Duarte is proud to rename Royal Oaks Park Extension to Tzeitel Paras-Caracci Park in honor of the late Mayor and Councilmember Tzeitel Paras-Caracci. In honor of Paras-Caracci’s love for Hello Kitty, the renaming and dedication ceremony took place on November 1, 2023, also known as National Hello Kitty Day.
“Tzeitel epitomized public service in Duarte,” said Mayor Jody Shulz. “Her determination and precocious nature ensured that all she did resulted in a positive outcome for the community, especially the youth. That is why the dedication of the park in her name is the most appropriate gesture to honor her legacy.”
Former Mayor and Councilmember Tzeitel Paras-Caracci was elected to the Duarte City Council in 2001 and was the first Duarte High School graduate and Filipino American elected to the City Council. She served the Duarte community as a public servant for over 21 years. As four-time Mayor, her policy positions were heavily driven by her love for Duarte, and she is credited with being an integral part of various City accomplishments and successes.
“I served with Tzeitel on the Duarte City Council for over twenty years. We didn’t always see eye-to-eye on everything, but we were close friends and we both love the City of Duarte – so we could always work things out for the betterment of our community,” said Councilmember Margaret Finlay. “Duarte has lost one of the greatest public servants with the passing of Tzeitel but her good works, dynamic personality, and integrity will last for generations to come.”
Paras-Caracci had a special connection to Royal Oaks Park Extension, as she married her husband, KC Caracci, there on August 16, 2003.
“I am overjoyed that Royal Oaks Park Extension will now be Tzeitel Paras-Caracci Park. Especially because Jack and his dad, KC, will continue to make memories at this location that already holds a lot of meaning to the family,” said Councilmember Cesar Garcia. “It is heartwarming to know that future generations will create memories at this park and that her legacy will continue to inspire others. Viva Mayor Hello Kitty!”
At the September 26 City Council meeting, Duarte City Council adopted a resolution to rename Royal Oaks Park Extension to Tzeitel Paras-Caracci Park and to create appropriate signage reflecting the park’s new name.
The late Mayor and Councilmember Tzeitel Paras-Caracci had a tremendous impact on the community and everyone around her. The Duarte City Council shares their remarks:
“Tzeitel Paras-Caracci is a true trailblazer, paving the way for others to follow. With her visionary leadership, she has not only empowered countless individuals, but also helped them embrace their potential and redefine their future,” said Mayor Pro Tem Vinh Truong. “She reminds us that the path to success is not always easy, but it is through taking risks and challenging norms that we can create a legacy that will inspire generations to come.”
“I was honored and privileged to work with Tzeitel for almost a decade. She was the most caring person, always eager to share positive encouragement and support with others,” said Councilmember Sam Kang. “She uplifted so many in this community, and her heart and kindness will never be forgotten.”
“I am delighted that Royal Oaks Park is being renamed to celebrate her life and accomplishments,” said Councilmember Toney Lewis. “This park in particular is very special to me. In high school I would play basketball here with Tzietel and a group of friends every Sunday.”
“Tzeitel’s passion and enthusiasm for the City of Duarte and its community remains unmatched. She dedicated her life to enriching our City and took creative approaches to empowering our youth,” said Councilmember Tera Martin Del Campo. “As a lifelong friend of Tzeitel, I am inspired to keep her contributions relevant, celebrate her memory, and continue to serve the community in a way that she would be proud of.”