Movement Stirring to Recall the Mayor

By: 
Stephen Downing
Franklin Sims

The first steps in the movement to recall Mayor Robert Garcia from office have been completed by LB Strong, a Long Beach based activist organization led by Franklin Sims, an activist and social media video commentator who has a JD degree from UC Berkeley Boalt Law School.

LB Strong gathered the necessary number of qualified signatures to file a notice-of-intent-to-recall petition, serve the mayor and advertise in the print edition of a local newspaper.

After raising funds on a Go Fund Me website page titled “Recall Mayor Garcia End Police Brutality in LB” Sims was able to raise enough money to pay the Southern California Media News Group the necessary funds ($881.70) to satisfy the Elections Code requirement that the petition must be published in the print edition of a local newspaper before the organization can move forward with signature gathering.

The petition ad was published in the July 10 issue of the Press-Telegram, thus completing the first stages of the recall process.

The grounds for recall alleged in the LB Strong petition state that Mayor Garcia has advanced his political career at the expense of the most vulnerable Long Beach residents and that “in exchange for substantial contributions from a powerful police lobby, Garcia has repeatedly failed to discipline police brutality.”

The petition continues with the statement, “And even when unarmed black and brown locals were murdered by officers, Garcia routinely excused police misconduct and brazenly forced local taxpayers to cover multi-million-dollar settlements.”

The LB Strong petition further alleges that Garcia favors downtown gentrification and ignores housing inequalities, gives generous tax breaks and substantial building contracts to corporate development donors.

The recall petition adds that, “but for the poor, Garcia shows little compassion. He regularly raised their taxes, fines and fees to finance the salary increases and city contracts of his donors. Reminiscent of Jim Crow in the South, Garcia grossly insists on building an $86 million Olympic pool adjacent to affluent beachfront residents while poor black and brown children suffer segregation.”

The petition characterizes Garcia as a “stewart [sic] of systemic racism” and alleges that he has “willingly stood aside while his big oil donors pollute more of the air inhaled by black and brown children living along our city‘s diesel death corridor.”

The LB Strong petition sums up with the statement, “Alarmingly, Garcia’s political ascension seems to know no moral limits. Thus, having lost our public trust we respectfully seek his swift recall.”

The Beachcomber obtained a copy of the letter written by Garcia in response to the recall petition. It began with the statement:

“Dr. Robert Garcia was elected in 2014 as the 28th Mayor of Long Beach. He was overwhelmingly reelected in 2018 by a vote of 79%.”

Garcia’s letter continued his defense to the LB Strong recall movement by outlining the following accomplishments, which he attributed to his leadership:

  • Adopted six balanced budgets and maintained an AA credit rating.
  • Launched the largest infrastructure program in a generation.
  • Built and planned 4,000 new affordable and working-class homes across the city.
  • Created $3.5 billion in construction work and good paying jobs.
  • Modernized the Long Beach Airport.
  • Made the Port of Long Beach into a leading sustainable economic driver.
  • Reduced officer-involved shootings and use of force.
  • Worked to reduce crime in neighborhoods.
  • Received a perfect score from the Human Rights Campaign for LGBTQ inclusion.
  • For the first time in history had more women on citywide boards and commissions.
  • Expanded preschool and internships across the city.

Garcia concluded his letter stating, “Mayor Garcia will continue to focus on making the City of Long Beach a leader in education, sustainability and good paying jobs.”

In an interview with the Beachcomber, Franklin characterized Garcia’s letter of response to the recall as one that “misses the moral moment.”

Sims added, “Nowhere does he challenge our chief claim that he has failed to hold his largest political donor LBPOA (Long Beach Police Officers Association) accountable for injustices against residents.”

LB Strong will now file proof of publication with the city clerk and begin the signature-gathering process.

Sims said LB Strong requires “a little over 26,000 signatures but, to be safe, we are shooting for 30,000. District wide petition drive-up stations are in the process of being established in each council district and can be located at https://www.moveourcity.org/copy-of-support-1

The legal process for the recall of elected officials can be found in the Elections Code, Section 11042.

 

Stephen Downing is a resident of Long Beach and a retired LAPD deputy chief of police.

stephen.beachcomber@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments

Why am I not surprised. Garcia's letter, signed by him in his own hand (I looked at a copy of the actual letter), is written in the third person. This classic example of illeism points to Garcia's narcissistic personality. But that's just a minor flaw shared with the likes of a certain occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania. The content of the letter goes down from there with the usual politispeak, exaggerations and a bit of cryptomnesia.

Please make sure and let us know where we can go and sign this intent-to-recall petition. Just one little request can we please add the corrupt Chief of police (American Me look-a-like) Luna and his corrupt and incompetent staff to the recall petition. Lets do this LB lets show these corrupt people that we will not stand for this and the rest of these corrupt officials will fall like dominoes.

We need to work to create a completely independent Citizens Police Oversight Commission that will have sole authority to hire and fire the chief of police and the top brass and full control of Internal Affairs. This commission will be fully staffed with its own legal department.
And of course this expensive endeavor will draw funds from the police budget, in other words it'll be a component of #DefundThePolice.

ANONYMOUS PERSONAL ATTACKS AGAINST PERSONS EXPRESSING THEIR OPINIONS ON BEACHCOMBER CONTENT WILL BE DELETED. THIS IS A FORUM OPEN TO INTELLIGENT DISCUSSION ABOUT LOCAL ISSUES. IF YOU CAN’T SAY SOMETHING NICE, AT LEAST SAY SOMETHING OF SUBSTANCE.

ANONYMOUS COMMENTS RARELY MAKE IT INTO THE PRINT EDITIONS; PUT YOUR REAL NAME AT THE END OF SUBMISSIONS CONTAINING A PSEUDONYM IF YOUR POSTING IS INTENDED FOR PUBLICATION CONSIDERATION.

JAY BEELER, PUBLISHER

Best case, Mayor Garcia is recalled, at which point he'll probably switch back to Republican again.

Worse case, Mayor Garcia has this recall blemish on his record for future political opponents to continually point to.

http://franklinsims.wixsite.com/

this morning returns:

We Looked Everywhere
For This Page! (Error 404)
But maybe we can still help you find
what you're looking for:

THANKS FOR BRING THIS TO OUR ATTENTION. THE CORRECT LINK IS BELOW AND HAS BEEN FIXED IN THE ONLINE STORY AS WELL:
https://www.moveourcity.org/copy-of-support-1

American Me lookalike?? All the guys in American Me are Mexican except for the character of Joe 'Pegleg' Morgan. So what exactly do you mean referring to the mayor in this bigoted fashion? I remember when it was unheard of for the City to have a Mexican mayor or the LBPD to have a Mexican chief. These days there are both. Is that a problem for you?

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