Downey delegation headed to Denver

DOWNEY - An 8-member delegation from Downey will travel to Denver, Colo. later this summer to compete a second time in the national All-America City competition. Downey was a finalist for the award two years ago but didn't win the top prize.

Officials estimated the trip will cost about $15,000 in lodging and airline tickets plus an additional $15,000 in staff time, which is why councilmen Luis Marquez and Roger Brossmer voted against the trip.

City officials said they will attempt to raise the money through fundraisers but, if unsuccessful, the balance will be paid by taxpayers.

In 2011, Downey sent a coalition of 18 to Kansas City that included then Mayor Luis Marquez, Councilman Mario Guerra, top city brass, a police captain, an educator, and local schoolchildren who touted Downey's award-winning reuse of the former NASA site; Gangs Out of Downey; and Keep Downey Beautiful.

This time around, Downey plans to highlight its recent efforts to recognize local veterans, the revitalization of Downtown Downey, and the Columbia Memorial Space Center.

The delegation is expected to include Guerra, three unidentified city workers, four Downey veterans and possibly others.

The All America City award is presented by the National Civic League and recognizes 10 communities each year for "outstanding civic accomplishments."

Local cities that have won the award include South Gate (1990), Santa Fe Springs (1971), Cerritos (2008), La Habra (1973), Lynwood (2010) and Paramount (1988).

In addition to Downey, other candidates vying for the award this year include Birmingham, Alabama; Owensboro, Kentucky; Natchitoches, Louisiana; Brush, Colorado; Canton, New York; Colorado Springs, Colorado; Dunn, North Carolina; Montrose, Colorado; Garner, North Carolina; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Thomasville, North Carolina; Miami Lakes, Florida; Folly Beach, South Carolina; Sarasota County, Florida; The Colony, Texas; Peoria, Illinois; Norfolk, Virginia; Dubuque, Iowa; and Platteville, Wisconsin.

********** Published: April 11, 2013 - Volume 11 - Issue 52