year’s address, I highlighted our city’s accomplishments and future goals. I would like to thank the Downey residents, business owners and community partners who attended this year’s event.
One of our biggest accomplishments was allocating the funding to hire 10 new police officers at the Downey Police Department. They will be joining a force of honorable men and women who are committed to the safety and welfare of our great City.
Also, I am excited to welcome our newest member to the Downey Police Department's Canine (K-9) Program, “Rex”. In addition to patrolling with the Canine Program, Rex will be trained in specialties such as narcotics detection and criminal apprehension. He is a shepherd malinois mix and came to Downey all the way from the Czech Republic. Rex is the fourth member to the program and at only 17 months old, he is also the youngest #crimefighter.
Another of my goals as Mayor is to continue to improve the quality of our streets. The Lakewood Improvement Project will continue this summer. Lakewood Boulevard from Gallatin to Telegraph Road will be paved, giving way to three open lanes on each side. Improvement will include new landscaping as well as new decorate lighting. Completion date is projected for the end of the year.
These accomplishments were made possible by the passing of Measure S. Last year on Nov. 8, Downey residents spoke loud and clear that public safety is their main priority. The passing of a ½-cent sales tax increase will help to maintain and improve city services including our parks, youth and senior programs and repairs for our streets and sidewalks and provide funding to hire more public safety personnel.
Also in keeping ahead with technology, our police and fire departments will be equipped with a new Smart 911 Radio System that will allow emergency responders to communicate with our residents as well as other cities in a more efficient matter. The measure will help us maintain safeguards response times to Downey emergencies, saving lives and keeping our community safe.
The second “Ride and Stride” took place last month and it was a good time had by all. Not even a little rain could stop everyone from enjoying the 4.5 miles car-free Downey streets. Our local streets were transformed into safe open spaces for thousands of Downyites that rode their bikes, walked, played, and spent quality family time along friends and neighbors. Along the route were numerous stops bustling with music, games, food vendors, and much more.
This year the Downey Chamber of Commerce held their annual Street Faire along with the City’s event and helped make it a remarkable success.
When I started as Mayor in 2014, I was surprised to learn just how high the obesity level in our children is in our country. Sadly, our city is not immune to its impact. Diabetes in children is on the rise. Moreover, with our nation’s capital proposed cuts to health and after school programs, our job as a city is to keep our children safe and active with the resources that we have.
During our Master Park Plan, a survey was taken to see what is the most played sport in the City. The overwhelming answer was soccer. With that we came up with the idea to start a pilot program at ASPIRE with our local 4th and 5th graders. Homefield Advantage is an eight-week course that will introduce students to not only to the playing field, but to coaching basics as well. The initial program began this week at Unsworth Elementary.
There will be one school from each council district with full roll out of the program by the fall. The goal is to have all schools in the district participate in the summer’s “Downey FIFA World Cup Tournament” that will take place in Downtown Downey.
Lastly, I would like to congratulate the graduation class of 2017. As you embark on your journey, whether it is a university, new job or backpacking through Europe, always remember where you came from. Your City will always be your home, and your home is always a place where you can return to and give back to.
Downey’s great way of life is possible because of its residents and students like you who are the future. I am truly looking forward to continue to serve you and to see what our youth has in store for the City of Downey. Congratulations, Class of 2017!
As your Mayor, it is a privilege to share the City’s recent accomplishments and upcoming events. As always, I welcome your comments, concerns and questions. You can reach me at (562) 904-7274 or at firstname.lastname@example.org