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When 1st District City Councilwoman Bonnie Lowenthal ran successfully for California State Assembly, she vacated her City Council seat. A special election was scheduled for April 7, 2009 to fill the …

When 1st District City Councilwoman Bonnie Lowenthal ran successfully for California State Assembly, she vacated her City Council seat. A special election was scheduled for April 7, 2009 to fill the vacant 1st District seat. The candidates who ran were Robert Garcia, William Grisolia, Evan Braude, Jana Shields, Misi Tagaloa and Rick Berry. William Grisolia dropped out of the race the last week of March. The community group Greater Long Beach ICO partnered with The Neighborhood United Methodist Church to put on a candidates' forum. ICO and The Neighborhood prepared this presentation to lay out the issues facing the 1st District in order to frame the questions posed to the candidates.


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  • Many people talk about the lack of participation in the community by residents of the 1 st District. We think it is also important to look at the barriers that stand in the way of greater participation in our community.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Barriers to Participation
    • 2. Voting Rates in 2008
    • 3. Long Beach Voting Rates
    • 4. Buildings for Seniors & Disabled
      • Baptist Gardens 1011 Pine
      • The Patrician 536 Linden
      • Lois Apartments 321 7 th
      • Plymouth West 240 Chestnut
      • Renaissance Terr. 926 Locust
      • Village Chateau 518 4 th
      • Beach-Wood 475 5 th
      • Casa Corazon 408 Elm
    • 5. Building for Seniors & Disabled
      • City Terrace 425 3 rd
      • Covenant Manor 600 4 th
      • Park Pacific 714 Pacific
      • Seafreeze Apts 745 Alamitos
      • Seagate Village 1450 Locust
      • Seamist Towers 1451 Atlantic
      • Santa Maria House 935 Cedar
    • 6. Non English Speakers
      • 90802 & 90813 Zip Code
      • 37.5% Foreign Born
      • 40% Speak Spanish at Home
      • 62% Speak Language Other than English at Home
    • 7. Low Wage Families
      • Median Household Income Below Poverty Rate
      • 90802 $33,506 22.3%
      • 90813 $25,933 36.3%
      • California $59,948 12.4%
    • 8. Language Recommendation
      • Make Interpreters/Translators
      • Translation Headsets
      • Available at No Charge to the Community
    • 9. Physical Barriers Recommendation
      • Provide Information and Funding to Local Businesses to Remove Barriers to Accessibility
    • 10. Economic Barriers
      • Hire translators and construction workers from the 1 st District to remove barriers
    • 11.
      • If elected, what would you do to reduce Physical Barriers, Language Barriers,
      • & Economic Barriers to increase participation in the 1 st District?
      Question
    • 12.
      • Rick Berry : Stressed the need to enforce the Americans with Disabilities Act, which he feels the City of Long Beach does a good job of doing. Believes we need a common language, so government should not be providing translation but should provide English as a second language classes. He will work to encourage the hiring of local workers on government contracts.
      Answer Summary
    • 13.
      • Evan Braude : Wants to continue rigorous enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Wants to continue translation services at public meetings and expand it to online media. Says the City should negotiate project labor agreements on city projects to help local people get good paying jobs and benefits through the labor movement.
      Answer Summary
    • 14.
      • Robert Garcia : Stressed his personal experience and understanding of language and economic barriers. Wants full Americans with Disabilities Act compliance, especially on infrastructure projects. All city services, meetings, public information and the web should be translated into other languages, not just into Spanish.
      Answer Summary
    • 15.
      • Jana Shields : Moved to Drake Park to be a solution to these problems. Runs an afterschool program that keeps students in school and encourages higher education. Feels the key is learning English and wants more volunteer English and Citizenship programs that encourage cultural exchange with more affluent areas.
      Answer Summary
    • 16.
      • Misi Tagaloa : Wants to make sure translation equipment and materials are available to everyone free of charge. Stressed the importance of enforcing the Americans with Disabilities Act. There are 200 languages in the LA District. Wants to be a voice not just for English and Spanish speakers but for people that speak the other languages also.
      Answer Summary
    • 17. Housing in Long Beach’s 1 st District
    • 18. Code Enforcement Cases
      • 84% of the people in the 1 st district are renters
      • Renters are living in horrible conditions.
    • 19. Overcrowding
      • 1 in 5 Long Beach renters is living in severely overcrowded housing.
    • 20. Dilapidated Housing
    • 21. Paint peeling and moldy
    • 22. Holes in the walls
    • 23. Infestation
    • 24. Bedbugs bites
    • 25. These are some of the conditions we are living in.
    • 26. Why don’t people report?
        • People also don’t report because of the lack of…
        • Knowledge and access to the process of reporting.
