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Inside this issue: Services, programs, businesses and more!

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Published by City of Commerce, 2017-12-28 18:00:35

Commerce Connection Special Edition

Inside this issue: Services, programs, businesses and more!

Having L.A. County’s only outlet mall in Group purchased the property in 2003 and still
your backyard is indeed something to owns and operates the Outlet. The Craig
boast about, especially when it’s the Realty Group wasted no time and likely spared
impressive and iconic Citadel Outlets located no expense when it came to expanding the
just off the Santa Ana freeway, one of the property. In 2003, the Citadel underwent its
busiest thoroughfares in the state. first significant expansion, with additional ones
following in 2005 and 2010; each one making
The building and location’s rags-to-riches the Citadel even more beautiful and larger as
trajectory is a success story of epic propor- it welcomed more name brand stores and
tions, redevelopment and business acumen parking to accommodate the growing number
came together perfectly to bring an outlet to of shoppers. Each expansion was money well
an area that was sorely lacking one. The spent: The Citadel now has more than 130
Sampson Tire Company, which was built in stores and attracts millions of visitors from all
1930, originally occupied the land; it later over the state and the world each year.
became Uniroyal Tire. In 1990, the Trammell
Crow Company, while preserving the façade, Besides Coach, H&M, the Nike Factory Store
redeveloped the long-neglected site, an and a plethora of other fine stores, what else
undoubtedly massive undertaking. The is there? The Outlet boasts valet parking,
Citadel, obviously named for its Assyrian cas- hosts special shopping events, live entertain-
tle façade, opened its doors as a mixed-use ment, gift wrapping, shipping and much more.
Then, there’s Christmastime at the Citadel
office and retail space. when the Craig Realty Group brings in the
But it was the Craig Realty Group that “world’s tallest live-cut tree” and adorns the
made the Citadel Outlets the place to main building with the “world’s largest bow”
shop in L.A. County. The Craig Realty making it look like the world’s largest present.
The Citadel’s annual Tree Lighting is always a
well-attended event featuring an evening of

live performances
The Craig Realty Group or more specifi-
cally, its President/CEO Steve Craig has
been a wonderful corporate neighbor to
Commerce. Craig has held cleanup
events which help beautify the City
while supporting local organiza-
tions and his generosity has
benefitted other City programs
as well.

2 Connection

It is a privilege to present to you this special Department is among the best in California,
issue of the Commerce Connection, where providing our residents with fun, family-
we highlight all of the special programs, friendly activities that brings us all closer
events, businesses and people that make the together. Our Public Safety and Community

City of Commerce the Model City. From the Services Department is full of caring and
Commerce Library to the Transportation compassionate individuals who care about
Department, the
City of Com- the wellbeing of
everyone that

merce lives up crosses our
to our motto
“Where Quality streets. The City
Service is Our
Tradition.” has made great

strides by

improving its

The City of surface streets
Commerce is a and transporta-
community that tion infrastruc-
takes care of its ture over the last

CITY COUNCIL residents, busi- twelve months,
Oralia Y. Rebollo, Mayor nesses, and including the
Ivan Altamirano, Mayor Pro Tem visitors through Citywide
Hugo Argumedo, Councilmember various pro- Repavement
Leonard Mendoza, Councilmember grams and serv- program, the
John Soria, Councilmember
ices. completion of
Is a monthly magazine published by the The Miss the Washington
City of Commerce and mailed to Boulevard
Commerce residents. Commerce Widening Project, and the Slauson Avenue
Pageant provides young ladies from Com-
Lena Shumway merce with an opportunity to show their pride Sidewalk Improvement Project.
in their community, as well as their talent and We have accomplished so much, but there
STAFF WRITERS AND willingness to serve. The Commerce Library
PHOTOGRAPHERS provides an environment for learning, giving is still so much work to do in order to keep
Daniel Larios residents young and old an appreciation for the City of Commerce the best city in LA
Marie Hovik County for businesses and residents. When

GRAPHIC DESIGN LAYOUT the written word as well as celebrate various people come together as a community, they
& ILLUSTRATOR forms of popular culture, such as Star Wars can make things happen, and the City of
Anthony Aguilar Day and the Comic Book Invasion. Commerce is where great things happen.

To submit a story idea for publishing We provide quality free public transporta- We hope you enjoy this special issue of the
consideration, please call the
Public Information Office tion throughout the City and to Downtown LA Commerce Connection.
at 323-887-4453 or thanks to the amazing staff at the Transporta-
tion Department. Our Parks and Recreation
email [email protected]
Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.
or visit us online at

Connection 3

4 Connection

On the low hills six miles east of downtown Los Angeles, is the City of Commerce, “The Model City,” providing unique
opportunities for industry and residents alike. With 13,000 residents and a daytime population of up to 85,000 people,
Commerce covers over six and a half square miles and is bordered by Vernon, Montebello, Downey, Bell Gardens and
The City of Commerce was founded in response to area residents having a difficult time obtaining services
from the County. In a dramatic race against time, the Committee for Incorporation managed to defeat an
effort by the City of Downey to annex the Commerce area by three minutes. Local residents voted
for incorporation and County officials officially designated Commerce a City on January 28, 1960.
Since then, the City has grown to include four neighborhood parks, an award winning library
system, the nation’s first free public transit system, a state of the art aquatics center,
nationally recognized sports programs, and so much more. With no municipal or utility
taxes, the City of Commerce has an extremely business friendly environment while
at the same time providing a superior quality-of-life and a unique small-town
ambiance enjoyed by all of its citizens.
The City of Commerce offers excellent freeway and rail access to
the 1,800 businesses based in the City. Our businesses enjoy all the
benefits of being close to a major metropolitan center, without the
congestion, parking, and access issues.
For more than 57 years, the City of Commerce has been a
shining example of what an industrial city should be. Resi-
dents and businesses agree: the City of Commerce is the
place to be.

