Gangs out of Downey
Gangs Out of Downey (GOOD) is a grass roots organization whose main goal is to prevent gang violence through awareness, education, intervention, stimulation and recognition of responsible behavior. The GOOD committee is a voluntary organization consisting of community members, local elected officials, service club representatives, police officers, local business people, city and school district staff. Through its efforts, GOOD has impacted crime and gang activity at the local high schools over the last 5 years in the following ways: 1) assaults are down 45% from its peak in 2005; 2) thefts are down 66%; 3) weapons possession are down 59%; 4) overall crime has decreased 10% on high school campuses; and 5) on average, less than 7 incidents of vandalism have been reported on each of the three participating high school campuses.
NASA Site Reuse Project
The former NASA Industrial Plant site (“NASA Site”) was one of the first aircraft production facilities in the early 1900s, home to several space exploration programs including Apollo, Skylab, and the Space Shuttle, and a major employer in the southeast Los Angeles region (over 20,000 jobs at its peak). When the facility closed in the 1900s, the City of Downey was faced with two major challenges. First, how could the City facilitate reuse of the site in an economically feasible way? Second, how could the City coordinate the cleanup of the contaminated groundwater and soil at the site and ensure that it would not sit vacant, abandoned, and neglected for many years? Through innovative and collaborative partnerships between the City, federal government, the State of California, Kaiser Permanente, and the community, the NASA site was redeveloped into a vibrant commercial and retail center, the largest movie studio in the country, an 11-acre Sports Park and a Space Center, and a state-of-the-art 352-bed hospital. The NASA site reuse project is a true example of what can be achieved through innovation and collaboration.
Keep Downey Beautiful (KDB) is a volunteer program made up of residents, business, and government officials working together to improve, enhance and maintain the environmental quality of life in Downey. Its main goal is to provide public education on a variety of issues including City beautification, graffiti, litter, recycling, water conservation, and storm drain pollution prevention. KDB’s biggest accomplishment has been to increase volunteer participation among Downey’s youth. This increase is a result of the monthly cleanups KDB offers on the third Saturday of each month. Initially, the site clean ups occurred bi-annually. KDB established the monthly cleanups in 2005 as a way to provide more opportunities for the volunteers to provide their services. Initially, participation involved 10-25 volunteers per cleanup; however, the numbers at the monthly cleanups last year increased to an average of 50 per month. Some of the cleanups generated as many as 200 volunteers, with 90% of them being young people. Keep Downey Beautiful is more than just a cleanup program for the City of Downey. A City Resolution established this vital committee in 1977; it became an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful in 1981 and an affiliate of Keep California Beautiful in 1994. KDB has also partnered with HEAL the Bay as an inland cleanup site for the last six years.