Greetings Downey Family and Friends,As I reflect on this past year, I wanted to reach out to express my appreciation and also update you on some very exciting City news that has recently transpired. I cannot help but to feel blessed and grateful for having the opportunity to serve as Mayor of the great City of Downey. I have had the pleasure of meeting so many of you and truly enjoy getting to know my fellow Downey residents. It amazes me how many wonderful people we have in town and this just goes to show why Downey is such a special place to all of us. Our City thrives because of the commitment and dedication of residents like yourselves that take great pride in making sure Downey remains the vibrant community that it has always been known for. We stand out from communities that surround us because we have made it very clear that quality of life is one of our highest priorities. From our fine Police and Fire Departments, to our distinguished Downey Unified School District, revitalized Downtown area, and business-friendly approach, we have made it clear that we want nothing but the best for our City. I take an immense amount of pride in representing my City as your Mayor and it is an experience that I hold very dear to my heart. I love my City. I love what we stand for. We are a Character Counts community and we lead by example. I would like to sincerely thank all of you for allowing me the opportunity to serve as your Mayor. Moving on to some exciting news...yesterday (Thursday) we finally broke ground to begin construction for the much anticipated The Promenade at Downey, which will be built on the former Downey Studios site off of Lakewood Blvd. Folks, this new 1.5 million square foot development project will help boost our local economy and significantly impact not only our City, but our entire region. Bringing close to 3,000 construction jobs and 1,500 permanent jobs to our City, The Promenade at Downey will serve as a pedestrian oriented, lifestyle center featuring a variety of premiere retailers, restaurants and cafes, and office space. In fact, one of our confirmed tenants is now Cinemark, a 14-screen cinema studio. We will be announcing more as we get confirmation so stay tuned! Very exciting project for our City and region. It will not be taking away from any of our current malls or retailers and the new businesses will be companies our residents want. It is three times larger than Downey Landing to put things in perspective. The Promenade's unique contemporary design style and enhanced features include decorative fountains, landscape gardens, and outdoor seating, while saluting and capturing Downey's rich aerospace history. It is a project that will blow us away and make us very proud. My Mayor's Healthy Downey initiative is something that I take great pride in and feel that it has already truly made an impact in our community. At my weigh-in this past council meeting it showed I have now lost 80 pounds. Healthy Downey is working and I feel great. Aimed at promoting healthy living and nutrition, and education, Healthy Downey has made great progress in its first year of implementation and that is thanks to the commitment of all of our wonderful partners. The level of collaboration has been incredible and we have definitely taken Healthy Downey to another level. Many firsts in our City this year: Bike to School Day, Healthy Downey 5K, YMCA afterschool programming for health, Healthy National Night Out, Shop with a Nutritionist, and my Mayor's Walking Wednesdays are just a few of the programs that have been carried out through Healthy Downey. As a matter of fact, we will be having our first "Turkey Ride" the Saturday after Thanksgiving (Nov. 30). Working with one of our Healthy Downey partners, the Downey Bicycle Coalition, our first Turkey Ride will take place throughout different street surfaces in town and will be open to all those who wish to burn off that Thanksgiving dinner and have safe and fun family activity. It will be a great way to get active and stay healthy even after the big Thanksgiving feast. I invite you to join us! I will be there, with my bike and helmet. Look for more details in next week's paper. Speaking of firsts, what a great year for Downey: dedicated our new Treasure Island Park, first Dia De Los Muertos ( over 7,000 people attended), walking track opening at Wilderness Park, redoing Brookshire Park, Master Parks Plan, Master Bike Plan, Golden Park concert and outdoor movie night, Council planning session, Council bus tour, Memorial Day commemoration at Veterans Memorial City Hall, beautification of our community through art, Make Music Downey, Telegraph Road street improvement dedication, and became an All American City. Great things, thanks to everyone. Most importantly, our residents and staff working with my colleagues on the City Council. Last week we welcomed Sarah Brightman to our Challenger Learning Center inside our Columbia Memorial Space Center. She visited our Space Center to see how special our learning center can be to our youth. We then were able to give a tour of our Inspiration Shuttle to several elementary schools. I love our history and I love teaching about it to our next generation. This is always one of my favorite things to do. Thank you to all of you who joined us for our annual Veterans Day ceremony. It was a great day to celebrate and honor all of our beloved veterans and many thanks to our special guests speakers - Captain Victor Shen, Rick Rodriguez Sr., his son Rocky Rodriguez and our Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard. We specifically dedicated our ceremony to our dear friend, Mr. Kenneth Drake, who recently passed away at the age of 96. Mr. Drake was a true hero who fought in three wars - World War II, Korean War and Vietnam. I personally knew Mr. Drake and shared some very fond memories with him. We will miss him. I also had a great time at the Chili Cook Off last Sunday hosted by the Downey Chamber of Commerce in honor of our veterans. I served as a judge, which might explain not losing another pound or two. Fun and good chili too. It was great to see our Warrior Built organization along with service dogs helped by Living Tree Foundation and founder Rick Rodriguez. Thank you, Downey Chamber, for putting this event together. Thank you Downey friends and family for being my neighbors. Once again, I look forward to hearing from you. Feel free to call or write. You may reach me on my personal cell number at (562) 706-4114, my City Hall number (562) 904-7274 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All my best, God bless, Mayor Mario A. Guerra
********** Published: Nov. 14, 2013 - Volume 12 - Issue 31