Connection 5

Commerce has a bevy of restaurants that serve delicious cui-
sine. Whether its Mediterranean food from The Mediter-
ranean Kitchen to Mexican food from Sergio’s Tacos,
Commerce is the place to be for a good dining experience. The
City is home to the World Famous Steven’s Steakhouse, a Com-
merce institution that has been a part of the Model City for more
than 60 years. Steven’s is not only the place known for outstand-
ing service and the best steaks in the nation, it is also one of LA’s
top Salsa dancing destinations.

Stop by the Commerce Casino, the largest card casino in the world with
270 tables. From beginner-friendly low-stakes games to some of the
biggest card games in the world, there is something for everyone at the
Commerce Casino. In addition to its cash game offerings, the Commerce
Casino has also built a reputation as a top tournament destination, with a number
of series throughout the year. Only a beginner? The Commerce Casino offers
free poker lessons through the Commerce Casino University of Poker program.

Come to the many retail stores ranging from friendly mom-and-pop con-
venience shops to nationally recognized brand stores. However, it would-
n’t be a Commerce experience if you didn’t visit the Citadel Outlets. The
only retail outlet center in Los Angeles County, the Citadel Outlets boasts 130
brand name stores offering 30%-70% off retail prices. Stores found in the Citadel
range from Coach and Calvin Klein to Adidas and Nike to Guess and the Gap.
In addition, the Citadel Express Bus Route delivers passengers to and from
Downtown Los Angeles for free.
6 Connection

Connection 7

Whether you’re going through your teen years or your golden years, the City of
Commerce provides special services and programs just for you. These
resources give teens and seniors a quality and affordable way to make friends,
explore their creativity, spend time outdoors, and even give back to the community.
Where these remarkable activities offered? They are all brought to you by the Teen and
Senior Centers, respectively.

The Commerce Teen Center offers a variety of recreational organized teen oriented
programs such as exercise, arts and crafts, cooking, drawing, painting, performing arts,
tournaments and dances.

The center also offers fishing, camping, beach trips and hiking excursions. The regular
excursions offered take the teens to all the hot spots in Southern California. Teen Center
staff also arrange for educational tours of colleges and universities from San Diego to
Santa Barbara. Educational workshops for career, educational goals and personal
issues affecting teens benefit teens and prepare them for the professional world.

Adventure Club is one of the largest clubs in the Teen Center and is quickly expanding
thanks to word of mouth. The Club’s mission is to explore and learn about California,
discovering what the state has to offer. By travelling to new places, teens learn about
history, geology and social skills which are helpful in becoming a positive influence in
the community. The club’s members are planning to also undergo First Aid, CPR and
emergency training so they can be prepared for every situation. Every year, the Club
takes an annual week-long summer trip to various destinations, such as Monterrey and
Morro Bay.

GirlOlogy is a club for young diverse teens and pre-teens who are positive, want to
make a difference and prepare for the future. GirlOlogy members practice a healthy
lifestyle, expand their knowledge via trips and cultural excursions, and participate in vol-
unteer projects.

The Teen Center also has its own performing arts troupe, Unplugged. The group
boasts 26 dedicated kids ranging in ages 11-18. Unplugged has showcases their talents
at a variety of City events, including the City’s 4th of July celebration and the Tree Light-
ing Ceremony. They also perform well-known musicals such as Grease. Young Com-
merce performers of all levels are welcome to join.

For more information on clubs, programs or activities at the Teen Center, come visit
or call at 323-264-4665.

8 Connection

Not to be outdone by their teen counterparts, Commerce seniors who like to keep busy
come to the Seniors Center to take advantage of the myriad activities, programs and
services offered to them. Certainly, the Seniors Center offers bingo, a fitness center,
movies, arts and craft classes, exercise classes, events with live entertainment and
dancing, but there’s much more.

Seniors who want to keep their minds sharp and their bodies fit presentations on a
variety of age-specific topics including scam prevention, maintaining balance, commu-
nicating with doctors, preserving memory, healthy eating and others.

Like the teens, seniors are offered many opportunities to get out of Commerce and
explore the state. Excursions offered by the City or one of the Center’s several social
clubs have the seniors experiencing San Diego, Santa Barbara, plays, wine tasting,
operas, shopping, lunch, concerts, movies, hiking and museums.

With so much to do, see and attend, the Commerce Seniors Center is the envy of
other cities.

