DOWNEY − Downey City Council hopeful Rick Rodriguez promised to bring both commitment and integrity back to city government during a speech at his official campaign kickoff fundraiser last week.
Surrounded by friends, family, and community leaders at the Rio Hondo Event Center, Rodriguez stressed the need for steady leadership and experience in a time of dramatic development and change for the city of Downey.
“I promised to work hard if elected,” he said. “I’m not the most educated guy in the room, but I will be the most truthful guy in the room.”
Rodriguez, 55, is founder of RMI International, an international security firm that operates in 18 states and three countries. The company is currently contracted to patrol Downtown Downey.
He is a past president of the Downey Chamber of Commerce, immediate past president of Gangs Out of Downey, and founder of the Living Tree Foundation, which helps returning combat veterans and their families.
The son of migrant farm workers from Texas, Rodriguez grew up in El Monte.
Rodriguez, who is running to replace Councilman Roger Brossmer, is vying against Frine Medrano for the District 3 (northwest Downey) seat. Medrano, a staffer for state Senator Kevin De Leon, recently received the endorsement of both state senators Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia) and Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens).
Nonetheless, Rodriguez said he’s ready to show voters his record of achievement and local leadership.
“I’m not afraid of the big political machine I’m running against,” he said. “We don’t need state and federal people telling us how to run our business here.”
Brossmer and Mayor Alex Saab echoed those sentiments as they threw their full-throated support behind Rodriguez at last Thursday’s kickoff fundraiser.
“We’ve learned that doing this job means also finding a good person to come behind you,” said Brossmer. “Integrity is doing what’s right and doing what’s best for the city, not one’s own self interests.
“Rick has business smarts – he’s a family man that’s active in his church. He will keep the city’s positive momentum going.”
Saab also doubled down, ensuring Downey voters that Rodriguez is the “real deal.”
“By supporting him, our city is in good hands,” Saab said. “You can't just simply learn ethics; it's who you are and it's something you bring to the job and you learned from your parents while growing up."
“There are no skeletons in my closet,” Rodriguez said. “My wife is here, my kids and grandkids – we’re God-loving, God-fearing people.”
City council candidates can officially submit nomination forms on July 18, just four months ahead of the general election on Nov. 8.