Downey finalist for All America City award, considers sending delegation

The City Council on Tuesday will consider sending an 8-member delegation 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.

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

In fact, if approved, the coalition will include four Downey veterans, in addition to Guerra and three unidentified city workers.

Sending a delegation to Denver would cost about $15,000, which would be paid through community fundraising. This does not include approximately 200 hours of staff time.

"It was a good trip, a worthwhile experience," Marquez said of the competition in 2011. "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."

In addition to Downey, other candidates for All America City 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.