For information about Senior Center activities, call 323-887-4430 or view the Senior
Messenger, the Center’s free monthly newsletter, on the City’s website at

Connection 9

Nestled amongst the towering pines of Lake Arrowhead lies a
year-round organized youth and family camp owned and
operated by the City of Commerce. For more than 56 years,
Camp Commerce has provided a tranquil and peaceful environ-
ment for Commerce residents to visit and relax, away from
the stresses of City life.
Thousands of Commerce families have made lasting
memories at Camp Commerce, but what residents may
not know is the history behind Camp Commerce.
In 1961, just one year after incorporation, the

City had the vision to purchase a camp and retreat in Residents or businesses interested in signing
the San Gabriel Mountains for residents to enjoy. In up for Camp Commerce can contact the Parks
1985, the City purchased a 2.2 acre camp located and Recreation Department for available dates at
at Lake Arrowhead that we all know today as 323-887-4434.
Camp Commerce.

“Camp Commerce has always been one
of the most popular vacation destina-
tions in the City of Commerce,” said
longtime camp director Ruben Villalo-
bos. “So many fun and happy mem-
ories have been made in this place.
Camp Commerce is the real jewel of
the Model City.” No other City in
Southern California offers their resi-

dents an amenity like Camp Commerce
at such a low cost which includes
meals, transportation, supervision and

Camp Commerce isn’t just for residents:
businesses can rent out the camp for semi-
nars, workshops, retreats or other special

10 Connection

Sports Office
The City of Commerce is full of athletes! Most children who grow up in Commerce play for one of the many sports teams;
some play for several. Children as young as 4 years old have a variety of sports to choose from: baseball, basketball, boxing,
flag football, soccer, softball, volleyball, and karate.
Commerce sports are a great way for residents of all ages to stay active and involved in the community.  The Eagles, our
senior citizen’s softball team, was started in the late 1990s and serves as a fun way for seniors to exercise, enjoy each other’s
company and keep young. The team takes practices seriously and as have earned several first-place trophies for their efforts.
Around 65% of children who play on a Commerce recreational team advance to play at a competitive level, distinguishing
themselves as serious athletes and bringing
recognition to Commerce. The City’s traveling
teams, such as Crush Volleyball, has been
successful in placing in various tournaments.
Kids who play sports for Commerce seem to
fare better in school, and there are some
who ultimately play sports at their colleges
and universities. As some Commerce stu-
dents can attest, sports have helped them
pay for their college education. The
City’s water polo and boxing programs
have produced athletes who become so
proficient in their sport that they com-
pete in the Olympics.

Connection 11

Every year, during the Annual Miss Commerce Pageant, the City of
Commerce crowns one young woman to be the official goodwill
ambassador for the community. The Miss Commerce Pageant has
been the City's crowning event and a time honored tradition.
In 1960, 37 young women competed for the chance to become the first
Miss Commerce at the Miss Commerce Pageant. Nearly 600 people saw
19 year old Linda Griffin crowned the first Miss Commerce. Since 1960, Miss
Commerce has become a community leader and role model for the young

ladies of the Model City, setting a positive example through char-
ity work and promoting higher education.
In addition, 4-7 runners up of the Miss Commerce Pageant are
chosen to be a part of the Royal Court, taking the titles of Miss Dodgers, Miss Fourth of July,
Miss Clippers, Miss Cinco de Mayo, Miss Spring and Miss Autumn. Miss Friendship is a title
chosen by the contestants themselves. Additionally, a Young Man of the Year is chosen to
serve as part of the Royal Court.
Miss Commerce and the Royal Court serve as the official ambassadors for the City, repre-
senting the community during various events throughout the year, including the Independence
Day celebration, Cinco de Mayo, Community Dodger Night, Community Clippers Night, and the
Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony.
This year’s Miss Commerce is Wiley Canjura and her Royal Court includes Young Man of the
Year Marcos Mendoza, Miss Dodgers Mayra Silva, Miss Clippers Gabriela Gomez, Miss Fourth
of July Natalie Magallon, Miss Cinco de Mayo Rosa Moreno, Miss Spring Vivian Bautista, and
Miss Autumn Gianna J. Solorzano.

12 Connection

Connection 13


Investing in the future of our children starts with early educational oppor-
tunities and availability of informational resources. The City of Commerce
is wholeheartedly committed to this endeavor, which is why there are four
outstanding public libraries throughout the City.

Library Director Beatriz Sarmiento is proud of the work being done by the

award winning Commerce Public Library system. “The Commerce Public

Library reflects the vision of the Model City by having state-of-the-art facil-

ities for quality library programs for patrons of all ages,” she said. “From

wine tasting and beer making classes for adults to puppet shows and book

clubs for kids, the Commerce Library has it all.”

One of the first facilities built in the City of Commerce, the Rosewood

Neighborhood Library underwent a complete renovation in 2014, furnished

with new equipment, easier to access resources, and comfortable seating

to relax and enjoy books. More improvements are in the pipeline, such as

the Central Library Plaza Improvement project, which will improve the

overall look of the plaza with shaded elements, improved walkways and an

updated design. Included in the design is an outdoor patio, which will

make the library a more welcoming and relaxing place for patrons to enjoy

their favorite book or lunch.

The Commerce Public Library is equipped with a dozen public access

computers, laptops that are available for borrowing up to seven days, and

access to online resources including the World Book Web Online encyclo-

pedia, popular magazines database and an onlineCloud library. Library staff

also invites everyone to utilize the 3D printer, which is available at no cost

to library patrons, and experience modern virtual reality simulations through

the Occulus Rift system.

