Hello Downey! I’m excited to be able to reach out to all of you once again through my Mayor’s Corner articles. I know, it’s been some time since my last article, as these past few weeks have kept me quite busy! From my wedding, to my honeymoon, getting back to work and City activities, my schedule has been pretty full and I’m excited to share with you some of my recent experiences.
As some of you may know, I got married this past May and boy, was it an incredible experience! My lovely wife Donna and I had the honor of experiencing such a special day alongside our most dearest friends and family. It was truly an amazing day and I want to express my gratitude for all of the warm wishes we’ve received from the community. Shortly after our marriage, we traveled to Italy and Spain for our honeymoon and enjoyed two exciting weeks traveling through Rome, Florence, Tuscany and Barcelona. It was a great start to a new chapter in our lives as husband and wife.
A lot of wonderful things have also happened in our community these last few weeks. Our City has put on some incredible community events, some of which have been “firsts” in our City. The “Tour De Downey” on June 14th filled our City streets with hundreds of cyclists who participated in a bike ride through Downey. “Make Music Downey” was the second part of this event and it happened right in our Downtown area. We had the opportunity to listen to various talented musicians who connected with us through the art of music.
The success of this event is largely due to the collaboration and support between the Make Music Downey Festival organizers, volunteers, and our City departments: Parks & Recreation, Public Works & Police Department. A big thank you also goes out to the various Downey Art organizations which got involved and helped make this event happen. The Downey Art Movement is thriving and here to stay!
Another huge event was the FIFA World Cup Viewing party on July 13th. If you were there, you know what a success this was for our City, especially our Downtown area. Downtown Downey was transformed into a World Cup Celebration where thousands walked Downey Ave., businesses were thriving, and residents experienced a multitude of soccer activities. The event featured exhibition games and free play on urban soccer courts, interactive water activities, live viewing hot spots, children activities, performances, and much more. Downey showed the region how to celebrate with class while embracing diversity.
More events will be coming to our Downtown in the next few weeks, so stay tuned! We want to continue showcasing our growing and vibrant Downtown area and we’re happy so see that it’s becoming the center of exciting activities in our City. Mark your calendars for:
International Food Festival – September 20th
A series of Rooftop Events, which will be hosted on the rooftop public parking lot, located on 2nd and New Street. These events will help celebrate art, culture, music and food! The themes will be:
Sounds of America – August 27th
Toast of Mexico – September 24th
Havana Nights – October 22nd
Brookshire Park now has new playground equipment and a new walking trail. Thanks to a grant from First 5 L.A. and support from the L.A. Conservation Corps, we were able to add these new features to the park. The Grand Opening celebration took place last month and we had a great turn out from our community. Parks are vital to a healthy community… so bring out the family and have some fun!
By this time, I’m sure many of you have witnessed all of the construction happening in our City. From Firestone Boulevard, to Lakewood Boulevard, our major streets are getting some upgrades and once work is complete, you will all be able to see how these improvements will help beautify our City. It will be worth the wait!
Speaking of construction projects, this week I toured the progress of the I-5 Freeway Construction Project, which is scheduled to substantially impact our City in March 2015. Because this will directly impact our residents in northeast Downey, I wanted to witness the impact of the project on our surrounding residents. Over the next couple of months we’ll be doing more community outreach to help minimize the impact of the construction work. We will be sending notifications to keep our residents informed.
All of these wonderful projects and events would not be possible without a comprehensive, well-balanced City budget. For the third time in a row, the City approved another successful budget this past June, which will allow us to continue serving our citizens with the same level of service. The fiscal year 2014-15 budget is $160 million of which more than $45 million are for capital improvements.
I am proud to be able to say that despite the recent economic downturn, Downey has managed to pull through and approve a balanced budget for the last three years. This speaks highly of our City’s management team and my fellow Council Members who have recognized the importance of prioritizing and being fiscally responsible.
As you can see, lots of great things are happening in our City. I encourage you to take part in the many activities that Downey has to offer. I hope to see some of you at the weekly Summer Concerts at Furman Park on Wednesday nights. I’m there almost every week enjoying the great performances and chatting with some of my Downey neighbors. Hope to see you there!
Until next month,
Mayor Fernando Vasquez
Published: July 31, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 16