Long Beach residents reveal the first ever People’s Budget Proposal

About forty residents gathered on Tuesday morning in front of City Hall to present and endorse the first ever “The People’s Budget Proposal” for the 2019 fiscal year. The budget proposal was authored by four local activist organizations: the Housing Habitability Coalition, the Invest in Youth Campaign, the Long Beach Language Access Coalition and the Sanctuary Long Beach Campaign. The groups requested that the Long Beach City Council approve a budget for 2019 which includes allocations addressing four areas: immigrant rights, language justice, safe housing and youth opportunities. A proposal for the city’s budget for the following year has not yet been revealed. “A budget is not merely a spreadsheet but [it is] a moral document that reflects our community’s values and our government’s commitment to the people,” said Jorge Rivera, program director with Long Beach Residents Empowered. “The People’s Budget Proposal is a reflection of the community’s passion and vision for a better community.” The People’s Budget asks that city officials include the following in their final budget: An allocation of $250,000 from the city’s general fund, meant for setting up a legal defense fund to help undocumented individuals find legal representation, which the city council approved in March.

Final results for Long Beach elections are revealed

Over 950,000 California voters in the June 5 primary election included residents of Long Beach who, along with voting on statewide contests, made final decisions on local matters. Long Beach City Council members Stacy Mungo and Roberto Uranga both retained their positions after each won slightly above 53 percent of votes from residents in the fifth district and the seventh district, respectively. Both won the highest amount of votes in their April 10 primary elections, but runoff elections occurred because neither initially received more than 50 percent of their constituents’ votes. A seat on the Long Beach Unified School District’s Board of Education was also on some resident’s ballots and sought by newcomers. That seat, to represent the board’s third district, was won by Cal State Long Beach professor Juan Benitez. Like Mungo and Uranga, Benitez gained more votes than his opponents in the primary election, but not enough to avoid a runoff election. Benitez and high school teacher Cesar Armendariz advanced to the June 5 runoff, in which 62.38 percent of ballots were cast in Benitez’s favor. Recently, Benitez was named in a complaint filed with the California Fair Political Practices Commission by two CSULB student organizations. The complaint

City Council staggers tattoo parlors and extend styrofoam ban

Fast and empty are the words which best describe Tuesday’s meeting of the Long Beach City Council, an affair which lasted less than an hour and lacked the presence of Mayor Robert Garcia. All nine council members were present in City Hall and unanimously voted in favor of all items on the agenda, which included the following: Require a distance of 700 feet to separate tattoo parlors from each other and primary or secondary schools. This item will be read a final time at the city council’s next regular meeting. To support the Drug Enforcement Agency’s Drug Take Back Day events, which aim to provide a method for anonymously disposing prescription drugs. Authorize the City Manager to make an agreement to receive $30,000 from the California Green Business Network, meant to implement a Green Business Certification Program. modify a contract with Garden Grove based R.J. Daum Construction Company, which was hired to complete improvements to Parking Structure A of the Long Beach Airport. make an agreement with the Long Beach Unified School District for the 2018 Summer Food Service Program’s food preparation. The amount given to the program is to not exceed $317,000. Added non-recyclable and non-compostable material to the

By | 2018-05-02T21:43:05-07:00 May 2, 2018 | 9:43 pm|Categories: Long Beach, News, Today|Tags: , , , , , |

District 5 Candidates

Incumbent: Stacy Mungo Councilwoman Stacy Mungo was elected to District 5 in 2014. She is a strong supporter of retaining the “neighborhood character” of low-density areas by strategically planning the construction and locations of apartment buildings and neighborhoods. Transparency Mungo stated that one of the biggest hurdles when she was first elected was the amount of bureaucracy that she found. Since then, Mungo said she has worked to make the local government easier and more accessible for Long Beach residents. Her goal is to clear bureaucratic red tape so “people can rely on and have clear expectations of their local government.” Rent control Mungo said that while she has sympathy for families trying to make ends meet, she believes that rent control is detrimental to housing stock. The candidate points to San Francisco and Santa Monica as examples of how rent control can hurt housing stock, leading to housing shortages. Instead the candidate supports the use of the Section 8 housing program, which helps renters become homeowners. Mungo believes that helping renters become homeowners will lead them to become more invested in the community. She said that the city should work with residents on savings plans and other programs that

