Mayor's Update

Dear Residents,

The City of Watsonville strives to provide excellent customer service. We are committed to providing programs and services that will create a safe, healthy and environmentally friendly community.

Here is a short list of the many exciting things happening in Watsonville:

Census 2020: Every 10 years, a census count of the U.S. population takes place to determine the allocation of $675 billion in federal funding and the number of seats held by each state in the House of Representatives. The next federal census is April 1, 2020 and the City is gearing up to educate all our residents on the importance of the Census and how it directly impacts the funding Watsonville will receive over the next ten years. The Census data will be used to support community initiatives and infrastructure for our city. This means new roads, schools, jobs, services for seniors, children and youth, emergency services, housing programs, Medicaid, Head Start funding, school lunch programs and so much more. Participation in the 2020 Census is easy, and important. Census forms will begin arriving in mid-March 2020.  Watsonville could potentially lose millions of dollars in federal funding every year, for ten years, if residents don’t complete the Census forms. Services, infrastructure and development opportunities may be impacted if all residents are not counted.  For more information, please visit our website at http://www.cityofwatsonville.org or call 831-768-3010.

Extra WPD Officers Looking for Distracted Drivers during Statewide Campaign: During the month of April, Distracted Driving Awareness Month, the Watsonville Police Department will have extra officers on patrol, looking for drivers breaking California’s hands-free cellphone law. Drivers are prohibited from using their phone in a hands-free manner. The phones must be mounted on the dashboard, windshield or center console, and can only be touched once with the swipe or tap of a finger to activate or deactivate a function. First-time offenders face a $162 fine. Distracted driving is dangerous, especially when it involves a cell phone. Preliminary data from the California Highway Patrol (CHP), shows that 66 people were killed and more than 6,500 were injured from distracted driving-related crashes in 2017. Funding for distracted driving enforcement operations is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

WPD Equipped Officers with Body-worn Cameras: The Watsonville Police Department equipped officers with body-worn cameras this summer. The City Council approved the project on March 26, 2019, after a group of officers spent months testing different body-worn cameras. $451,152.18 from Measure G and $20,575 from a federal grant will be used to purchase the 75 cameras, equipment, and software needed to run the program. “We strive for transparency and we know that the new body cams will enhance those efforts,” said Michelle Pulido, Watsonville Police Department’s Spokeswoman. For more information, please contact Michelle at 831-750-2959.

I love to hear from our community, so please feel free to email me directly at: mayor@cityofwatsonville.org.

Sincerely,

Rebecca J. Garcia



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