2016 was a great year for Long Beach! Our city team has done an incredible job responding to the varied needs of those who live, work and play in Long Beach. Thanks to their efforts in delivering on priorities set by the City Council, we continue to experience impressive economic growth.
Long Beach's unemployment rate reached a nine-year low in March 2016 and remains lower than in 2015. We issued building permits valued at more than $421 million, the Long Beach Police and Fire Departments responded to more than 280,000 calls for service, helping Long Beachers during some of their toughest moments. And many other departments provided life-enhancing support to those in need. We helped more than 6,400 low-income families stay in their homes with $59 million in rental assistance and we increased our funding for homeless services.
This commitment to our residents is also clearly on display with all the projects implemented to repair our streets and beautify our parks.
We filled 32,369 potholes, rehabilitated 57.5 lane miles of streets, replaced 14.2 miles of sidewalk, and trimmed 20, 529 trees. And we are pleased to be recognized for all this work with 93% of the City’s beaches receiving “A” and “B” grades for water quality from the Heal the Bay Summer Report Card and an award for Top 25 “Best Park Systems” in the USA by the Trust for Public Lands 2016 ParkScore Index.
Please take a moment to review our many accomplishments in the 2016 Year in Review.
Below is a just snapshot. We should all be proud of this year's accomplishments and I want to thank all our staff for their hard work.
- Unemployment rate in Long Beach reached a nine-year low in March 2016.
- Launched BizPort, the City’s first online business portal for entrepreneurs to plan, launch and grow their businesses in Long Beach.
- 93% of the City’s beaches received “A” and “B” grades for water quality from the Heal the Bay Summer Report Card.
- Preserved and enhanced public safety and improved the City’s infrastructure with new funding resulting from the passage of Measure A.
- Initiated the Street Sweeping Optimization Study and changed routes in parking impacted neighborhoods in order to reduce sweeping time frames from four hours to two hours.
- Reinstated the South Division of the Police Department.
- Restored Fire Engine 8 into service in the Fire Department.
- Average response time to police priority calls is 4.8 minutes, one of the fastest for any large city in the country.
- 9,581 inspections of multi-family properties conducted through the City’s Proactive Rental Housing Inspection Program (PRHIP) ensuring livability standards for residents.
- Issued building permits valued at more than $421 million with 30% residential construction and 70% nonresidential construction.
- Construction completed for 476 residential units, with another 10 residential/commercial projects under construction and 11 residential/commercial projects receiving approval.
- Spent $88 million with Long Beach-based businesses for goods and services.
- Completed construction and opened the Michelle Obama Library in North Long Beach, a state-of-the-art facility.
- Completed at least 17 parks projects around the City with another 10 projects under construction or in development.
- Awarded Top 25 “Best Park Systems” in the USA by the Trust for Public Lands 2016 ParkScore Index.
- 30 new Long Beach businesses received grants to help defray start-up costs.
- Provided more than $59 million in rental assistance to more than 6,400 low-income families.
- Received more than $183 million in grant revenues from federal, state, regional and non-governmental resources.
- 32,369 potholes filled.
- 57.5 lane miles of streets rehabilitated.
- 20,529 trees trimmed.
- 14.2 miles of sidewalk replaced.
- 1,220,000 square feet of graffiti abated.
- 186,500 tons of trash collected.
- 104,000 service orders completed by the Gas & Oil Department.
- 59,400 customers served at the Development Services Permit Center.
- 60,000 building inspections completed.
- 209,000 calls for service responded to by the Police Department.
- 71,000 calls for service responded to by the Fire Department.
- Top 10 “Digital City” for the sixth consecutive year, for the City’s outstanding efforts in using technology to serve its residents.
- Achieved a perfect score plus 8 bonus points, on the Human Rights Campaign Municipal Equality Index (MEI) for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) inclusion in municipal law and policy.
- Received funding for 705 vouchers to house homeless veterans in the Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) Program, more than 500 families received assistance through this program.
- Served 72,000 meals at 32 sites through the 10-week Summer Food Program for children.
- 10,900 patient visits provided by the Health and Human Services Department.
- Secured $7.5 million in HUD funding and another $3.4 million from other sources to support homeless services, including outreach, transitional housing, permanent housing, and supportive services.
- Approximately 80,000 people participated in the City’s Open Streets events, Beach Streets Downtown and Midtown, which promote the pursuit of innovative strategies to achieve environmental, social, economic, and public health goals.
I look forward to taking on an equally ambitious set of priorities in the coming year to keep Long Beach diverse, economically strong and innovative.
Go Long Beach!
Mayor Robert Garcia