When Long Beach leaders talk about economic issues, we need to do it thinking in human terms. We need to boost the number of jobs in the area to reduce local unemployment and raise wages. We also need to push more for local hiring so that when we bring new businesses to Long Beach they’re hiring from our community. People first also means we need to develop smart solutions when it comes to people from all walks of life, so they can afford to live here. Everyone deserves a home and it’s important that we partner with stakeholders from public and private sectors to come up with ideas on how to bridge the gap of the housing crisis.
Reducing Homelessness and Increasing Affordable Housing
Due to the state’s housing crisis, homelessness has become one of the most pressing issues facing our district. As someone who has family members experiencing homelessness, I know firsthand how important it is to solve this problem. We need a comprehensive plan with a mix of solutions, including increasing affordable housing, housing-first centers, mental health treatment, and community officers trained to work with this vulnerable population. Homelessness is not a 9-to-5 problem, it’s a 24/7 problem, and services like the Multi-Service Center and the Health Department need to remain open 24 hours/7 days a week.
As a former police officer, the safety of our community will always be a priority of mine. We must keep our public spaces safe from gun violence, our homes secure from theft, and our streets off-limits to human trafficking. We must strengthen the relationship between the LBPD and our district by improving transparency, enhancing the community policing model, and thoroughly training our officers to address the homelessness crisis and improve the quality of life for all our residents.
Parking Solutions Now
The parking situation in our district is out of control, and with the city’s tallest building under construction, it’s about to get even worse. I am determined to solve the problem once and for all. Not only will we study the problem and create new private-public partnerships to address it. And we’ll implement new strategies, like underground parking structures, after-hours parking at local businesses, and improved mass transit and cycling options. We will explore solutions like resident-only permits for residential streets, ZipCars, and new “Intelligent Parking” technologies that help drivers find spots more efficiently. I am committed to finding solutions to this issue and will execute a plan on Day 1 when I’m elected.
Fixing the Broadway “Street Diet”
Overall, the changes made on Broadway have made life worse. Traffic congestion and accidents have increased. Parking on Broadway has become more difficult and virtually impossible for people with disabilities. Our businesses are seeing fewer customers. Our first responders are hampered in their efforts to save lives. Cycling is only marginally safer. I don’t accept these results. As Councilmember, I will demand a new study, one that looks at the ways “street diets” have worked better in other cities, like Sacramento. And I will work with our Planning Commission, Public Works Department, and others to gather new ideas for how we can achieve more of our goals for Broadway. I am even willing to go back to the way Broadway was before the street diet, if that is our best option.
Protecting Our Environment
Growing up on the westside of Long Beach, an area disproportionately affected by pollution, I know the importance of protecting our environment. As Councilmember, one of my priorities will be to work with the South Coast Air Quality Management District and tap green technologies to reduce the pollution that impacts the 2nd District, due to our proximity to the 710 freeway, the Port, the refineries, and idling ships, trucks, and cars. We will improve our air quality while reducing our carbon footprint and creating environmental justice for our lower-income neighbors. We must also do more to clean our beaches, which currently have unacceptable ratings, to preserve and restore these precious resources for the next generation.