“A lot of residents take advantage of these electronic resources since

some patrons do not have computers in their homes,” said Sarmiento. “The

Library is a vital tool for some families to access important information that

could have a profound change in their lives.”

In addition to technological resources, the Commerce Library staff pro-

vides young students with after school homework help, literacy programs,

and educational workshops. They also provide adult patrons with career

transition resources including résumé preparation help, computer

classes, and language learning software through Mango Languages.

“The Model City’s mission starts with education and investing in our kids,”

stated Sarmiento. “And we put every effort in creating that welcoming and

fun environment in our libraries with the support from our City Council.”

For more information, call the Commerce Library at 323-722-6660 or visit

14 Connection

KIA* The City of Commerce is a bastion of creativity
and artistry, which must be nurtured and devel-
Kia Harlan, 12th Grade oped, and the City has plenty of resources to
inspire and cultivate this creativity, including several art
She dared to jump
no fear of falling programs and competitions organized by the Com-
Heard the voices
her battle calling merce Public Library.
Calloused feet
on satin pillows One such endeavor was the creation of the first ever

she wore no shoes Commerce Comic Book Anthology, entitled “The Use-
to feel the willows
Her scars are braille less Anthology,” written and drawn by Commerce teens
that write her story
Her name is mine— under the mentorship of comic book creator Ryan Little.
“the Morning Glory.”
Art and poems are just some of the many creative
*Kia is an African name,
meaning “new beginnings” works our community teens produce.

HAIKU POEMS For example, the sketch by ninth

Why Humans Write grader Alejandra Navarro called

Daniel Jonson, 9th Grade “Fear Corrupts” is based on a

Writing’s essential character she is developing for
We use it to express ourselves
her novel.
and communicate
“Our teens have incredible
Summer Wishes
artistic talent and it is our duty
Paige Ayala, 9th Grade
to provide these young men and
Summer nights are gone
The cold is setting in now women the tools to express their

Warmth is what I seek creativity,” said Teen Librarian Erik

Unique You Jackiw. “It’s important for them to

Yanisha Tovar, 9th Grade have an outlet to express them-

Different is good, selves, whether it is through draw-
but you don’t always see that
ing or the written word.”
The choice is for YOU
For more information about teen
art programs, call the Commerce
Jesus Zambrano, 9th Grade
Library at 323-722-6660. “Fear Corrupts”
Dreams are important
They help us to set our goals Alejandra Navarro

and motivate us Right: “Zelda” Brianna Banuelos
Top: “Learn, Imagine, Create” Britney Castillo
Night Vision

Maria Alvarez, 9th Grade

Hoping dreams come true,
hidden beneath the covers,

the dreamer dreams on

Connection 15

Aquatic Center

The Brenda Villa Aquatic Center (BVAC), was given its
current name after Commerce resident Brenda Villa led
the US Olympic Women’s Water Polo Team to a Gold
Medal in 2012. The City of Commerce is proud to serve as
home to the City’s nationally ranked men’s and women’s water
polo teams and swim teams, which continues to train world-
class athletes. In addition to competitive team use, the BVAC
offers recreational swimming, swim lessons and water exercise
classes for adults. The two-level facility houses two indoor
heated swimming pools, locker rooms, shower facilities, dry
heat saunas, ample spectator seating, cardio room and weight
room. The children’s wading pool, located outside the Center,
is open during the summer.

16 Connection

Brenda Villa Aquatic Center
5600 Harbor St.
Commerce, CA 90040

Connection 17

The City of Commerce places great importance on helping those in need and we are all about
solutions. Our passion for our work is fueled by a desire to create lasting, positive changes
for those we serve. The City of Commerce Social Services Division staff is trained to
listen to your needs and refer you to local, state and other agencies best qualified to
assist you. Social Services staff may also communicate with these agencies on your
behalf to explain special circumstances. The following are just some of the many
social services the City of Commerce provides.


The Employment Referral Services program was established to connect the
community with local businesses that are looking to fill permanent, temporary,
full-time and part-time positions. The Employment Referral Services program is
open to all businesses and job seekers.


The Emergency Food Assistance Program through the Los Angeles Regional
Foodbank provides the city with surplus food commodities from the United
States Department of Agriculture (USDA).


During the holidays, the City of Commerce receives food donations from
local businesses. With the help of community volunteers, the food is
packaged and distributed to qualifying families.


On occasion, parents may need assistance in dealing with everyday family
problems. In partnership with Montebello Unified School District, the City
provides parenting classes. These classes are free and for adults only.


Assistance in Case Management
Delinquency Prevention
Educational Seminars
Gang Alternative and Prevention Program (GAPP)
Independent Studies (MUSD)
Ambulance Reimbursement Program
Taxi Vouchers and Bus Tokens
Low-Income Tax Preparation

Public Safety & Community Services Department
323-722-4805 ext. 4460

18 Connection

Commerce is a city of runners, which is why we host two
annual 5K runs and two annual 2K Fun Runs which are
open to the public.
The benefits of running are astounding. It is a sport that almost
anyone can do, and is probably the most beneficial to your
health. Running has been proven to help fight the aging process,
prevent muscle and bone loss caused by aging, help fight dis-
ease, strengthen the heart and lower blood pressure, relieve stress, improve your mood and make you
feel just plain good.

