Bits 'n' Pieces

Mayor Calls for LBPD Academy, Restoration of Paramedic Unit

Mayor Garcia delivered his third State of the City address at the Terrace Theater in front of a crowd of 2,000 people. He began his speech in front of a huge American Flag, after a stirring rendition of God Bless America, and spoke at length about our values as a city and nation, saying, “I believe what makes our country great is not fear, divisiveness or anger – but kindness, respect and love of country and constitution.”

Mayor Garcia also declared, “The state of our city is strong” and “Long Beach is already great.” He announced an 8.3 percent reduction in homicides and a slight reduction in violent crimes in Long Beach in 2016.

Garcia spoke at length about the effect of the passage of Measure A and how the $387 million of new revenue would be invested in infrastructure repairs and vital restorations to our police and fire departments, saying, “It’s the largest investment we have made in a generation.”

Key elements of the three to four year $150 million infrastructure plan adopted by the council include:

  • $91 million on street repairs
  • $15 million allocated to sidewalk repairs
  • $5 million being spent on the city’s first alley improvement plan to fix the worst alleys
  • $19 million for park repairs
  • $3.3 million in repairs to community facilities, like senior centers, and the Animal Care Center
  • Nearly $3.7 million allocated to improvements to our city libraries
  • $5 million will be invested to provide neighborhood storm protection
  • $6 million in public safety facilities.

Another $50 million is available for further infrastructure projects after the first round of work concludes.

In the address, Garcia made a number of significant announcements regarding public safety including:

  • Calling for the restoration of paramedic Rescue 12 in North Long Beach to help increase emergency response times throughout Long Beach;
  • Creation of a nine-officer academy unit in the Long Beach Police Department to improve officer training and increase staffing for patrols
  • Addition of up to another 30 police officers if he can convince his colleagues on Metro Board to contract with LBPD to patrol the Blue Line.

Garcia detailed an impressive list of accomplishments in economic development and new business and residential developments throughout Long Beach. “What you’re seeing as you walk, bike and drive around Long Beach is a citywide renaissance,” Garcia said. “Unemployment reached a nine-year low and we ended 2016 at 5.6 percent, down from 14.5 percent in 2009.”

Long Beach added almost 9,000 jobs to its economy this year and also issued nearly 900 new business permits.

Garcia then detailed the city’s progress in civic technology and sustainability efforts. Key accomplishments in civic tech include launching DataLB the city’s open data portal and the Innovation Team’s creation of Bizport—a new business portal to help businesses launch and grow.

Progress in sustainability included joining the Mayor’s Compact, release of a climate resiliency report, launching of Long Beach Transit’s all-electric bus fleet, installation of LED streetlights, and efforts to restore the coast and the LA River.

The mayor mentioned challenges facing Long Beach and most other cities in California: housing affordability and homelessness. “We need to ensure that the cooks who are making our meals at our favorite Long Beach restaurants, the workers who are caring for our seniors and cleaning our hotel rooms, continue to have the opportunity to live in our city.”

The mayor closed his address by stressing the importance of education in Long Beach, the accomplishments of our local institutions LBUSD, LBCC and CSULB, and celebration of the recent launch of the Mayor’s Fund for Education, which will work to increase access to early childhood education in Long Beach.

DMV Offers Self-Service Terminal in Long Beach

Customers in Southeast Los Angeles County can renew their vehicle registration in a flash by using the new DMV Now: Self-Service Terminals at the DMV field office at 3700 E. Willow St. in Long Beach.

The popular self-service terminal is designed for customers who need their vehicle registration card and license plate tag immediately. To conduct a transaction, individuals will need their vehicle registration renewal notice that arrived in the mail or their most recent vehicle registration card. The touch screen machine offers instructions in English and Spanish and accepts cash, credit and debit cards and checks.

It can also be used by customers who have decided not to drive their vehicle and want to file for planned non-operation status.

DMV Now: Self-Service Terminals are available during regular business hours and can be found at 60 DMV field offices. To find one near you:

Since the first DMV Now: Self-Service Terminal was installed in October 2010, approximately 5.4 million vehicle registration renewal transactions have been completed using these kiosks.

Residents Want to Stop the Spraying of Glyphosate

A group of parents, grandparents and other concerned residents of Long Beach today released a letter calling upon the mayor and city council to stop the spraying of glyphosate in our public parks. Glyphosate is the major ingredient in the popular weed killer “Round-Up” and recently was banned in the City of Irvine after residents there launched “Non Toxic Irvine.”

“Numerous scientific studies have linked glyphosate to cancer and other illnesses,” says Gerrie Schipske, a registered nurse practitioner and attorney, working with Long Beach Coalition for Non Toxic Parks and Schools.

“The California Environmental Protection Agency has announced it will add glyphosate to the Proposition 65 list of known chemicals linked to cancer and birth defects. The City of Irvine has stopped using it. It is time that the City of Long Beach also stop using it and develop a policy of landscape maintenance and pest control that does not pose harm to the public and the workers who apply the chemicals,” Schipske said.

The LB Coalition was formed after several residents witnessed city landscape maintenance contractors spray around trees, picnic areas and lakes without any notice to those using the public areas. The label on Round-Up warns that if children or pets come into contact with the herbicide, it causes eye irritation, skin rash and gastrointestinal problems.

Some of the members of what has become the LB Coalition previously asked the Parks and Recreation Commission to stop the spraying. City staff responded: “Until there is a report that is issued by a credible source causing us to re-evaluate the current products that we are using to control pests in our parks, we will continue with our current methods.”

“Unfortunately, until CAL EPA makes its decision final, the current label does not include a warning that this herbicide is linked to cancer,” notes Schipske. “Waiting to do something in Long Beach is making our children, our elderly and our pets a science experiment.”

