I'm running on a platform that
is community-centered: offering a voice to residents, giving more support to
local businesses and "re-localizing" our economy in Long Beach. That means better jobs,
homes our residents can
afford, an investment in our education and youth programs, safe air and water
and more parks and open space for all residents. Below are more specific
details about just a few of the issues that are most important to
Accountability ~ Quality of Life~
Public Safety ~
Democratic Reform ~ Education
Transparency, and Accountability
strongly believe there should be more integrity,
transparency and accountability in government. That means we should know
what our government is doing, trust that they are working on our behalf, and be
able to hold government officials accountable for their actions and decisions.
The best way to do this is to involve citizens in decisions and take the extra
step to make sure everyone is informed and involved. I will hold town hall
meetings, participate in local events, and use more communication channels to
keep you informed and solicit feedback, just as I do now.
Our City Clerk
broadcasts all City Council meetings and provides an excellent archive
of past meetings in text and video formats. We need to provide this
same level of transparency for all of our public meetings - such as the School
Board, Redevelopment Agency, and Harbor Commission. *NOTE* After months
of asking, the RDA has finally begun posting archives of their meetings
online. See their Press
is a theme of my campaign because when everyone is at the table before a
decision is made, the final decision is the best one in the end, I believe.
Every City Councilmember should be getting feedback from his or her constituents
on a regular basis, not just to know whether they are on the right track, but to
make sure there aren't any good ideas that may have been overlooked.
Quality of Life, Smart Growth, and Economic Development
Good jobs, affordable housing, and a high quality of life
all go hand in hand. It is deplorable that our City is sixth highest in the
country in poverty, we must turn that statistic around by rebuilding prosperity
in the City through economic development. At the same time we must
utilize the City's resources in a cost effective manner and work to balance the
City's budget. I would tackle these problems by closely looking at the
budget to improve efficiency and effectiveness, creating incentives for local
economic development, and including the community at every step to help define
priorities for our budget.
work in Long Beach should be able to afford to live in Long Beach, which is why
I support the efforts of Housing Long Beach to create a meaningful affordable
housing trust fund.
Creating affordable housing,
attracting higher wage jobs with benefits, and improving even small aspects that
contribute to the quality
of life of residents like sufficient parking will require developing and
implementing a smart growth plan
for development. We all know that poorly designed "cracker box" apartments
approved in the 70's and 80's created inappropriate density,
lack of parking, no yard for kids to play or socializing, and a degradation of the quality of life in
neighborhoods. Likewise, good development and smart growth can reclaim
areas, improve neighborhood cohesion, increase available parking, walkability,
and affordability while attracting employers and maintaining a high standard of living for
and parking are two challenges in Long Beach and especially in the Second
District. The best way to alleviate both issues is to get more people
out of their cars, but in order to do that we need to assure people that
they can be independent of their vehicles. One
way to do that is to enhance public transportation, so it is viewed as a
reliable, enjoyable, and timely way to get around. We should promote mixed use development, more bike lanes, and more pedestrian
friendly development so people will want to get out of their cars more often
and can do so enjoyably. A few of our 2nd District streets were
made one way, creating diagonal parking along one side to increase the
number of parking spaces. We need to continue that in many parts of
the district where parking is very inadequate.
We must better utilize the Long Beach Redevelopment Agency to actually reduce
blight and re-localize our economy. Local businesses and developers
should be given priority in City-subsidized projects. Locally owned
business keep their profits here in our city. Eminent domain
should be used with the utmost care, and only for public uses, not private
developments. If elected, I would work to pass a City Ordinance to prevent
the eminent domain of private homes, churches or small businesses for the benefit
of private developers, similar to State Senator Tom McClintock's proposed State
Constitutional Amendment (SCA
20). I would also work to improve the effectiveness of our RDA
and reprioritize affordable housing, local businesses, and quality of
life. For more info about the RDA's record in Long Beach, take a look
at this UCLA
from 1999 which examined the RDA in Long Beach and 3 other cities. RDA
can also be used to create better jobs. Instead of using RDA money to
build big-box out-of-state retail, we can build Green Collar manufacturing.
This is clean manufacturing for products that help the environment or "cradle
to cradle" manufacturing designed to have little pollution or
waste. These jobs pay much more than discount retail and will help our
local economy while supporting the environment.
The City should do more to preserve our remaining historic
buildings, take advantage of adaptive reuse when it is possible to save
structures, and enhance the City's Green Building policy for new
construction. Most importantly, residents
should expect clean streets, safe neighborhoods, and equitable city services in
every part of the district.
