Mayor Tasha Cerda started off this year’s State of the City by reiterating the aim to make Gardena the most desirable city to live in by focussing on community outreach and service, community economic development, financial stability, transportation, city facilities and infrastructure, workforce development, and community safety. “If COVID-19 has taught us anything, that is that we can’t do any of this alone,” Cerda said from the state. “Our focus for 2021 was to continue enhancing our partnerships with our local community groups, local businesses, local schools, and working collaboratively with city departments.” Mayor Cerda spoke about successful events such as the city’s first pet rescue event, and the Rotary Club’s free Thanksgiving meals. Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the city saw the return of its jazz festival, with 6,500 people attending. “Our team was able to execute in a little over three months from start to finish,” said Cerda. “This was a team effort that could not have been done without the Jazz Festival committee and our former council member, state senator and jazz festival founder Steven Bradford.” The annual Food, Wine and Brew Festival also returned this year, which proved extremely popular. Cerda heralded the city for working so seamlessly in a virtual environment during the pandemic and its subsequent and necessary restrictions. She highlighted some of the construction projects, retail and otherwise, that will be coming to the city soon. The Mayor also spoke about the success of the 7X Stadium Express transportation to the SoFi Stadium. Chief of Police Mike Saffell spoke from the stage, thanking the council for their leadership and vision. He also read out the department’s new inclusion policy: “We operate as ‘One Team, One Community’ and are committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive working environment where we value and develop employees of all backgrounds and experiences.” “We’re all bound by the collective enthusiasm that this is the best city anywhere,” said Chief Saffell in conclusion.