Gabrielle Weeks, Work With
This is my website for my 2006 campaign for 
City Council in Long Beach, CA.
Below are the issues I promoted as a candidate, I now 
work on these as chair of the Long Beach Area Sierra Club


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 me:

Accountability ~ Quality of Life~ A Clean Environment 
Public Safety  ~ Democratic Reform ~ Education

Integrity, Transparency, and  Accountability

I 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 Release

Collaboration 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.  

<back to top>

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. 

  • People who 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 residents.   

  • Traffic 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 study (PDF, 600 KB) 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.  

<back to top>

A Clean Environment

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:

  • My 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. 

  • I oppose 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.  

  • We should 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. 

  • The Second 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.

  • We know 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 are met.  

  • I 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, Port_Crud.jpg (293684 bytes) 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, etc.  

  • 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. 

<back to top>

Public Safety

Public safety 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. 

I 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. 

<back to top>

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. This includes:

  • 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.  

<back to top>


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.

<back to top>


These represent just some of the issues I am concerned about. I look forward to hearing from you about the issues important to you.

Email: Gabrielle (at)