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Thousands U.N.I.T.E. at BBQ in Norwalk

Assemblymember Cristina Garcia and Norwalk City Councilmember Luigi Vernola were all smiles during this past weekend’s community barbeque sponsored by “U.N.I.T.E.” at the lawn at the Norwalk Civic Center.  Randy Economy Photo

Assemblymember Cristina Garcia and Norwalk City Councilmember Luigi Vernola were all smiles during this past weekend’s community barbeque sponsored by “U.N.I.T.E.” at the lawn at the Norwalk Civic Center. Randy Economy Photo

By Brian Hews
Nearly 10,000 people attended a free barbeque this past Saturday at Norwalk City Hall in which promoters focused on community harmony, safety, as well as to provide an open dialogue between members of law enforcement, local faith based organizations, city leaders, and between residents.
Planned, coordinated by sponsored by Norwalk U.N.I.T.E. The festive family oriented event featured old-fashioned grilled hot dogs, a chili cook off, bouncers, slides, a zip line, face painting, live musical performances, and more than two dozen information booths that were sponsored by individual Norwalk churches and service groups.
Residents also got vital information on how to enroll in the new government provided healthcare program “Covered California,” and to pick up tips on how to help beat the current drought, and how to save on rising electrical and gas bills.
Norwalk City Councilman Luigi Vernola, who is one of the founding members of U.N.I.T.E. donned a patriotic red, white, and blue apron and chef’s hat and talked to several of the residents attending the event that took place during a five-hour period.
“Today is dedicated to our community, our neighbors, and to the children of Norwalk,” Vernola told Hews Media Group-Community Newspaper at the event.
Vernola said that the group planned to distribute 1,000 back backs that were totally filled with back to school supplies. The veteran city council member said the “spirit of the Norwalk community is alive and well.”
Also visiting with residents in the crowd with Vernola was California State Assemblymember Cristina Garcia.
“Wow, this is an amazing turnout and so many volunteers have dedicated literally hundreds of hours to make this day possible,” Garcia said.
Vernola said that more than 4,000 hot dogs were gobbled up in the first couple of hours.
“This is what it’s all about, helping and giving back to the community. What a real Blessing,” Vernola said.

  • Smitty says:

    So who again funded the free barbecue for 10,000 people? Taxes

    Local political establishment buying votes, sort of a “free stuff awareness” festival.

    • Smitty:

      Completely paid for by private funding.


      • David Lauderdale says:

        Brian, where was the advance publicity for this wondrous event.. Nothing on your website in advance.. Nothing on the City website.. Nothing on the Norwalk Patriot website..NO community publication !!!! I want to know who and what is U.N.I.T.E.?? I couldn’t find anything regarding such a wonderful organization…I want to know how 10,000 people even heard of this event. I believe it was a special interest event..I only know as I read the agenda item to spend $1500.00 on Portable Toilets for an event at city hall.. I googled it and found nothing.. Norwalk Community BBQ ?? I find this to be absolutely obscene..This city and City Council is made of Special interests and personal agendas… I anxiously await hearing where and how I missed the advance publication of such a marvelous undertaking by my city and my elected representatives… Please respond..
        David Lauderdale

      • David Lauderdale says:

        Brian, Your statement of “Completely funded by private organizations” is not completely accurate.. Norwalk paid $1,500.00 for portable toilets and more for the staff for Public Safety and Parks & Recreation personnel.. That is NOT “completely funded by private organizations” by my definition.

    • David Lauderdale says:

      Smitty, I have to believe you are 100% correct.. Nowhere was this event publicized or advertized in any local community outlet.. It was not posted on this publication website until AFTER THE FACT.. It was not on the City Website.. GOogle Norwalk Community BBQ and tell me what you find.. And that is after you know to search for it.. Google U.N.I.T.E Norwalk and let me know what you find.. I fond NOTHING… Who are these people and how did anyone hear of this event. It is completely a political agenda special interest item only a select few 10,000 people knew of..I am once again DISGUSTED with this city administration and City Council for their personal pandering..