A clean and healthy environment is critical
to the future of our City. I want Long Beach to become a sustainable
city. Good environmental policy is good economic policy, because a clean
city maintains productivity, increases tourism, and benefits from investments in
green technology. Specifically:
Sustainability Plan is a proposal to make Long
Beach a truly sustainable City, and reap the social, economic, and
environmental benefits that come with it.
the development of the LNG Terminal at the Port of Long Beach. LNG is
a fossil fuel, so besides the numerous dangers of siting a facility so close
to our densely populated downtown, it is not a sustainable fuel.
invest in clean renewable energy sources. Renewable energy will reduce
pollution and enhance our economy by meeting the growing demand for new
technology and energy sources.
District suffers from a disproportionate lack of park space and open
space. It is important for us and our children to have areas where
they can run and play - this is an important measure of quality of life and
has been shown to reduce crime. I will create more parks, including
pocket parks, neighborhood gardens, and open space areas for the enjoyment
of Long Beach residents.
that the Port of Long Beach is a large economic engine, however the two
ports are the two largest stationary sources of air pollution in
California. The port is expected to grow significantly over the next
decade with dire implications for traffic, air pollution, and a host of negative
economic and environmental impacts. The Port of Long Beach must
reduce these impacts continuously until they are reduced to acceptable
levels, regardless of whether it grows but especially if growth forecasts
will help the Port of Long Beach complete their required mitigation projects
in Long Beach rather than in other parts of the State, as they do now.
This creates more parks and wildlife habitat and reduces pollution here in
Long Beach without costing our residents any additional money.
I support reconfiguring
the Long Beach breakwater, to allow natural surf to restore our shore, bring
waves and tourism back to Long Beach and allow natural tidal cycles to
rebalance our sand depletion, while retaining the breakwater in some fashion
in order to protect homes in the Peninsula. We can and
should do both. Norm
Ryan points out if the independent study documented the negative impacts
of the breakwater, the Federal government, who built the breakwater, would
be responsible for mitigation of the negative impacts of the breakwater,
such as higher toxicity, sand replenishment, closed beaches,
- Only 3% of
Long Beach's original wetlands remain. Wetlands are vital habitat for
marine wildlife and help protect homes from storms and cleanse impurities
from storm water. The wetlands are a living science class to engage
young minds. That is why I will continue to support protecting
and restoring as much of our wetlands
as we can safely do so.
is one of the most fundamental
services provided by government. We need to feel safe and secure in our
community. We need more community policing, and foot, bike and motorcycle
patrols. I started a Neighborhood Crime Watch when I moved downtown.
I went door to door
for months and
worked with my neighbors to get people involved,
so that we could keep an eye on each other's alleys
and parking lots and on each other.
A Neighborhood Crime Watch
is also the best
way for residents to partner with the Police Department in implementing more
community-oriented policing strategies. I will continue to advocate for
opportunities for residents and the police to work together to lower crime rates
in Long Beach.
also volunteer with the Long Beach Fire Department's Community
Emergency Response Team. This is another excellent City program that
allows residents to be more proactive in ensuring their own safety and security
by being prepared for an emergency. By training community members in basic
fire safety as well as emergency preparedness and response, more individuals
throughout the City can respond in the case of an emergency to help themselves,
their families and their neighbors, reducing the potential burden for emergency
workers and potentially saving lives. I hope to continue to promote and
expand innovative programs such as these.
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Electoral and Campaign Finance Reform
I support a
number of common-sense electoral and campaign finance reforms that would improve
our voting system and give voters more of a voice in their political system.
Instant Runoff Voting
(IRV) for City
elections - By allowing the voters to rank candidates in order of
preference, Long Beach could conduct an "instant" runoff to
determine the will of the people. This simple change would save the
City a lot of money (by avoiding the costs of runoff elections), empower
voters to more accurately express their will, increase voter turnout, and
eliminate the "spoiler effect". Visit Californians
for Electoral Reform to learn more about IRV.
- Voluntary 100% Public
Financing (Clean Money) - We've been told that campaign contributions are a
form of "free speech," but does it make sense for some people to
be able to afford more free speech than others, or for corporations and
other special interests to dominate over 99% of this allegedly free
speech? I'm concerned that this current system forces political
candidates to spend too much of their time raising contributions to be able
to put your needs first. But there's a solution to the exploding
campaign expenditures: voluntary public financing. By offering
candidates 100% public financing, we can ask in return that they do not
raise or spend any private funds, ensuring the candidate is truly
independent. This system is very inexpensive, provides a fantastic
return on our investment, and most of all it works! Visit the Public
Campaign for more information and examples of results.
A good education is the basis of our economy. It
is among the highest determinants of the success of our children and directly
contributes to the productivity of the local economy. I support restoring
and increasing our Library hours and enhancing
after school programs to give kids a place to go and keep them out of trouble,
bringing back much needed art and gym classes in all grades, and offering more
vocational/technology training opportunities for kids who don't want to pursue a
college degree but still want the training necessary to get a higher wage job
with benefits, so they can support themselves and their families. A good
educational system is the foundation of a healthy City and a growing region.
just some of the issues I am concerned about. I look forward to hearing from
you about the issues important to you.