Long Beach passes 2018 Values Act

After a 6-2 vote, Long Beach City Council adopted a resolution that would protect undocumented immigrants, with a few limitations, from federal agents. The Long Beach Values Act of 2018 would protect confidentiality of the citizenship status of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients and local undocumented residents from enforcers of federal immigration laws. Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez of District 1 helped author the resolution and worked alongside the Sanctuary Long Beach Coalition. This organization includes Building Healthy Communities Long Beach, Housing Long Beach and Long Beach Immigrant Rights Coalition. The Values Act is a local extension of the California’s Senate Bill No. 54, which prohibits state and local law enforcement from cooperating with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents unless the person of interest has an outstanding felony arrest warrant. Unlike the senate bill, the Values Act would extend to all city departments instead of only the police department. In other words, city employees are prohibited from sharing information about a resident’s citizenship status with immigration enforcement agencies. The vote includes the approval of the Values Act and directs of city staff to return with a presentation about the criminal carve-outs under SB-54, which would allow the detention of undocumented

City Council moves ahead with Land Use Element plan

Affordable housing units may be in Long Beach’s future — and not everyone is happy about it. The Land Use Element plan has been controversial and long-debated since the announcement to update it over a decade ago, despite many voices against it, Long Beach City Council voted to move ahead with during Tuesday night’s meeting. The plan, with goals to increase land development for housing as well as in commercial and industrial elements, has received contention from land-owning residents since its introduction. Many concerns from current residents about these housing developments range from an increase in criminal activities to difficulties with parking. The council held the vote during the meeting, while also allowing those in attendance three minutes to air grievances to the council in regard to the plan. “Destroying businesses to build residential units is just wrong,” said Carrie Sharp, a resident of Long Beach’s fifth district for 33 years. “Any official [who] puts money before the people does not have a place in Long Beach.” One major consensus from the Land Use Element’s opponents is the idea that inviting this increase of affordable housing would allow more crime and traffic into their neighborhoods, thus decreasing the property value

By | 2018-03-07T20:13:11-07:00 Mar 7, 2018 | 7:47 pm|Categories: Long Beach, News, Today|Tags: , , , , |

Long Beach residents take a stand for their city

When Jedi Jimenez approached the podium at the People’s State of the City Thursday, he faced hundreds of Long Beach residents, crammed shoulder to shoulder in the pews of the First Congregational Church located downtown. Attendees shared one unifying goal: to take their city’s issues head on. When Jimenez finally spoke, he didn’t just ask for the crowd’s attention — he commanded it. “Over the past year, our country has faced some of the biggest threats to our values of democracy, inclusion and justice,” he said to the audience. “So, you would think that our city leaders would respond with more than just words.” Jimenez, an emcee at the event, has been involved with People’s State of the City since its inception in 2012. He related to Long Beach’s city-wide problems just as every resident in the congregation hall. Waving his arms like a deejay, Jimenez gestured back and forth with the audience. Jimenez felt comfortable with the Long Beach residents, who he considers his people. When he chanted “Long Beach,” the crowd chanted along with him. When he, with fervor in his voice, pointed out city wrongdoings, the audience booed to his cadence. Despite the differences in religions and

By | 2018-03-04T21:48:33-07:00 Mar 4, 2018 | 9:48 pm|Categories: Events, Long Beach, News, Showcase, Today|Tags: , , , , |

Residents have brunch with local candidates

The sounds of friendly chatter could not be avoided throughout the Long Beach Dairy and Creamery on 167 E. South St., as citizens and candidates met over brunch in a casual mingling event that resembled a party. Held during every election cycle and referred to as “The 2018 Congressional, State, County and City of LB Candidate Brunch” in an email by organizer Dan Pressburg, the informal event took place Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Attendees would enter and leave as they pleased, as the event was open to the public. “This [event] gives me a chance to meet the candidates one on one in a more relaxed atmosphere,” said Shirin Senegal, president of V.I.P. Records. Pressburg said that a unique quality of the event, which he hosts every election cycle, as compared to other “meet and greet” style gatherings, is its informal nature. People could be seen dressed casually, sitting and moving throughout Pressburg’s home as they talked about local politics. In an email sent out by Pressburg, candidates listed as invited and attending included those running for the governor, congressional districts, state assembly districts and city council positions in Long Beach. “I like the variety of the

By | 2018-02-18T17:30:17-07:00 Feb 18, 2018 | 5:30 pm|Categories: Long Beach, News, Today|Tags: , , , , |
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