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We Hear You America: Mayors of the Week

Meet some local leaders are working to make their towns even better — and maybe earn a WHYA prize along the way.

Mayor Louie Aguiñaga, South El Monte, CA

What’s makes South El Monte special?

The City of South El Monte is a very family-oriented and friendly community. We pride ourselves on knowing that through hard times the community will get together and help each other out.   I make it a priority to know everyone in this community and make sure the families are growing up safe, happy and healthy. This year alone we have changed our city-hall policy on providing junk food at city events as an example to residents.  We are very involved in this new direction to a healthier and happier way of living through healthier vending and more active family events such as bike rides with the Mayor and Council.

If South El Monte is a Reader’s Digest We Hear You America winner in 2012, what’s a city project that could use the funds and promotional support and why?

The City of South El Monte has been trying for several years to get our youth a skate park, and a family gym.  We do not have these facilities anywhere near our city so we are in desperate need of funding to provide an inexpensive way for families to get healthy. We have applied for grants to add safe walkways and bicycle routes but have been turned down due to budget constraints.

Can you share any ways you plan to get others to vote for South El Monte?

Our community is very involved on our city Facebook page.  We can definitely get the word out and ask for support on the Facebook page, plus the city newspaper, webpage and reader board.

Mayor Rudy Wright, Hickory, NC

What makes Hickory special?

Its people – industrious, self-sustaining, always anxious to help
their neighbors and willing to accept things they can’t change.  We are
also blessed with a wonderful climate!

If Hickory is a We Hear You America winner in 2012, do you know where the money will go?

Yes! It’s very important that we maintain help lines to people who
find themselves in less fortunate circumstances. So we want to expand
the service levels and capabilities of the dental care element at
Cooperate Christian Ministry. For $40,000, we can fulfill this dream!

What can you share with others who want their towns to be heard?

We had fun with last year’s “We Hear You, America” campaign, and
learned some things that really worked. One is Facebook: On my Facebook
page, people would post that they voted for our town and I enjoyed
responding that they needed to go out and get 10 more people to vote! If
we had gotten the word out earlier, we may have won.

Originally Published in Reader's Digest