        • Information of their tenant rights
        • They feel…
        • Intimidated by language barriers.
        • Fear of being personally or culturally labeled as unhygienic.
        • Fear of being personally or culturally labeled as snitch.
    • 27. Why don’t people report? (Cont)
      • Many residents don’t report because of the fear retaliation from apartment managers and/or landlords. They fear:
        • Rents increasing
        • Being evicted
        • Losing their home
        • Deportation
    • 28. Affordable Housing Housing Overpayments 2000 Long Beach Source 2000 U.S. Census Note: >50% Household Income is a subset of >30% Household Income Overpayment 2000 2000 Owners Households % >30% Household Income 17,263 32% >50% Household Income 6,455 14% Renters >30% Household Income 42,126 46% >50% Household Income 21,912 24%
    • 29. Housing Trust Fund (HTF)
      • Adopted in 2005 to assist in building affordable housing.
      • City Council dedicated $500,000 annually from the Transient Occupancy Tax (aka- “bed tax”) – not been honored!
      • They say revenue hasn’t been available but Bed tax doesn’t come from the general fund.
      • Only money in HTF is $250,000.00 from Boeing.
    • 30. With the Housing Trust Fund…
      • We can change Long Beach housing strategies.
      • We would be able to assist those residents facing foreclosure.
      • Have inclusionary zoning – workforce housing .
    • 31. Questions
      • If elected, what would you do to improve dilapidated rental housing conditions and in doing so, how would you protect tenants who report these code violations?
      • Would you support funding for the Long Beach Housing Trust Fund and where would you seek ongoing funding?
    • 32. Answer Summary: Code Enforcement
      • Evan Braude : Wants stronger code enforcement. Train Landlords and tenants. Prosecute landlords who do not correct code violations. Educate tenants through schools and community groups. Current laws are very good and tenants reporting these problems are protected from retaliatory evictions.
    • 33.
      • Robert Garcia : Has seen horrific housing conditions in the community. Everyone has the right to clean, safe housing. Need to get tough with predatory property owners. The city needs to make people feel comfortable, not intimidated, when making complaints on housing conditions. Long Beach also needs clean and safe streets.
      Answer Summary: Code Enforcement
    • 34.
      • Jana Shields : She fixed up a dilapidated apartment building where she currently lives, and believes there need to be more property owners living in the district. Local neighborhood associations put the teeth in Long Beach code enforcement. She will provide tenants with written procedures on making code violation complaints.
      Answer Summary: Code Enforcement
    • 35.
      • Misi Tagaloa : 84% of area residents are tenants and much of the housing stock is over 50 years old. There needs to be a table for landlords and tenants to come together to resolve differences and build community. There are landlords who should not be in the rental business. Affordable housing is a basic need for the community.
      Answer Summary: Code Enforcement
    • 36.
      • Rick Berry : He is a landlord and rehabbed a triplex in the neighborhood. No one should accept the local terrible housing conditions and the City needs to enforce the laws already in place. Tenants need to call the city. Supports a program to track landlord and tenant violations called “Better Landlords/Better Tenants”.
      Answer Summary: Code Enforcement
    • 37. Answer Summary: Housing Trust Fund
      • Robert Garcia : Supports the Housing Trust Fund, though there is little funding available. Need additional senior and workforce housing, not just in the 1 st district but across the city. Need to focus on good projects that improve the community as a whole.
    • 38. Answer Summary: Housing Trust Fund
      • Jana Shields : Supports the Housing Trust Fund and any other method of increasing affordable housing. 20% of redevelopment funds need to be used for workforce housing. As part of CPAC she has had influence on housing being built using redevelopment funds.
    • 39. Answer Summary: Housing Trust Fund
      • Misi Tagaloa : Local businesses should have a responsibility to provide affordable housing for their employees. His congregation pushed to redirect Transient Occupancy Taxes paid by the homeless in motels from the Rose Parade Float to the Housing Trust Fund. There are many housing funding ideas. What is needed is a leader to push them through.
    • 40. Answer Summary: Housing Trust Fund
      • Rick Berry : Government is broke on all levels. The Housing Trust Fund takes away money from developers, redistributes it and creates another layer of bureaucracy. Residents need to be more self-reliant and to stop asking the government to be the answer to all our problems.
    • 41. Answer Summary: Housing Trust Fund
      • Evan Braude : Supports inclusionary zoning and Single-Room-Occupancy housing. The Housing Trust Fund is a promise to the community. If the city had to make cuts, it should have cut just a percentage of the $500,000 committed to the fund. Politicians are not keeping their promise. Long Beach needs affordable good housing.
    • 42. Employment & Youth in the 1 st District
    • 43. Who is living in the First District?
      • There are 108,998 residents.
      • Only 36,739 are employed,
      • Only 47% are 16-yr & older.
