The Long Beach City Council unanimously approved the Federal Legislative Agenda, which includes a “Medicare for All” resolution to provide all United States residents with health insurance through an extended program.
On March 11, the Long Beach Federal Legislation Committee approved and forwarded the Medicare item request to go through city council as its policies and grants were supported on the federal agenda, according to city legislation.
Councilwoman Mary Zendejas seconded the “Medicare for All” resolution and emphasized the importance of healthcare programs for residents during this challenging time.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed how poorly our healthcare system has been because it seems like insurance is a luxury nowadays,” Zendejas said. “There’s actually millions of people that cannot even afford to go see a doctor when they’re sick, so I’m very excited that the federal legislation committee has proposed a resolution in support of Medicare for all.”
Councilmembers also passed the Framework for Reconciliation Act in order to acknowledge the “existence and long-standing impacts of systemic racism” in America and in Long Beach during the Black Lives Matter and George Floyd protests that took place in summer 2020, according to the item request.
Vice Mayor Rex Richardson voiced his support for the federal agenda item, discussing how the city’s priorities have been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our goals are on economic development, public safety, public health, sustainable and livable cities through the COVID-19 response,” Richardson said. “It is also consistent with our Racial Equity Reconciliation Initiative initial report, and I look forward to continuing to work with the committee to identify more resources for Long Beach.”
In light of recent shootings occurring in the country, Councilwoman Suzie Price discussed her support of stricter gun control laws, citing how they can promote public safety.
“The mass shootings don’t seem to be stopping,” Price said. “I am very interested in seeing what legislative proposals are out there that the city can support or even possibly suggest that address the loophole in the universal background check proposal.”
Under the Federal Legislative Agenda, a universal background check proposal would “support policy changes that recognize and promote mental health services as part of the gun control law” and favors background checks on ammunition purchases.
Manager of Government Affairs Tyler Bonanno-Curley said that the city is recommending, in junction with the Long Beach Police Department, “new items around ghost guns regulations” as well as more “interoperable databases around ammunition cases.”
“An amendment to include something more specific around universal background checks would give us more direction around just how far we’d like to go on that specific item,” Bonanno-Curley said.
Mayor Robert Garcia voiced his support of gun control, stating he felt it would have a significant impact on the city.
“Additional gun control or gun safety legislation, I think that’s really important for us, and obviously we have supported those issues in the past,” Garcia said. “There will be additional bills in front of the Congress or ones that will be introduced, and so the more that we can be involved in and engage in that conversation, we should be.”
The Long Beach City Council will reconvene via teleconference next month.