The LB Coalition is requesting that the mayor and city council request the city manager to immediately stop the spraying of glyphosate in public areas; release the city’s Integrated Pest Management Policy for landscape maintenance functions to disclose current policies on use of chemicals; provide records indicating where and when pesticides and herbicides have been used in the city as required by state law and verify the state certification of each of those who are spraying; and hold a public meeting to discuss this issue.

A letter has also been sent to the City of Long Beach Public Health Officer who has jurisdiction over public health issues.

A member of the LB Coalition for Non Toxic Parks and Schools has contacted the superintendent of LBUSD who assured that member that the spraying would be stopped and that policy will be reflected in a revision of the LBUSD’s Integrated Pest Management Policy.

Newland Is Rick Rackers “Woman of The Year”

Tickets are now on sale for Rick Rackers Auxiliary of Assistance League of Long Beach’s 2017 “Woman of the Year” luncheon honoring longtime philanthropist and realtor Tammy Newland. The event will take place on Friday, Feb. 3 at 11 a.m. at Old Ranch Country Club in Seal Beach. Tickets, which are available for purchase on or before Jan. 18 at, are $70 per person or $700 for a table of 10.

Rick Rackers “Woman of the Year” is a long-standing tradition dating back to 1955. Each year the organization seeks and receives dozens of nominations from various organizations and individuals throughout Greater Long Beach. A committee reviews the applications and selects one individual to be honored as Rick Rackers Woman of the Year based on their breadth of philanthropic work and community leadership focused on improving the lives of youth and families in the greater Long Beach area.

Newland was nominated by many individuals, including past “Woman of the Year,” who all praised her for her decades of volunteerism while juggling a full-time career and family.

As “Woman of the Year” Newland joins an esteemed group of women including the Honorable Beverly O’Neill, former First Lady of California Gloria Deukmejian, Press-Telegram columnist Shirley Wild, Melva Miller, Mary Alice Braly, Annemarie Forster, Judy McNulty Black and Jean Bixby Smith, just to name a few.

Mayor’s Fund for Education

At an event held at Little Owl Preschool, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia announced the launch of the Mayor’s Fund for Education. Garcia was joined by Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) Superintendent Chris Steinhauser, California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) President Jane Conoley, Long Beach City College (LBCC) Interim-President Ann Marie Gabel, and other education partners.

The Mayor’s Fund for Education is a nonprofit organization, separate from the City of Long Beach, stemming from the mayor’s vision and passion for education. It serves as a mechanism by which to support mayoral education priorities within the Long Beach College Promise. The fund will work closely with community and education partners to support their programs, particularly in three primary focus areas: Early Childhood Education, Internships, and College Completion.

 The mayor highlighted the fund’s initial projects which, in addition to on-going support of the Long Beach College Promise include:

Educare of LA at Long Beach (a new preschool being planned for LBUSD)

Exploration into an Early Childhood Education Community Plan

Support of the 2017 Early Childhood Education Symposium

Early literacy campaigns

Continued call to action via the mayor’s Internship Challenge

The Mayor’s Fund collaborates with local partners in identifying student needs at all levels of education and assists in fundraising, awareness campaigns, capacity building and program development to ensure that education in Long Beach thrives and grows.

The Mayor’s Fund is a non-profit organization, operating under the umbrella of Community Partners pending receipt of its separate 501(c)(3) designation. Funding is provided by donations from private individuals, corporations and philanthropic foundations and is overseen by an independent Board of Directors.

For more information and the latest developments on the Mayor’s Fund for Education, visit: and follow the LB Mayor’s Fund for Education on Facebook and Twitter.

Stories of Struggles, Victories to Improve Health

The report by Building Healthy Communities: Long Beach explores the diverse efforts to reduce health disparities from the perspective of residents, organizations, and elected officials.

Building Healthy Communities: Long Beach (BHCLB) has published a new report entitled Acting on a Vision for Health Equity, which details the growth, challenges, and victories of the collaborative’s efforts to improve health outcomes in Long Beach through health-centered policies and changes to the way government and key institutions work alongside community.

“Acting on a Vision for Health Equity is the first report to connect the multiple threads of Building Healthy Communities: Long Beach’s collaborative work to improve health outcomes across the city,” said Executive Director Christine E. Petit. “We often find that people may only know about one or two issues that we work on because they are the most relevant to them. This report demonstrates how intertwined all the issues really are to people’s health.”

The report tells the story of the residents, community-based organizations, and elected officials who have been working to change the odds for people directly impacted by health disparities since the collaborative’s creation in 2009. With narratives and personal testimonies from individuals involved over the last several years, the report covers major milestones including the Downtown Community Plan, the citywide Language Access Policy, the passage of Measure N, the growth of the People’s State of the City, and the voter approval and implementation of Proposition 47.

BHCLB is one of 14 Building Healthy Communities sites funded by The California Endowment’s ten year $1 billion investment to improve health and opportunity in California communities historically devastated by racial and economic discrimination. The full report is available online at

Garcia Joins Metro Board

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia was unanimously elected to a four-year term to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board of Directors by the mayors and councilmembers from the cities of Los Angeles County.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to represent the region and Long Beach on the Metro Board. We have huge challenges ahead, including improving safety on the Blue Line, expanding rail service across LA County and ensuring cities receive their fair share of Measure M revenues,” Garcia said.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro)  is the transportation agency for the County of Los Angeles. It operates the bus and rail system for the C=county as well as funding other transportation projects and programs. The board is made up of 13 elected and appointed officials from throughout the county, including all five county supervisors and the mayor of Los Angeles. 



Copyright 2024 Beeler & Associates.

All rights reserved. Contents may not be reproduced or transmitted – by any means – without publisher's written permission.