      • 28.9% of 1 st district residents are living in poverty while 12.4% of Californians live in poverty.
      • *residents in 90813 & 90802 zip codes combined and weighted.
    • 44. First District Residents
      • 27% of residents have less than a 9 th grade education.
      • 19% of residents have a high-school education with no
      • diploma.
      • 18% of residents have a high school diploma.
      • *residents in 90813 & 90802 zip codes combined and weighted.
    • 45. Communication in the First District
      • 48% Spanish primary language
      • 38% English primary language
      • 14% Other primary language
    • 46.
      • The majority of the tourism industry lies in the first
      • district.
      • 73% of hotel workers live in Long Beach.
      • Hotel workers earn a median of $19,947 annually.
      • They often work two jobs & spend 48% of their earnings
      • on housing.
      • 40% of hotel workers do not receive medical insurance
      • through their hotel jobs.
      Tourism in the 1 st District & the Working Poor
    • 47. Employee Free Choice Act
      • The Employee Free Choice Act, which President Obama pledged to support, would enable working people to bargain for better benefits, wages and working conditions by restoring workers’ freedom to choose for themselves whether to join a union.
    • 48. Youth
      • Many youth are “disconnected” meaning that they
      • are 16 to 19 years old and out of school & jobless.
      • Long Beach ranked 224 out of 245 large US cities
      • for unemployed youth.
      • That is a total of 61.1% unemployed youth.
    • 49. Youth Need a Chance
      • Youth need training where
      • they can gain skills.
      • Youth need relevant work experience.
      • Youth jobs
      • YOUTH TESTIMONY
    • 50. Questions
      • How would you encourage employers within the tourism sector to provide living wage jobs and adequate health care for their employees, many of which are Long Beach residents?
      • Do you support the implementation of an Employee Free Choice Act?
      • What would you do to ensure that the majority of city contract jobs go to residents of Long Beach, especially youth & how would you encourage 1st District residents & businesses to take advantage of these opportunities?
    • 51. Answer Summary: Employee Free Choice Act
      • Jana Shields : People need to make themselves more employable with education and contact with people that are culturally different. Workers should not have to join a union at their workplace. It is not a good time to pressure for higher wages in struggling industries. They should wait until times are better.
    • 52. Answer Summary: Employee Free Choice Act
      • Misi Tagaloa : The City has invested millions into the hotels along Ocean but has not seen the benefits flow back to the city. Need legislation to ensure living wages and health benefits for hotel workers. Supports Employee Free Choice Act and believes it is in the best interest of both employees and employers.
    • 53. Answer Summary: Employee Free Choice Act
      • Rick Berry : Worked in hospitality industry when young. These jobs are not meant to sustain families. Need to help people get better jobs and leave these service jobs for youth. Opposed to the Employee Free Choice Act because he feels it takes away the right of people to have a secret ballot.
    • 54. Answer Summary: Employee Free Choice Act
      • Evan Braude : Supports the Employee Free Choice Act because it removes barriers for workers to organize a union. Supports Labor Peace Agreements. Where hotels get special considerations from the city, they should have to pay good wages and provide health benefits.
    • 55. Answer Summary: Employee Free Choice Act
      • Robert Garcia : There are good men and women that are forced to work low wage jobs. City needs to be vigilant to ensure people are getting living wages and that health care is available. Business needs to be at the table and work with labor. Supports an Employee Free Choice Act developed by labor and business.
    • 56. Answer Summary: City Contracts Going To Residents
      • Jana Shields : Will not require employers getting city contracts to hire local residents. Would encourage people to shop in Long Beach and would encourage employers to hire people from Long Beach. Need to make our residents more employable with skills, education and learning how to interview.
    • 57. Answer Summary: City Contracts Going To Residents
      • Misi Tagaloa : Need programs like the old CETA program, which allows people to get work experience and move into permanent employment. When giving city contracts there needs to be a Community Participation Metric that requires and measures the employment of local residents.
    • 58. Answer Summary: City Contracts Going To Residents
      • Rick Berry : Public works contracts from the city should favor local businesses. Local sub-contractors are sometimes passed over because they are not union. The City needs to give a break to local employers. Long Beach doesn’t need outside stimulus money, but rather needs to be self-sustaining.
    • 59. Answer Summary: City Contracts Going To Residents
      • Evan Braude : Supports Project Labor Agreements on city contracts to require that a percentage of the workers are hired locally. Unions need to bring in young people and train them for good jobs. Not all workers have to be union members as long as employers are paying prevailing wage.
    • 60. Answer Summary: City Contracts Going To Residents
      • Robert Garcia : Supports legislation that requires employers to hire Long Beach people first. Open to requiring city managers to live within the city.
