DOWNEY - Not being awarded one of the 10 All America City honors in last week's 62nd award conference (it was Downey's first participation) in Kansas City staged by the Denver-based National Civic League was understandably an immediate disappointment to the 18-strong Downey delegation, but, putting everything in perspective, they will tell you the trip was not so bad, that in fact they were winners in more ways than one."Just being one of 23 finalists in a field of more than 600 cities and communities across the country is something, and attests to the hard work and dedication involved city staff, especially Downey team leaders Juddy Ceniceros and Brian Saeki, put into our preparations," said councilman Mario Guerra. "Besides," he went on, "we were successful in showcasing Downey on a national stage as a city with a bright past and shining future. The winners were very deserving, and we congratulate them." Said Ceniceros, public information officer: "It was a great learning experience. We learned about what other cities are doing to better their communities, but at the same time we were able to tell them the things we're doing here in Downey. By sharing our ideas and experiences with other delegates, we made friends for the city and we generated a lot of goodwill." "We had a wonderful, very enjoyable trip. Numerous hours were spent in our preparations," said economic development director Brian Saeki. "The actual presentation took only 10 minutes, and this was followed by ten minutes of questioning. You cannot put a price tag, however, on the value of the experience and insights we gained on this trip." Echoing much of what was said by the others, Mayor Luis Marquez added: "It was a good trip, a worthwhile experience. We were able to tell them about our many efforts to improve the quality of life in our city, especially with regards to our kids. Every city had something to be proud of. I'm sure we will be back." The 10 eventual All America City awardees were: Kenai, Alaska; Dublin, California; Lakewood, Colorado; Belleville, Illinois; South Bend, Indiana; Scott City, Kansas; Tupelo, Mississippi; Fayetteville, North Carolina; Eden, North Carolina; and Fort Worth, Texas.
********** Published: June 23, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 10