Contact: Joe Vargo, Perris Public Information Officer
Phone: 951-956-2120
jvargo@cityofperris.org

Children Learn Civics from Mayor Pro-Tem

Perris Mayor Pro-Tem with students from Park Avenue Elementary School by the City’s Centennial Time Capsule
Perris Mayor Pro-Tem with students from Park Avenue Elementary School by the City’s Centennial Time Capsule.

Perris Mayor Pro-Tem Joanne Evans gave a civics lesson to more than 20 Park Avenue Elementary School children who are learning about municipal government and how City officials work to improve the lives of community residents.

Evans spoke to the third-graders inside Perris City Council Chambers, explaining how the City uses funds to preserve its history, attract new businesses to town, replace and repair broken stop lights and potholes and preserve the planet by adopting green technology.

A retired firefighter and former Marine, Evans explained that she got a little bored after leaving her post as a spokeswoman for the fire department.

“I love this City and I love my job,” she said. “All my three children went to school in Perris. I wanted to give something back to the City.”

Teacher Lilia Garcia (right) urged students to respect and take pride in their City
Teacher Lilia Garcia (right) urged students to respect and take pride in their City.

Evans said that she is proud to serve on a City Council that has completed a new transit center which now boasts bus service and will expand to include community-train service in two years.  Perris is in the midst of completing a new interchange at Interstate 215 and Fourth Street and has attracted several businesses—including Rio Ranch Market—to the City. When Evans asked how many youngsters had visited the supermarket, most of their hands shot into the air.

“I love that place,” Evans said. “I can get my lunch there, and complete my shopping.”

She also explained that Perris won an award from the League of California Cities for installing solar panels throughout its City Hall Campus and that HaneBrands distribution center in the City is the largest green building in the world.

“It’s absolutely amazing inside,” she said.

Christina Salas listens intently to Mayor Pro-Tem Evans’ remarks
Christina Salas listens intently to Mayor Pro-Tem Evans’ remarks.

The recent burial of a Centennial Time Capsule to commemorate Perris’ 100th birthday drew a lot of interest from the 8 and 9-year-old audience. They questioned Evans about items inside the capsule, the process of burying the capsule and what she anticipates will happen when it is reopened in the year 2111.

“I hope they have a big ceremony, just like we did when we buried it,” Evans said.

When asked by one student about the amount of time she spends on her duties as a member of the City Council, Evans said that her day-planner frequently is full.

“Sometimes I threaten to return to work,” she said.

Teacher Lila Garcia said that tax money is used to beautify and improve Perris and urged the students to “take pride in your City.” She said she was delighted the Mayor Pro-Tem took time to chat with the students.

The class photos with Mayor Pro-Tem Evans
The class photos with Mayor Pro-Tem Evans.

“It’s a wonderful learning experience,” Garcia said. “It’s a hands-on civics lesson, one that isn’t found in textbooks.”

Students like Christina Salas, 8, thanked Evans for her remarks. She said she planned on following the City of Perris on its facebook page and website, www.cityofperris.org

Student Natalie Lemus, whose dad works for the City, said she appreciated the opportunity to see the City Council chambers and speak to an elected representative.

“I learned a lot and it was fun,” she said.