One of the City’s major 5K runs is the 5K Freedom Run that starts off every Fourth of July celebration.
Members of the public of all ages are invited to participate in the race which runs through the residential
area of Rosewood Park.

However, the best known 5K in Commerce is the Annual 5K Turkey Trot in November on the Saturday
before Thanksgiving. Started in 1991 as part of an effort to encourage a healthy and active lifestyle, the
Turkey Trot became a popular regional event with participants coming from throughout the Greater Los An-
geles area. More than 500 runners and walkers participate every year, running through the residential area
of Rosewood Park.

“Over the years the Turkey Trot has become a highly anticipated event,” said Sports Office Supervisor
Frank Garcia. “People get busy around the holidays so this is a great opportunity to bring the family together
for a fun and healthy activity.”

Connection 19


There’s a reason why the Model City was named Com- and various stakeholders, as well as never charging city property
merce- because Commerce means business. The City of tax, gross receipts tax, or utility tax. This combination of factors pro-
Commerce is home to over 1,800 businesses from indus- vides a clear vision for economic growth for the city.
tries ranging from manufacturing to retail. One of the main
reasons why businesses choose the City of Commerce is its con- The City of Commerce is a well-planned, urban community, which
venient location as a major transportation artery due to the City’s includes a great balance of land uses and housing. Our friendly and
close proximity to Port of Long Beach, access to railroad, and knowledgeable staff is available to assist new and existing busi-
connection to two major highways and the Washington Boulevard nesses with the tools they need to start and grow. For new busi-
corridor. nesses, the City continues to focus on ways to create a positive
climate for economic activity, which includes an expedited plan
Since its incorporation in 1960, the City has consistently review process. The Development Services team meets with
retained a pro-business philosophy by reducing business costs, prospective developers and property owners interested in undertak-
streamlining the business license and plan development review ing new projects.
process, offering a strong partnership between city leadership
The City partners with local businesses and together are shaping
20 Connection the City’s dynamic business environment and unlocking new oppor-
tunities, creating prosperity in the community and making this the
Model City.
In order to create this bright future together, significant investments
to our infrastructure are necessary to ensure the best for our resi-
dents, businesses, and visitors.

Street repairs, sidewalk upgrades and many other beautification
efforts currently underway will make Commerce a leader in our
region in terms of growth and prosperity and its also thanks to the
voter approved Measure AA half-cent sales tax increase that funds
numerous City projects.
“Because of the heavy traffic that goes through the city, we have to
make sure our infrastructure is in good shape,” said Maryam Babaki,
Director of Public Works and Development Services. “Our emphasis
on infrastructure and beautification shows residents, businesses,
and visitors that the city cares.”

The City has invested an average of $2.5 million a year on the
Pavement Management Plan, which is in full effect repairing resi-
dential neighborhood roads. Additionally, the City recently imple-

Rosewood Park Connectivity Project Rendering mented a Sidewalk Repair Program citywide to
provide safe and reliable walkways for pedestri-

Our projects not only create better street con-
ditions, they also win awards for innovative and
groundbreaking ideas. The Eastern Avenue
Pavement Rehabilitation Project won the 2017
Outstanding Local Streets and Roads Project
Award for the “Efficient and Sustainable Road
Maintenance, Construction and Reconstruction
Projects” Category. In addition, the $45 million
Washington Boulevard Widening Project
received the American Public Works Associa-
tion’s “Best of” Award in the Transportation cate-
gory for cities with a population of 50,000 or less.

Other projects still in progress include safety
and beautification improvements to Atlantic
Boulevard and Sheila Street, rehabilitation and
upgrade of the Veterans Park Recreation Build-
ing, and several others.

One of the priorities is to balance the industrial
and residential areas, providing residents with
neighborhood connectivity, walking trails, and
conveniently located recreational areas. A multi-
use trail in Rosewood Park will increase intercity

Award-winning Washington Boulevard Widening Project

Connection 21

connectivity through the creation of vehicular,
bicycle, and pedestrian paths for the commu-

The City is in the middle of a complete
makeover with the approval of several beautifi-
cation projects. The Neighborhood Banner pro-
gram has been a success, showcasing the rich
history of the different Commerce neighbor-
hoods. To supplement this program, the City is
establishing a Military Banner program, to honor
military personnel from Commerce.
The beautification efforts in the City also include
a significant art element. The City’s pilot Utility
Box art program was so well received that ad-
ditional utility boxes throughout the City will dis-
play works from local artists, creating public art
and beautifying public space. In addition, the
City has passed an Art in Public Places ordi-
nance, which will not only provide employment
opportunities for local artists, but will also
strengthen community pride and enhance the
beauty of the City.
The City of Commerce is currently in a state of
renewal, bringing improvements to infrastruc-
ture and public spaces to attract new busi-
nesses, consumers and a sense of communal
pride to our residents.

For more information on ongoing projects,
beautification programs, services, and re-
sources for business assistance, call the De-
partment of Public Works at 323-887-4451.

