Mayor’s Update, April 2019

From Watsonville Mayor Francisco "Paco" Estrada:

Summer in the City Internship Program: The City of Watsonville, County Office of Education and the Pajaro Valley Unified School District (PVUSD) have partnered together to offer this unique internship opportunity. This program will provide 21 incoming juniors and seniors attending a PVUSD high school an opportunity to gain career ready skills, foster interest in leadership and civic matters and create a voice for youth to address real city issues. This three week program will run from June 17 to July 5, and upon completion students earn a $500 stipend and 2.5 elective credits. The deadline to apply is May 3 by 5 p.m. The program information and application can be found at Contact Elizabeth Padilla at 768-3018 information.

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 10 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 10 years, if residents don’t complete the Census forms. Services, infrastructure and development opportunities may be impacted if all residents are not counted. For information, please visit our website or call 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 Equipping Officers with Body-worn Cameras this Summer: The Watsonville Police Department will be equipping officers with body-worn cameras this summer. The City Council approved the project on March 26, 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 750-2959.

Easter Eggstravaganza & Egg Hunt: Join us for Easter fun on Saturday from 1-5 p.m. at Pinto Lake City Park located at 451 Green Valley Road. We will have activities, food trucks, jump houses, a visit from the Easter Bunny himself and an egg hunt to wrap up the day! For information, visit or call 768-3240.

Earth Day/Day of the Child: Families are invited to the 17th Annual Earth Day/Day of the Child Festival on April 28 from noon-4 p.m. at the Watsonville City Plaza. There will be over 70 booths of free games and crafts, music, food, entertainment and education. For information, call Tami Stolzenthaler at 768-3107.

Wheels Car Show @ Watsonville Airport: Join us on April 27 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Watsonville Airport. There is still time to register your car or truck – registrations are due April 15. Visit to register or call 768-3575 for information.

Wine, Beer and Art Walk: The City of Watsonville and the Pajaro Valley Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture are pleased to partner together to present our 2nd Annual Wine, Beer and Art walk on May 11th from 1-5 p.m. Event goers will receive a wine glass, a tote bag and passport book featuring all downtown locations for one tasting at each site. Eighteen locations in all. Get your tickets today on Eventbrite at:

I love to hear from our community, so please feel free to email me directly at: [email protected]


Francisco “Paco” Estrada is the mayor of Watsonville. His opinions are his own and not necessarily those of the Register-Pajaronian.


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