File:Kirk cartozian.jpg Council member Kirk Cartozian is a product of Downey's public school system. He attended Gallatin Elementary School, East Middle School and Downey High School, graduating from the latter in 1991.
Kirk studied Pre-Medicine and Spanish while majoring in Sociology at the University of California at Berkeley, and graduated in 1995. During his college years, Kirk became very active with many organizations like the Undergraduate Marketing Group, Intramural Sports, and the Armenian Students Association. To this day, Kirk serves as an outreach volunteer for UC Berkeley, interviewing prospective students for leadership scholarships. Kirk is currently pursuing a joint MBA/MRED (Master in Business Administration/Master in Real Estate Development) degree at USC.
Kirk's first experience in government came when he worked for Congressman Steve Horn (38th District, CA) in Washington D.C. during the Congressman's first term in office.
Kirk returned to Downey to teach at Downey High School in 1996. He began teaching Algebra and coaching the DHS Girl's Basketball team. In 1997, Kirk moved to his former position within the Social Studies Department, teaching United States History, World History and Sociology.
Additionally, Kirk served as the Senior Class' Faculty Advisor from 1998-2001
In 2000, Kirk decided to run for the Downey City Council's 5th District. Former Mayor Joyce Lawrence's departure left a vacancy in the City-Wide seat and four people ran for the position.
With a limited budget, Kirk put together a grassroots, community-based campaign. His volunteers included colleagues, former students, friends, family, city activists and parents. Together, the group blanketed the entire city during the summer and fall months. Kirk personally walked to more than 4300 resident homes, giving him an acute sense of the major issues and concerns in the City of Downey.
On November 7th 2000, Kirk was elected to the Downey City Council with nearly 13,000 votes. Concurrently, he continued to teach at Downey High School until 2003 when he went back to school to pursue advanced degrees.
Kirk is the City Council liaison to the Downey Chamber of Commerce, Gangs Out Of Downey (G.O.O.D.) and the DRMC Hospital Commission. Kirk also is a regular attendee at the Downey Unified School District's board meetings.
In addition to those community activities, Kirk serves as a Board Member on the Southeast Water Coalition (S.E.W.C.), Independent Cities Association (ICA), and the Transformation Values Movement.
Kirk serves on a number of city commissions, committees and boards. He is a member of the Downtown Downey Subcommittee, the Columbia Memorial Space Learning Center Subcommittee, and the Website Subcommittee.
Kirk can be seen at countless city, school and community events. He enjoys having constant interface with the public and is commended for his quick response to constituent needs. His Spanish fluency aids him in communicating with Downey's strong Latino community. If you happen to spot Kirk somewhere in Downey, go up and introduce yourself. You'll probably have something in common.