Artesia Mayor Tony Lima welcoming all to the event said it was an honor that the Indian-American business community had chosen Artesia as its hub. Congratulating the community he said India’s freedom had been won with blood, sweat and tears. He proceeded to disclose plans for the development of Artesia aimed at changing the dynamics of the city and giving a fillip to business in the area. The Artesia train station to be located at Pioneer and 187th Street was being designed. This will be the last station on the corridor starting from Union Station in downtown Los Angeles. Plans were also afoot for the renovation of Pioneer Blvd which include development of a promenade, a wider family friendly pedestrian area.
The city plans on hosting an annual International Street Fair in October. This year it will be held on Oct 3 and 4. This will be a signature event promising to draw thousands to the city. Artesia also plans to develop and design mix-use buildings with offices/professional spaces on the lower levels and condos on top. California Assemblyman Tony Mendoza’s loud ‘Namaste’ was well received by the audience. Mendoza who is running for the California Senate thanked the community for their constant support saying he always has their interest in mind. Artesia Mayor Pro-Tem Mayor Miguel Canales said it was an honor that the community had decided to celebrate Independence Day at the Park for the second year. The celebrations at the Park last year had taken place after the hiatus of a decade. In a rousing speech Harry Sidhu, wishing the audience in Hindi and Punjabi said it was a great day in America and Artesia as hundreds of Indian-Americans across the nation were celebrating Independence Day and the era of freedom and liberty this ushered in. Sidhu who is currently a member of the Orange County Water District Board spoke on the severe drought conditions in California and appealed to all to save every drop of water.
West Hollywood Council Member Jeffrey Prang who is in the running for Los Angeles County Assessor in November, lauded the immense contribution of Indian-Americans to their adopted country saying they chose to be Americans and took this commitment seriously and worked hard to be contributing citizens. He presented a certificate of recognition to FIA President Ramesh Mahajan on behalf of West Hollywood. Jim McDonnell who is heading the Long Beach Police Dept. along with his wife dressed in a dazzling Indian outfit, spoke of making Artesia a safer city and making the police force more community friendly and approachable. McDonnell is running for the office of Los Angeles Sheriff. Dr Shin Liu on the Cerritos College Board of Directors spoke on the high value placed by Indian-Americans on education. Running for re-election she called for support.
Ramesh Mahajan on behalf of FIA calling the day auspicious said it was with great pride that this celebration was hosted for the second year along with the City of Artesia. Paying tribute to the hundreds of martyrs who gave their lives for freedom he urged the audience to keep this historic event alive and inculcate the significance of freedom in their children. India’s Independence Day is celebrated by the diaspora all over the world along with around 250,000 Indian-Americans in Southern California. He extended special thanks to the City of Artesia for once again co-hosting the celebrations. FIA Chairperson Rashmi Shah welcomed and introduced the special guests as did Kamini Khare. The audience was treated to a multicultural and multireligious entertainment segment which showcased the talent of local youth and included dance and music. Vendors at the large number of booths did brisk business making it an enjoyable evening for all who attended.