BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Despite problems with increasing vandalism and homelessness in Downtown Bakersfield, the Downtown Business Association celebrated the success stories of the area.
The group hosted its annual State of Downtown breakfast Thursday morning.
Councilman Andrae Gonzales’ second ward includes the Downtown area and noted that construction on the 24th Street widening project is expected to wrap up this summer.
He adds the DBA continues to combat homelessness and vandalism through its initiatives like empowerment meetings and the Block to Block project.
Officials say since the program started a year ago, there are now 70 block captains that represent 500 businesses.
“They are like the neighborhod watch. They are the eyes and ears for Downtown,” director of Public Affairs of Downtown, Cathy Butler said. “It’s growing, and it’s exciting becuase we have it from Jim Burke Ford to the Salvation Army and now Old Town Kern. So it’s an exciting time.”
Butler was also honored for her 45 years of service with the DBA.
KGET was a sponsor of the event.
17’s Maddie Janssen and Alex Fisher emceed the event.