City Council wives in the spotlight

By Henry Veneracion

DOWNEY - Before long, the wives of Downey City Council members are envisioned to take a more active part in the community, not as policy makers but as community volunteers to assist in the work of such social service programs as TLC, at the suggestion of new mayor Luis Marquez, as part of his revitalized mayoral initiatives program.

Other components of the program include the 'mayor presents series', increased attention to the Downey Sister Cities Association, more active support for the Columbia Memorial Space Center and more emphasis on recognizing and encouraging community service.

The details of the program involving the wives are still to be threshed out but it is believed an organizational meeting will take place as soon as the holidays are out of the way. Indications are that the wives welcome the idea and are willing to "give back to the community". The only constraint, at least in one case, is the availability of time.

Be that as it may, here are brief profiles of the wives/spouses who will soon add a new dimension to the dynamic of the Downey community scene:

Brenda Gafin - a Downey High schoolmate at least and co-graduate of husband David Gafin, is described by him as a "working wife," and is an outside sales person for a high-temperature insulation firm called Thermal Ceramics. She covers the Western U.S. and is "out of town one or two weeks" out of the month

Ann Guerra - has a BS in business administration from USC's Marshall School of Business and has been active at St. Raymond's in several outreach ministries for several years; is co-founder of Diaconia Foundation (scholarships and grants to high school students for community work) and Angel Tree (helps kids with incarcerated parents) of which she is also coordinator; and been involved with numerous other charitable community causes.

Alma Marquez - is a '99 English/education major and a minor in journalism at UC-Irvine and has worked as senior aide to State Senator Roderick Wright since November, 2008; was involved in community organizing for faith-based organizations for years prior to that; and says she looks forward to "working with the other wives in, say, fundraisers, putting events together, etc., and by helping people, they in turn can help others."

Esther Brossmer - has been an elementary school teacher at Rio Hondo for a number of years and enjoys "weight training, running, spending time with family and laughing with friends, etc." She is a native of Downey.

Donna Noushkam - Is Fernando Vasquez' girlfriend who says she will "not only work hard to help advance his goals, but will work with Downey's youth to improve their participation and leadership skills." A member of Downey Kiwanis, she has a BA in political science (minor in business administration) from UCLA and a J.D. from Loyola; currently senior counsel with the law firm of Musick Peer & Garrett, LLP, she intends to formalize an annual forum for local high school juniors and seniors applying or wanting to apply for college.

********** Published: December 30, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 37