Manuel “Manny” Valenzuela, a member of the Planning Commission, is running for City Council.
Written by JASON WU / Published February 18, 2011
Manuel “Manny Valenzuela” III is a relatively unusual resident, in terms of those who grew up in Temple City. Whereas his friends have left the City after high school to find jobs, Valenzuela has stayed.
Today, Valenzuela is the youngest candidate running for one of three spots in the March 8 City Council election.
A graduate of Temple City High School, Valenzuela attended the University of California, Irvine, where he majored in Political Science. He is also in the process of completing a Master’s degree in Public Administration, with coursework in Finance, Economic Development, and Ethics.
Valenzuela endeavors to restore the small-town atmosphere and quality of life in Temple City, something that has been arguably in decline recently. His current work with grant-funded programs and parks development for the city of Glendale gives him a thorough understanding of how Temple City could improve in such areas.
“Our downtown is in decay, and without a proactive approach to plan for and attract new businesses, we won’t see true progress for years to come,” Valenzuela said. “I believe that my work experience in City Planning and Community Development, my civic experience serving on the city’s Planning Commission, and my work with Temple City non-profits for the last 12 years will help guide me in making important decisions to improve our downtown and community.”
Valenzuela believes, like most other candidates, that the most distressing issue that Temple City faces at this time is the downtown Las Tunas area.
“There was a time when our downtown met our basic daily needs with local favorites like McVey’s Hardware, Temple City Stationary, Norma’s Pie-N-Burger, Cool’s Candies, and Liebergs. Now, it is a struggle for many residents to shop here.” Valenzuela said. “The best way to tackle the erosion of our downtown is to actively engage the business community and residents, and be proactive in bringing in businesses that residents desire such as a theater, bookstore, and restaurants.
Redevelopment is a huge issue impacting our city. Each candidate has a different perspective and idea proposed to bring about redevelopment in the city.
“Based on my analysis, I believe that updating our current Downtown Specific Plan to include Rosemead Boulevard will help us achieve our vision for a vibrant small-town downtown that serves our basic needs.” Valenzuela said. “As a Council candidate, I have also proposed re-establishing our Business Retention & Attraction program to pursue a theater, bookstore, and restaurants”
Valenzuela has stated explicitly at both City Council forum that he intends to only run for this term only, because he believes that action must be taken now.
“I chose to remain here in Temple City because this is my hometown. I was very fortunate to grow up here, participate in the city’s recreational programs and AYSO, and graduate from Temple City schools.” Valenzuela said. “With work experience in City Planning, Community Development, and Parks Development, I have a responsibility to give back to the community that has given so much to me.”