Mayor’s Corner: Thousands continue to discover Downey

Hello Downey! It’s always my pleasure to once again connect with you through my monthly Mayor’s Corner article.  I enjoy sharing news about our City and keeping our residents informed about what’s going on in our community.  I believe that the more we know about our City, the better informed we are and the more we learn to appreciate Downey.

I’m sure many of you attended the International Food Festival and saw what a huge success it was.  Close to 20,000 people attended this event, that’s right, 20,000 people!  I was impressed with the crowds walking the streets of our Downtown, while embracing diversity, enjoying delicious food and great music.  I want to commend our City staff for putting this event together.  I realize it took months of coordination and hard work, and I want to express my sincere gratitude to all who helped make this year’s International Food Festival so successful.

Another Downtown event that took place last week was the second Rooftop Concert – Toast of Mexico.  Over 1,000 people joined us for this evening concert, which welcomed various performance groups including a Mariachi and Aztec Dancers.  It’s quite an amazing view from the rooftop of our Downtown parking structure where you are able to view the Downey skyline and enjoy great music (my wife, Donna, also tells me it’s a great date night). With recent Downtown events such as the International Food Festival and the Rooftop Concerts, we’re celebrating and embracing diversity.  We have one more Rooftop Concert coming up on October 22nd from 7pm -10pm, so come out and join us! Havana Nights is the theme and Porto’s will be on-site selling some of their great tasting food.  We’ll also enjoy great salsa music… look out for the Conga line!

Speaking of our Downtown area, the City is currently pursuing a Business Improvement District in this area which will bring together current businesses and property owners to come up with a vision for the future of our Downtown.  The goal is to facilitate the improvement and appearance of our City’s Downtown area, which continues to grow and attract visitors from all over.  The City will explore the possibility of a Downtown assessment district and staff has already started meeting with the area’s property owners.  We should have a good perspective by late November of this year.

We have officially welcomed Chick-Fil-A and Dunkin Donuts to Downey and it’s exciting to see the success they’ve had so far since their openings last month.  Every time I drive by, I see the long lines and it’s great that we’re keeping their businesses busy!  Both Chick-Fil-A and Dunkin Donuts are expected to have record breaking numbers here in our City and that just goes to show how supportive we are of our businesses.  Another business that will be opening soon will be the Downey family owned and operated La Barca Restaurants (no relation to La Barca Grill on Paramount Blvd.), which will move into the old Sambi location, off Firestone Blvd.  I know many of you have been wondering what’s been happening with the old Sambi Restaurant location but stay tuned as they open in the coming months.

I am pleased to announce that we now have an official Executive Director for our Columbia Memorial Space Center. Mr. Benjamin Dickow has joined our team as of last month and this is exciting news for our Space Center and our City. Mr. Dickow comes to us with nearly 20 years of experience, having worked in science education and exhibit departments at the Museum of Science and Industry, in Chicago, and the California Science Center, in Los Angeles. With his strong background in science education and museum exhibits, we are confident he will do great things at our Space Center.  We welcome him and look forward to working together with STEM technology (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics).

Applications for the Downey View Apartments will become available this Friday, October 3rd and Saturday, October 4th. They will only be available these two days and you can either pick-up an application at the Downey Civic Center or download it directly from our website. The grand opening of the Downey View will take place this December. These new apartments will be high-end 2-3 bedroom units with amenities for such as a rooftop garden, community center, computer lab, and a Tot Lot. This project is opening right in the heart of Downtown and will add great value to the area.

Due to the State’s recent emergency drought, we encourage our residents to assist in water conservation efforts.  This is an issue that affects all Californians and you can find important information on our City’s website with regard to water restrictions here in the City.  Some important information includes the prohibition of watering down driveways and sidewalks and limiting yard watering to 2-3 times a week, during early morning and late evening hours. Log-on to our website at for more information.

Until next month!


Mayor Fernando Vasquez



Published: Oct. 2, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 25