September is National Preparedness Month

As we approach the start of fire season, the Escondido Fire Department asks you to click on the “Pledge to Prepare” banner on the department’s webpage and join the National Preparedness Coalition.  Please take the time to “Pledge to Prepare” by taking the following actions:

  1. Make a plan
  2. Have a kit
  3. Be informed
  4. Get involved

A good place to begin preparing is by writing a family emergency plan. Your plan should include every member of your household – including pets!

  • Learn the likely threats in your area; in Escondido, they are wildland fire and earthquakes.
  • Identify family meeting places outside your home and neighborhood.
  • Designate an out-of-town contact as it may be easier for a long distance call/ text message to get through than a local one.
  • Know alternate routes out of your neighborhood in case your “usual way” is impassable.
  • Know the location of home utilities.
  • Know the emergency policies of your work and children’s schools.
  • Identify safe spots in each room of your home or office to take cover.
  • Consider stocking extra medications and provisions for family members and pets.
  • Schedule an annual disaster drill to test your plan.

For additional emergency planning information, visit For information on the City of Escondido, please visit

Independent Districting Commission

In compliance with the Voting District Consent  Decree which was a part of the lawsuit settlement agreement, a selection panel of retired San Diego County judges has appointed the following people to serve on the Independent Districting Commission:

Jack Anderson
Andrew Carey
Doris Cruz
William Flores
Dana Nuesca
Roberto Ramirez
John Valdez

With the assistance of staff from the City Clerk’s Office and City Attorney’s Office, as well as an expert consultant, the Commission must adopt plans that divide the City into four Council districts. These districts will be used for future elections of Escondido City Council members and for filling any vacancy in the office of the member of the Council. The districting plan shall comply with the United States Constitution, including containing reasonably equal population; shall comply with the federal Voting Rights Act; shall be geographically contiguous and drawn to encourage geographic compactness; shall be drawn with respect for geographic integrity of any neighborhood and any community of interest, including racial, ethnic, and language minorities; and shall not be drawn for the purpose of favoring or discriminating against an incumbent, political candidate, or political party.

For more information, including meeting agendas and minutes, please visit

Visitor Information Center Opens on Grand Avenue

A Visitors Bureau serves as an important information portal for visitors and potential residents.  For the past several years, Escondido’s visitor bureau services, known as “Visit Escondido”, have been provided by the Escondido Chamber of Commerce through a contract with the City. Its most recent Executive Director, Katherine Zimmer, has made outstanding progress in promoting Escondido’s diverse attractions and amenities.

As part of the City’s increased emphasis on economic development, the City decided to provide visitors services directly and on July 1, 2013, Katherine Zimmer joined the City Manager’s Office staff as the new Tourism and Marketing Administrator.  With this new reorganization, the “Visit Escondido” office has moved to 235 E. Grand Avenue where it shares space with the Escondido Police Storefront.  This prime location gives greater exposure and visibility to visitors particularly during Cruisin’ Grand and other special events in downtown.

Visit Escondido has been gaining momentum through marketing, social media, and editorial exposure and by building collaborative relationships with its stakeholders.  When attractions, events, wineries, breweries, restaurants, and the arts work together to create a marketing synergy that attracts visitors and keeps them here longer, it impacts the community in a positive, long-term way.

For more information go to or connect on and Twitter @VisitEscondido.

Don’t Miss Escondido’s Grape Day Celebration on September 7

Grape Day is an important, historic event for Escondido which started in 1908 as a way to celebrate our grape harvest and promote the city.

This year’s celebration on September 7 will once again feature a unique wine and craft beer tasting experience. For just $20, you can sample from seven different local wineries and three craft breweries, including newcomers to Escondido Vesper Vineyards, Stehleon Vineyards and Plan 9 Alehouse and established favorites like Cordiano Winery and Stone Brewing Co. Plus you get to take home a limited edition Grape Day commemorative wine glass.

The Escondido Sunrise Rotary Club will once again kick off the day at 7:30 a.m. with their annual 5K Fun Run. Participants of all ages can walk or run according to their abilities. The Fun Run will be followed by the Grape Day Parade at 9:30 a.m. The whimsical parade starts at Escondido Boulevard and Grand Avenue and travels east on Grand to Juniper, featuring floats, marching bands, walking groups, equestrians and historic automobiles. The Grape Day Festival begins at 9:30 a.m. and includes free, family-friendly activities such as grape stomping, live music and dancers, vendor booths, food trucks and demonstrations.

More information and wine tasting tickets are at .