22 Connection

The City of Commerce believes we have a land uses that emit air toxins into sensi-
responsibility to act as stewards of our tive uses, and helping businesses via
environment, which is why work is voluntary retrofit programs and provide
underway on implementing the City’s non-financial incentives for businesses to
Green Zones Action Plan. The Action shift to non-polluting industrial programs.
Plan focuses on strengthening the City’s In addition, the Action Plan identifies tax
long term environmental and financial incentives to attract new, green businesses, and
sustainability and is one of the first pilot to create workforce development oppor-
programs of its kind in the nation. Com- tunities to increase the employability of
merce is now known as a leader in local workers and provides adequate
enviornmentally-friendly eco- infrastructure to support future economic
nomic development. and community health

As an industrial city, keeping In fact, items such as the business
a clean and sustainable envi- retrofit program, pollution reduction
ronment has always been a pri- resources, and the establishment of a Green
ority. Creation of a plan was a Zone are all designed to save money for
long and well thought out Commerce businesses while lowering
process that included residents, our impact on the environment.
consultants, businesses, and other
stakeholders. The final product The Green Zones Action Plan is so
approved by the City Council in innovative and comprehensive that it won
2013 laid out strategies and programs
that would allow businesses to become environmen- the “Hard Won Victory” award from the
tally sustainable without affecting their bottom line by encour- American Planning Association, recog-
aging green economic development, preventing the intrusion nizing our City staff’s tireless work and dedication towards a
more sustainable Model City.

For more information on the Green Zones
Action Plan, contact the Department of
Public Works and Development Services
at 323-887-4451.

Connection 23

Since 2012, the Citadel Express buses have been transporting an Employees take the Citadel Express buses, which are powered by
average of 10,000 residents, tourists and business professionals compressed natural gas, to commute to and from their jobs at the
each month to such major destinations as L.A. Live, Union Sta- Citadel Outlets, Commerce Casino & Hotel, or other nearby places
tion, the Commerce Casino & Hotel, and of course, the Citadel Outlets. of employment. It is convenient for transit riders transferring from
By establishing the route, the City Council saw an advantageous Metrolink trains and Metro buses in downtown Los Angeles. The
opportunity to increase sales tax revenue for both Commerce and Los buses also bring downtown Los Angeles visitors to the Citadel Out-
Angeles. The Citadel Express is funded 100% by the MTA and Federal lets and Commerce Casino & Hotel.
Transit Administration and lowers emissions by keeping fewer vehicles
on the road while providing riders with convenient direct service to key Because the Citadel Express buses stop at Union Station, travelers
commercial areas. can connect to Metrolink, Amtrak, and LAX FlyAway which is bus
service to LAX. Once they reach Union Station, Dodger fans can
The Citadel Express route took just one year to get up and running. catch the Metro Dodger Stadium Express which will get them to the
Ridership sharply increased a year after the route’s inception as com- stadium and spare them from having to pay for parking.
muters discovered a whole new way to get to their destinations for free
and without many of the stops that would prolong their commute if they The Citadel Express bus is a safe, convenient way to get you to
were to utilize regular bus transportation. and from your entertainment and business destinations quickly…and
it’s free.

24 Connection

SafeKEEPING Emergency Preparedness

The City of Commerce receives quality public safety service via contract with the The Emergency Preparedness Office is respon-
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for law enforcement services and with sible for coordinating the City’s emergency
the Los Angeles County Fire Department for firefighting and other related services. response such as securing and distributing sand
But that’s only the beginning. In addition to these contracted services, the City augments bags, directing the Emergency Operations Cen-
its safety plan with a variety of services and programs to ensure a safe, prepared and ter and overseeing emergency preparedness
thriving community, including more than a dozen Community Safety Officers who help training.
patrol and maintain a safe environment in the Model City.
Urban Search and Rescue Team
Captain Chris Perez of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said Commerce
has seen more than a 5% decrease in violent crimes in the past year while these types (USAR)
of crimes have been trending up across the state. He lauds City officials and staff for The USAR Team consists of trained employees
being supportive of public safety and said, “We have a great relationship with the Com- who elect to be on-call to respond to disasters
munity Services Officers and are looking at ways of expaning our partnership with them.” in the City.


(Community Emergency Response Team)
CERT volunteers receive a variety of training in
disaster preparedness, damage assessment,
extinguishing small fires, light search and res-
cue operations to assist their neighbors.


(Commerce Community Assistance Team)
These trained volunteers assist with Public
Safety functions ranging from operating City
radios, fingerprinting children for Operation Kid
Identification, patrols, reporting hazards, Neigh-
borhood Watch and other events.

Animal Control

Animal Control Officers handle stray, lost and
dangerous animals in the City and educate the
public about animal safety.

Rabies Clinic

As a way to foster rabies vaccinations for dogs,
the City holds an annual Rabies Clinic in June.
For a nominal fee, a local veterinarian adminis-
ters needed vaccinations that help keep our
City‘s dogs and community safe from rabies.

Neighborhood Watch

The Citywide Neighborhood watch program
meets several times throughout the year in var-
ious Commerce neighborhoods to discuss
safety-related issues and concerns.

Code Enforcement

Code Enforcement Division staff keeps the com-
munity safe by ensuring that residential and
industrial areas are compliant with the Com-
merce Municipal Code.

