Mayor's Corner: Busy times in Downey

Hello Downey! These past few weeks have been quite busy for us here in the City with many exciting projects kicking-off.

First, we revealed our City's new branding program last week, which I'm sure you all read about here in the Downey Patriot. Discover Downey is intended to not only promote all of the qualities that make our City special, but it will also serve as a catalyst for sharing Downey's a true identity. It will help create new opportunities, both economic and cultural.

We are excited to be able to reveal Discover Downey and I would like to personally thank Stay Gallery for assisting us with this endeavor and for helping create a brand that we can all relate to. A brand that makes us all very proud to be part of such a great City. If you haven't had a chance to learn about Discover Downey, I encourage you to visit It is just the beginning!

A major construction project that just began this week is the Firestone Blvd. Improvement Project. My fellow Council colleagues and I attended a special Groundbreaking event earlier this week to officially mark the commencement of the project. This $4.3 million dollar project will include several improvements such as the construction of new median islands, as well decorative sidewalks and concrete seat-walls in the Downtown area.

Additionally, other phases of the project will also include electrical and decorative street lighting improvements, landscape and irrigation improvements, and pavement rehabilitation improvements. We understand that construction projects can be quite stressful, especially when they add traffic congestion to our area, but please know that we are doing everything we can to minimize impacts to commuters, as well as our local businesses on Firestone Blvd. and in our Downtown. Firestone Blvd. will be completely transformed once this project is complete and the difference will be quite remarkable.

Another major project that will begin in the next few months is the I-5 Freeway Expansion project. This project will primarily impact our residents over in the northeast area of our City (Florence Ave. and Studebaker Rd). Last month, we had a very productive and informative meeting with residents in this area and representatives from Caltrans, as well as our City staff, were present to explain how the I-5 project will impact this particular community. Residents had the opportunity to ask questions and express their concerns. I was personally there to assure our residents that we will do our best to address their concerns and assist during the construction of this project.

One of my goals as Mayor is to help expand our City's use of technology and help make information more accessible for our residents. Last week, we added a new property search feature to our City website that allows the public to search for real estate in Downey. With this new property search tool, residents and businesses can now obtain all of the information needed to ensure they find the right building, lot, or retail space for their business. It allows the public to view available properties in the region and provides advanced search capabilities. Check out this new feature by logging on to and clicking on "Business Site Locator."

As for upcoming events, this Saturday March 8th, we will be having a special Groundbreaking event at Brookshire Park to kick-off the construction of a new playground and walking trail. Parks are one of our top priorities and we are excited for these improvements to occur at Brookshire Park. I invite you all to join us and our funding partners for this event, which will feature a brief ceremony, arts & crafts for children and light refreshments. Feel free to stop by between 11am - 12:30pm.

The Annual Arc Walk is scheduled for Saturday, March 22nd and it's definitely one of my favorite community events. The Arc Walk supports those with physical and mental disabilities and every year thousands participate to support Arc. The event will once again take place at Stonewood Mall, so join me in supporting such an amazing cause!

In partnership with the Downey Unified School District, the City will be participating in the 2nd Annual 5K for TLC on Saturday, April 5th. All proceeds from this event help benefit Downey Unified School District's TLC Family Resource Center. This wonderful organization provides much needed assistance to some of our local students and their families and we are very fortunate to have TLC in our community. Join us on April 5th at Rancho Los Amigos. For more information or to register, please visit our City website:

As always, I welcome your thoughts and ideas, so please feel free to reach me through email at or by calling our City Council office at (562) 904-7274.

Until next month, Mayor Fernando Vasquez

********** Published: March 6, 2014 - Volume 12 - Issue 47