    • 61. Air Quality in the 1 st District
    • 62. What Is Polluting Long Beach?
      • Sources
        • Ports
        • Freeways- diesel trucks
        • Second Hand smoke
        • *At bus stops
        • *At Supermarkets
    • 63. Association between Air Pollution & Lung Function/Growth
      • Health problems
      • Asthma
      • Allergies
      • Respiratory problems
      • Cancer
      • Soot:
      • In areas with high levels of particulate matter, children are five times as likely to have reduced lung development. (Gauderman USC School of Medicine 1998)
    • 64. Middle Harbor Expansion
      • Triple the amount of cargo & traffic coming through Long Beach.
      • This means 3,500 more trucks on the road a day from this terminal alone.
      • 179 more cargo ships a year.
    • 65. Increased Cancer Risk
      • High rates of Oropharyngael & Lung Cancer in areas near the ports
      • Cardiovascular disease
      • 2,400 premature deaths per year are caused by the ports and goods movement pollution.
      • (Source: CARB January 2005)
    • 66. MATES III Modeled Air Toxics Risk
    • 67. Smoking in Public Places
      • Grocery Stores
      • Farmers Market
      • Laundry Mats
      • Bus Stops
      • Parks & Beach
    • 68. Current City Codes
      • Smoking is prohibited at:
      • 8.68.100 Retail food production and marketing establishments.
      • 8.68.065 City beaches & parks.
      • 8.68.060 Enclosed public places.
    • 69. Second Hand Smoke Causes
      • Almost 50,000 deaths in adult nonsmokers in the US each year.
      • 2,400 non smokers die from lung cancer a year.
      • 69,600 nonsmokers die from heart disease.
      • According to the Surgeon General, there is no risk-free level of exposure to second hand smoke.
      • Even Short-term smoke exposure can cause heart disease.
    • 70. Questions
      • The health needs of the community are in tension with the goods movement & tobacco industry. Have you or will you receive campaign funds from these economic interest groups?
      • 2. What will you do as a councilperson to ensure the air pollution is significantly reduced?
      • 3. Do you support a “Smoke-Free” city and what would you do to enforce the ban of smoking outside of supermarkets, farmers markets, and at bus stops?
    • 71. Question Summary: Campaign Contributions
      • Misi Tagaloa : Has not taken any campaign contributions from tobacco or Goods Movement Industries. There needs to be more done to clean up the port. Building on-dock railyards gets polluting trucks out of our neighborhoods. Supports the Long Beach Clean Truck Program because it balances the needs of the independent operators and the union.
    • 72. Question Summary: Campaign Contributions
      • Rick Berry : He has taken no campaign contributions from Tobacco or Goods Movement industries. The air quality in the Westside of Long Beach saddens him.
    • 73. Question Summary: Campaign Contributions
      • Evan Braude : He has taken no campaign contributions from Tobacco or Goods Movement industries. City Council needs to stay on top of the ports to reduce pollution. Supports green ports, on-dock rail, cleaner diesel or electric trucks. Supports LA’s clean trucks program more than Long Beach’s.
    • 74. Question Summary: Campaign Contributions
      • Robert Garcia : As the port grows it needs to grow in a green way. Has received campaign support from the goods movement industry and some local tobacco shops. When they give him money they are signing on to his agenda, not him signing on to their agenda.
    • 75. Question Summary: Campaign Contributions
      • Jana Shields : She has not received any campaign funds from the goods movement or tobacco industry. One of the most important pollutants is exhaust from gas engines, so the City needs to support public transportation to reduce car traffic. She supports the Long Beach Clean Truck plan because it protects the independent truck drivers.
    • 76. Question Summary: Smoke Free Long Beach
      • Misi Tagaloa : Lost his father – a smoker – to emphysema and has chosen not to smoke. Supports a smoke-free city with smoking bans at bus stops, farmers’ markets, supermarkets and churches.
    • 77. Question Summary: Smoke Free Long Beach
      • Rick Berry : Will not support a smoke-free city because it would make criminals out of citizens.
    • 78. Question Summary: Smoke Free Long Beach
      • Evan Braude : Helped pass previous smoke-free legislation in Long Beach and supports bans on smoking at tobacco shops because of inadequate filtration.
    • 79. Question Summary: Smoke Free Long Beach
      • Robert Garcia : Supports smoke-free zones at colleges, bus stops, farmers’ markets and expanding the smoke-free perimeters at public and some private places.
    • 80. Question Summary: Smoke Free Long Beach
      • Jana Shields : With regards to the smoking ban, you can’t have cops at each bus stop. Local residents need remind each other that there are smoke-free distances.
    • 81. The special election for the 1 st District City Council Seat in Long Beach, CA takes place April 7, 2009. Make your voice heard by making sure to cast your vote. THE END