Public Safety and Community Services

Connection 25


“Sometimes real superheroes wood Park while being cheered on and pep- Commerce special needs advocacy doesn’t
live in the hearts of small pered with colored powder that made the just affect our community, but is also creating
crowd cheer in fun celebration. The grand ripples nationwide. Cisneros and his family
children fighting big battles” marshals of the run were a group of young flew to Washington D.C. to support the Global
Commerce residents who either had physical Down Syndrome Foundation at a Congres-
–Zig Ziglar or developmental conditions. sional hearing on Down Syndrome. The hear-
ing explored how Down syndrome research
In order to provide a safe and welcoming en- At a City Council meeting during Down Syn- can improve the lives of people with the con-
vironment to all residents with diverse abili- drome Awareness Day, 4-year-old Jose Cis- dition and lead to new treatments for life alter-
ties and needs, the City of Commerce neros was recognized for his tremendous ing medical conditions, such as Alzheimer’s
provides services and events that celebrate courage and indomitable spirit as a Com- disease.
the diversity of the people in the community. merce resident living with Down syndrome.
This year, the Commerce City Council estab- The highlight of the night was the appearance “Americans with Down syndrome and their
lished a Special Needs Commission to help of Superman, who flew in from Metropolis to families deserve to know that the U.S. govern-
people with special needs in the community to present Jose with gifts and a certificate of ment is investing in the research aimed at
lead a full and healthy life. recognition. improving their quality of life,” said Jose
Gomez, father of Jose Cisneros.
The first day of summer in Commerce started The Commerce City Council promotes
off with the SummerFest Summer Kick Off awareness and advocacy for various other For more information on events and pro-
event. The extravaganza began with the 2K groups of residents with special needs year grams for residents with special needs, please
Abilities Color Run. Hundreds of residents in round, including National Autism Month in contact the Social Services Division at 323-
white clothing run 2 kilometers around Rose- April, National Deaf Awareness Week in Sep- 887-4460.
tember, and much more.

26 Connection


For many years, the Commerce community terns. These volunteers learn video and industry.
has received its news, entertainment, City audio production, editing, graph-
event coverage and council meetings ics, camera work, sound Because learning in Commerce
through Landmark TV’s Channels 3 and 32. In engineering and directing
addition to these government access television production from City starts at a young age, the
channels, the City provides a livestream staff, who have
through the Commerce website and uses social extensive experi- Cable TV Division offers
media to increase communication and foster ence in broadcast
transparency. production. Teen and Little Broad-
Graduates of
With the mission statement “Educate, inform, the volunteer casters classes,
entertain and involve all stakeholders,” the program have
Commerce Cable TV production team has cre- gone to work in designed to teach
ated an effective communication tool for provid- the television
ing viewers with informative and entertaining production children and teens
local programming. Forty locations throughout industry and
the city are wired to the cable TV studio’s video news stations broadcasting fun-
control room, allowing for live cable broadcasts such as FOX,
and webstreaming throughout the City, provid- ABC, and other damentals.
ing a variety of programs to attract and maintain City cable stations
a strong and reliable viewing audience. Just a in Torrance and Shows produced
few series examples are Commerce City News, Santa Monica, which
Adopt-A-Pet, and In a Council Minute. makes the program in from both
high demand by those who
Our cable production team brings residents are to pursuing a career in the classes are aired
and businesses the best in local programming
with the help of dedicated volunteers and in- on the City’s

cable channel.

After you watch

the City’s Cable

Channel and see

the quality of pro-

gramming offered,

you too will become a

member of our growing

audience. To learn more

about the Cable TV division,

please call 323-887-4478.

Connection 27

A Dream Realized

For brothers Alfredo and Max Aragon, tions. Max Aragon, who serves as Il Saggio’s entrees, in particular, the Ossobuco di Vitello
opening Il Saggio Italian Restaurant was manager, said he and his family found the (veal shank) and Spaghetti Frutti di Mare
a dream come true. The brothers got City’s planning staff to be attentive and very (spaghetti seafood) and Risotto ai Frutti di
their start working in food service as dish- Mare (risotto with seafood), to name a few.
helpful in answering their many The favorite appetizer is proving to be the
washers approximately 20 years ago. questions and guiding Calamari Fritti (fried squid). Regardless of
them through the what dish is ordered, all the food is prepared
Through perseverance and process of zon- fresh daily and is served to look both appeal-
ing clearance ing and unbelievably succulent.
hard work, the brothers and preparing
for the busi- Now that their dream has finally been real-
earned many promo- ness’ inspec- ized, the Aragon brothers invite everyone to
tion. dine at Il Saggio, the only non-fast food Italian
tions, and although ll Saggio, restaurant in the City. In addition to being able
named after the to accommodate parties of up to 40, the
they were satisfied in herb sage, manages to restaurant also offers free delivery.

their hard-earned exude elegant ambiance “Everybody is welcome to dine with us; give
while remaining wholly unpreten- us a chance to serve you,” Max asserts. “Peo-
positions, they tious, which can undoubtedly be attributed to ple will be happy and satisfied with our food
Max’s wife and daughter who lovingly deco- and our service.”
dreamt of opening rated and otherwise oversaw the restaurant’s
interior design. Il Saggio is located at 5427 E. Washington
their own restaurant. Alfredo Aragon is one of the chefs. Although Blvd.
the restaurant has only recently opened its
While driving through doors, patrons are already favoring certain

Commerce one day, a

“For Lease” sign on a building

on Washington Boulevard compelled the

brothers to make inquiries about the location.

At the time, the owner of the buidling was in

the midst of negotiating a lease with someone

else, but the Aragons would not be deterred.

