Students Love and Learn at City Hall and Burbank Police Department

Students from Emerson Elementary gather for a picture inside City Council Chambers for a picture with the Mayor. (Photo by Alejandro Vega.)

On Friday, February 23rd, Ralph Waldo Emerson Elementary School students visited City Hall and the Burbank Police Department. Over a dozen adult chaperones accompanied the kids from 9:30 am to 11 am. The kids congregated on City Hall’s steps and were greeted by Kimberley Clark, City Clerk, once inside. Upon exploring the Mayor’s and City Council offices, the students and chaperones entered the crown jewel of City Hall: the Council Chamber. Omnipresent over the Chamber was the Four Freedoms Mural, painted by Hugo Ballin. They were spoken into existence by Franklin D. Roosevelt when allocating resources for his World War II allies. The Freedoms include Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion, Freedom from Want, and Freedom from Fear.

Presiding over the Council Chamber were Vice Mayor Nikki Perez, Council Member Konstantine Anthony, and Mayor Nick Schultz, who held a mock meeting for the curious students. One of the students asked Schultz what he hoped for Burbank, and he explained with vigor. “We are a small town. We care about each other. I want every one of you to grow up and be whatever you want to be. Whether you want to be a teacher, a scientist, an actor, or an animation. I know one of you said, soccer player! Whatever you wanna be, I want this town to give you that opportunity. So my hope for Burbank is that we continue to be a town where it’s a great place to live, where our schools are fantastic, and where parks and recreation offer great programs as you guys get older and want to try new things. I want to ensure we have great jobs here for you, too. So that’s really my hope for Burbank, and that’s what I’m hoping to do with my colleagues right here,” maintained Schultz. “To ensure that it continues to be a great town so you can do whatever you want. I know we joke, but if any of you want to be the mayor one day, I want you to know you can be. All you gotta do is throw your hand in the air and say, ‘I want to serve my community! I want to build a city council!’ And I want you to be able to know that it is very possible. I was sitting in your seats, really, not all that long ago. My dad was a mechanic, I don’t come from a long line of mayors. I’m just a guy who said, ‘I want to help my community.’ So I can do it, you can do it too.”

Halfway through the field trip, the students sojourned over to the Burbank Police Department to meet with Officer Alex Gutierrez. A member of the Traffic Division, which handles tickets and car crashes, Gutierrez revealed the perks of the job to the kids (such as long hours and job transportation). He led the kids outside, showed off the police vehicles, and even allowed them to board for pictures! The firefighters adjacent to the police department actually live at work for days at a time, even installing a basketball hoop for leisure. Once inside again, Gutierrez guided the kids to the communication center (which handles emergency and non-emergency calls) and the temporary holding cells for prisoners. All in all, it is an educative and entertaining experience!

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