Viviana Garzon first moved to the City of Burbank as a young teen, just as she was preparing to attend Burbank High School. Her local acts of service started around this time when she took part in the city’s Counselor-In-Training program. Garzon, who became a proud Burbank homeowner in 2017, is currently fulfilling the role of administrative analyst for the city. In our Q&A with the city clerk candidate, we were able to learn more about her love for travel, her passion for community-focused initiatives, and why she’s chosen to stay loyal to Burbank over the years.
How long have you been a Burbank resident? What first brought you to the city?
I moved to our wonderful city prior to starting ninth grade at Burbank High School. My mother learned from a family friend about a city in the southeast end of the San Fernando Valley with great services, programs, parks, and schools called Burbank. As a single mother who wanted to provide my sister and me with a bright future and doors to opportunity, she was deeply impressed with all that Burbank had to offer. We moved into a smaller apartment with higher rent, but my mom knew the sacrifice would mean that my sister and I would grow up in a great community, attend good schools, and have a stronger foundation because of it.
About five years after graduating from Burbank High School, my mom, sister, and I moved to Arleta. I was a senior recreation leader in Burbank Parks & Recreation and dreamed of one day buying a house in Burbank. My dream came true in 2017 when my husband and I purchased our home in Burbank.
What do you enjoy most about Burbank?
I enjoy everything about Burbank! I enjoy that we are a charter city and have our own services, such as police, fire, parks and utilities, which improve our quality of life overall. I enjoy our services, schools, parks, trails, and seeing my children grow up in a community that fosters their development in such positive ways.
I enjoy knowing that the residents, nonprofits, businesses, and the city take pride in the role they have in the community and go above and beyond to make the city special. Resources such as the Little Free Library, service groups like the Rotary Club, facilities such as the Verdugo Aquatic Facility, and community events such as Breakfast with Santa make Burbank so unique and a wonderful place to work, live, and raise children in.
Where is your go-to place to have a good time in Burbank?
My family and I love going to Burbank’s restaurants for a great meal. We have a monthly tradition of family Friday night dinners, and we take turns choosing a restaurant to dine in or do takeout. Some of our favorites are Sotta, Pinocchio, and Guisados.
I love nature and hiking early on Saturday mornings starting at Stough Canyon Nature Center. I take our German Shepherd/Lab mix rescue dog, Dante, and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Getting to the top of the trail and looking at the beautiful view of our city is always breathtaking.
Tell us a little bit about your background leading up to your candidacy.
I am a product of this great community. My service to Burbank began in high school when I volunteered in the city’s Counselor-In-Training summer program. My career as a public servant began as a work trainee in the Burbank Parks & Recreation Department.
As the current administrative analyst in the City Manager’s Office, I am fortunate to have an essential, active role in the city’s administration and legislative process. I manage the council agenda process, always ensuring the City Council’s decision-making process is thorough, transparent, and accessible to the public. I coordinate the details of each council meeting, including the call-in public comment process, the mayor’s script, council proclamations, and presentations. In addition, I track legislation and work closely with the city’s legislative advocates at both the state and federal level. I am the City Manager’s Office staff liaison to the 14 city departments.
As the staff liaison to the Racial, Equity, and Diversity Council Subcommittee, Charter Review Committee, and Domestic Violence Task Force, I manage the production and posting of the agendas and minutes for these meetings.
I am a member of the International Institute of Municipal Clerks and the City Clerks Association of California. I am currently working on my two-year Certified Municipal Clerk designation. I graduated from UCLA with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and public affairs and have a Master of Public Administration from CSUN.
Prior to my position in the City Manager’s Office, I was a supervisor in the Youth Programs section of the Burbank Parks & Recreation Department. In this role, I directed several programs including Afterschool Daze, Summer Daze, Youth Leadership Program, Youth Board, Teen Events, and Counselor-In-Training. I also supervised the daily operations of the Robert R. Ovrom Community Center, Verdugo Recreation Center, McCambridge Recreation Center, and Valley Skate Park.
As a community resources coordinator, I led the Helen Putnam Award-winning grassroots Connect with your Community initiative in five focus neighborhoods through partnerships with private, public, and non-profit agencies. I also directed the Burbank Neighborhood Leadership Program (currently known as RISE) in its early years for four graduating classes and helped launch the Youth Leadership Program.
Burbank is truly special, and I want to give back to the city for changing the course of my life for the better. I look forward to continuing to serve our great city for years to come.
What is a fun fact about yourself that you’d like to share?
I have traveled to nine countries. I enjoy learning about other cultures, visiting places I read about in history class, meeting people from different backgrounds, and eating new foods. One of my favorite activities was ziplining in Costa Rica. I didn’t think I was afraid of heights before that activity, but that height was on a whole different level!
Note: Some answers have been edited for clarity. All answers are provided by candidates and do not denote verification on behalf of myBurbank.