It’s that time of year. Students are back in school with their pencils sharpened, new supplies and much anticipation and excitement for a new school year. As a parent of three little ones, I know how hectic mornings can be. It is important to be mindful when dropping our children off at school and to always drive safely. Please be considerate of others especially the residents who live adjacent to the schools. We are all in a hurry, but it is our job to drive safely and be vigilant. Let’s always remember that each one of us sets the tone for our children and for our community.
Back in December, I issued a “Call for Service” and many of you responded positively. Volunteering in Downey offers the opportunity to give back to our City and to make a difference to the people around us. It also provides an opportunity to develop new skills and build on existing experience and knowledge. Regardless of the motivation, what unites volunteers is that it is both challenging and rewarding.
We are blessed in Downey to have so many wonderful local service organizations/clubs. Each of them would welcome you and appreciate new members. The Patriot lists many of the organizations each week with specific contact information for each club. We are all in this together so let’s make the best of it!
In addition, the City of Downey offers various volunteer opportunities, such as the recently formed Special Olympics basketball league or at the Downey Library. Please visit the City website for more information or feel free to contact me if you have questions on how to get involved. As I recently stated to a resident, my heart gets filled with joy and optimism for our City when I see a parent, with their child, taking the time to volunteer and teaching the next generation the value of public service.
There are many events planned this month. It is Military Appreciation Night on Friday, Sept. 9, at Warren High School during the football game. Military personnel and veterans will be invited onto the football field to receive a much deserved recognition.
Another way to honor the brave men and women who are serving in the Armed Forces is to participate or sponsor the City’s Military Banner Program. The program is designed to support, recognize, and express appreciation for Downey residents who are currently active in the U.S. Military. Each banner lists the honoree's name and branch of service and proudly displayed throughout the City.
This Sept. 11 is Patriot Day. On that day, let’s reflect on the enormous sacrifices of so many and take the opportunity to give back to our community and nation.
Keep Downey Beautiful is another great organization which gathers regularly to keep our Downey clean. Cleanup events are held at different locations throughout the City. The next cleanup is scheduled for this Saturday, Sept. 10, at 8:45 a.m. at Rio San Gabriel Park to help clean the adjacent riverbed. For more information and to participate, contact Carol Rowland at (562) 904-7103.
The Downey City Library is dedicated to growing with the community by bringing people and ideas together. In their mission to serve residents and enhance their quality of life, the library continues to create innovate programs and activities. I am proud to announce that the City was awarded a $65,000 grant for an 18-bay laptop kiosk by the California State Library’s “Pitch an Idea” program. This grant will allow the City of Downey to purchase 18 laptops and automated dispensers which will not only issue the laptop to valid library card holders, but also automatically check-in, recharge and restore default settings upon return.
The $65,000 will be matched by a $9,000 grant from the Friends of the Downey City Library to fund replacement/refurbishment of laptops over the next three years, as well as approximately $4,500 in City funds for Microsoft Office software, and $7,900 in-kind match for staff-provided computer literacy programs for the community.
Speaking of the library, the Friends of the Downey City Library is another incredible volunteer-driven organization which does so much for our community. Members of the Friends of the Downey City Library help with adult literacy programs, read to children, assist staff and raise money for our library. I would like to thank the many volunteers of the Friends of the Downey City Library and invite all of you to learn more and consider donating or joining to this amazing organization.
The Downey library is hosting an author luncheon at the Rio Hondo Event Center on Saturday, Sept. 10, at 11:30 a.m. with author Louise Mathews. Author Paula Massadas Preira will be at the library on Monday, Sept. 12, at 6:30 p.m. to talk about her new book.
On Saturday, Sept. 17, at 9 a.m. Congressmember Lucille Roybal-Allard will be hosting the annual U.S. Service Academy Workshop. Attendees will learn about our nation’s five service academies and how to obtain a congressional nomination.
We continue to see tremendous growth in Downey with many new businesses opening each month. You are invited to join me next Wed., Sept. 14, at 11 am as we welcome Planet Fitness, the first business to open at The Crossroads on Lakewood and Gallatin.
The City of Downey is hosting the International Food & Music Festival in the heart of Downtown Downey on Sept. 17 from 4 to 11 p.m. There will be live entertainment, local restaurants, popular food trucks, a beer and wine garden, festival attractions, and family-friendly activities for everyone to enjoy.
The next concert in our Rooftop Concert Series is planned for Thursday, Sept. 29, at 7 p.m. Join us for “My Big Fat Greek Night” with live music and art at the top level of the public parking structure next to the Krikorian movie theatre.
There will be a Senior Follies show at the Barbara J. Riley Center on Sat. Sept 10, at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. For those comic con fans, the Columbia Space Center will be participating at the Comic Con in Long Beach Sept. 17-19 as well.
The Downey Symphonic Society will be having a Paris-themed garden party, “An Evening in Paris,” on Saturday, Sept. 17. And our very own GlennFest Film Festival, which continues to grow, will take place Sept. 24-Oct. 6 throughout the City.
The Downey Rose Float Association is having a fundraiser for Downey Relay for Life at the Elks Lodge in Friday, Sept. 20, at 5 p.m.
September is Emergency Preparedness Month. Thank you to the Downey Fire Department for continuing to educate and prepare our families, businesses and community to reduce the devastation in case of an emergency. Please take the time this month to prepare a plan with your family in case of a major emergency. Also, thank you to the Downey Police Department for another successful Coffee with the Cop this month.
As always, I welcome your comments, concerns, or questions. I will be hosting another “Coffee with the Mayor” at the newly-opened Green Olive restaurant at the Promenade on Saturday, Sept. 24, at 10 am. You can reach me at (562) 904-7274 or at email@example.com
Until next month,
Mayor Alex Saab