Vasquez sets sight on Council

DOWNEY - Fernando Vasquez, a Downey planning commissioner who contemplated a run at City Council last year before eventually deciding against it, has announced his candidacy for the council's District 4 (northeast) seat.Mayor Anne Bayer will be termed out of office in November. "I am proud to call Downey home and I love the benefits of a big city with the values of a small-town feel," Vasquez said in a news release. "As a homeowner, I want to ensure Downey continues to be a great place to live and raise a family." Vasquez took out papers for the District 5 (city-wide) seat last year but never filed them. Luis Marquez went on to win the election. Marquez appointed Vasquez to the city's Planning Commission two months later. "I was very serious about my run in 2008, but work obligations and irregular working hours precluded me from doing so at that time. Fortunately, that is not the case today and I am in this race 100%," said Vasquez, a community development manager with non-profit developer National Core. "My vision for Downey is to preserve the best of Downey's past and lead it into a brighter future," he added. Attorney Alex Saab has also announced intentions to run for the City Council District 4 seat. Candidates can begin pulling paperwork July 12. Vasquez said his priorities for Downey will be public safety, promoting quality economic development, investment in our youth and neighborhood preservation. "We must continue to support our families, children and seniors by having clean and safe parks that provide recreational programs," he said. Vasquez graduated from UC Riverside with a bachelor's degree and earned his master's degree in City Planning from San Diego State University. Both Vasquez and Saab are fluent in English and Spanish. Vasquez is a board member for Downey Kiwanis and is advisor to Downey High School's Key Club. Several community leaders have registered their support for Vasquez, including three City Council members (Marquez, Mario Guerra and Roger Brossmer), former council members Kirk Cartozian and Meredith Perkins, school board members Barbara Samperi, Martha Sodetani and Nancy Swenson, and Chamber of Commerce officials Mike Murray and Rick Rodriguez. "I'm proud and honored to announce my candidacy for Downey City Council and I look forward to serving our community in a greater capacity," Vasquez said. To reach the Vasquez campaign, call (562) 261-7601 or e-mail

********** Published: March 19, 2010 - Volume 8 - Issue 48