By: Hannah Shields, Christal Gaines-Emory, Luke Wines, Richie Rodriguez, Porter Aydelotte
Suzie Price conceded from the Long Beach mayoral race on Tuesday, clearing the path for Rex Richardson to become the first Black mayor of Long Beach.
Before Price pulled out of the race, Rex lead in the polls with 55% of the votes, nearly ten percentage points ahead of his opponent.
“It appears that the people of Long Beach have spoken and selected Vice Mayor Richardson as our next mayor,” Price said in a statement. “I wish him nothing but success on the journey ahead.”
One of the top issues for Long Beach voters this midterm was the growing crisis of homelessness in the city. In his campaign for Long Beach mayor, Richardson planned to tackle this issue through his H.O.P.E. plan. This program will focus on expanding housing, education and quality jobs for the community.
The mayor-elect also said he planned to establish pathways for economic opportunities and promote community stability, preventing families from slipping into homelessness.
In the past, Richardson has already made successful efforts in addressing homelessness. As vice mayor, Richardson was a key component in the opening of the Atlantic Farms Bridge Housing Community (ABC), Long Beach’s first municipal homeless shelter.
ABC is a village-style development located in North Long Beach that assists individuals experiencing homelessness, providing them with a safe space and necessary resources. This community currently has a capacity of 125 people, but there are plans to expand ABC to provide 240 more units this year.
In his campaign, Richardson also aimed to boost the city’s economy by creating a deputy mayor for economic development and recovery. This position would oversee the “Grow Long Beach” advisory team, dedicated to building strategies that would rebuild the city’s infrastructure and support small businesses.
Richardson has promised through his campaign to invest in the diversity of small businesses owned by people of color, women and members of the LGBT+ community, expanding opportunities through city procurement and contracting.
Throughout his campaign, Price supporters focused on Richardson’s position as vice mayor of Long Beach, questioning his ability to solve the problems facing the city when he has spent years embroiled in them. The mayor-elect faces the tall order of convincing these voters that his tenure will bring change to Long Beach.