Their patience paid off when the deal feel

through and they were able to begin negotia-

28 Connection

When it comes to poker and card games, no one does it ting to speak with and contribute to the future academic success of some
better than the Commerce Casino, which routinely draws of the most talented and accomplished students in our community
approximately 9,000 visitors daily from all around
the globe to the Model City. is personally and professionally rewarding.”
The Commerce Casino generously donates $50,000 to
Established in 1983, the Commerce Casino is the scholarship’s budget annually. Over the past year,
known as the largest card room in the world 52 of the highest achieving students in Commerce
with over 270 tables and regularly hosts were awarded a scholarship. As a dedicated
several poker tournaments, including community partner for more than 25 years,
the LA Poker Open, the California the Commerce Casino has contributed over
State Poker Championship, and the $1,000,000 to the City’s scholarship pro-
Los Angeles Poker Classic. Be- gram, helping hundreds of students
sides the main card room, guests fund their education.
can stay in one of 200 rooms in The Commerce Casino also helps the
the Crowne Plaza Hotel, enjoy a City of Commerce sponsor various
day spa, beauty salon, pool and other events and programs, including
sundeck, banquet rooms, shops the Children’s Christmas Party, Senior
and entertainment venues. Holiday Breakfast Party, the Library’s
Summer Reading Program, Clippers
The Commerce Casino has Community Night, Dodgers Community
several restaurants, including the Night, Summer Safety Fair, Relay for
323 Bistro, the Arena Sports Bar Life, Fourth of July celebration, and reg-
and Grill, and the Commerce Café. ularly hosts the Miss Commerce Pageant,
The Casino hosts live boxing, MMA, which also grants $2,500 to the Queen
Professional Wrestling events, and Scholar and $1,200 to the Young Man of the
more. Year. The weekly Senior Sunday Brunches are
one of the most popular attractions for Commerce
For over 30 years, the Commerce Seniors.
Casino has been a strong supporter and The Commerce Casino’s philanthropy has augmented
enthusiastic sponsor of various Commerce
community events and programs, chief among many of the city’s programs and events which has greatly ben-
them is the City of Commerce Scholarship Program. efitted the City of Commerce community. This is why the City and the
Casino have developed an invaluable partnership.
“It has been a great honor – and one of my favorite responsibil-
ities – to participate in the Scholarship Program,” said John Griffo, Connection 29
Director of Business Development at the Commerce Casino. “Get-



The implementation of an automated Intelligent
Transportation System automatically records
passengers boarding and alighting at each bus
stop, counts passengers, tracks buses and
ridership and allows for the exploration of new
route configurations in order to better serve

Fare-free Commerce transportation system
accomodates over 500,000 passengers each
year and is always looking for ways to expand


The City’s pilot security camera program allowed
240 households to acquire and install security

camera via a $500 rebate. The program provides
a safe and reliable tool for residents and helps
prevent crime.

The Public Safety program was enhanced by
increasing the hours of patrol coverage,

including the addition of four Community Services
Officers/Community Safety Assistants.


Parks and Recreation 21% Budgetary Breakdown by Department Community Services 5%
Fire Protection Services 18% Administration 4%
Law Enforcement Services 13% Finance 4%
Other Expenditures: 16% Public Works 11%
Library 6% Human Resouces 2%

30 Connection



Bringing the community together is accomplished
by hosting more than a dozen special events
such as the Cinco de Mayo Celebration, 4th of
July Celebration and Community Tree Lighting
each year.

More than 14 excursions are offered each year
to enrich the lives of Commerce residents.

Children acquire basic scholastic and social skills
while they are enrolled in the Preschool and Tiny
Tots programs.


FY 2017
Major repairs included 835 potholes and 6,403
total linear feet of sidewalk.

The Washington Boulevard project has been
largely completed and included many

improvements such as the addition of bus shelters
and 195 new street lights.

The Capital Improvement Project budget for the
upcoming year is over $10 million to improve
infrastructure such as Garfield Avenue, Sheila
Street and Atlantic Boulevard improvements,


Commerce Casino 42%
Sales Taxes 32% - Generated from retail businesses such as Costco, the Citadel Outlets,

Target, etc. and business-to-business sales transactions
Other Taxes/Fees 26%
Connection 31

2535 Commerce Way
Commerce, CA 90040 U.S. POSTAGE


Mayor Oralia Y. Rebollo
Mayor Pro Tem Ivan Altamirano
Councilmember Hugo A. Argumedo
Councilmember Leonard Mendoza

Councilmember John Soria

City of Commerce 2535 Commerce Way Commerce, CA 90040 • 323-722-4805 Fax 323- 888-6841 •

Stay Connected

Want up to the minute updates and photos on City programs, If you’re looking for some reasonably-priced, good grub,
events, and occasional resident achievements? Follow the City of the City of Commerce has two Snack Bars offering a va-
riety of food such as sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs,
Commerce on social media. corn dogs, fries, nachos and salad. For those who want a
quick snack, ice cream, chips, candy, yogurt, fruit and pop-
Facebook: City of Commerce corn are also available. There’s even an “About a Buck”
Twitter: @CityOfCommerce menu, too.
Instagram: CityofCommerce
Check out the menu in the current Parks and Recreation
Flickr: CommerceCA Brochure or stop by your nearest Snack Bar and see what
you’re in the mood for.

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