The election for Mayor of Long Beach is coming up in a couple weeks. I have a proven record and am ready to lead on day one. Here's my record of results:
Pension Reform & Balancing the Budget
When I joined the City Council in 2009, the city budget had a $40 million deficit and public employee pensions were spiraling out of control. Despite the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, I teamed up with Mayor Bob Foster and key City Councilmembers to make city government leaner, more frugal, and more effective. I also worked with city employees, police officers and fire fighters to enact historic pension reform that will save taxpayers more than $250 million over 10 years. Thanks to these efforts, Long Beach is enjoying its first budget surplus in ten years. I also initiated the revival of our Economic Development Department, which had been allowed to lapse. With that department now up and running, the city has one more valuable resource to encourage and support our business community.
A Safer City
As Chair of the City's Public Safety Committee, I have provided strong, consistent leadership and oversight for our Long Beach Police and Fire Departments. I fought to fund public safety services and supported tough gang injunctions to take back our neighborhoods. Crime in Long Beach is at historic lows, with violent crime continuing to decrease citywide, and Long Beach is safer today than it has been in more than 40 years. I also worked to expand after-school programs for youth to provide them with healthy and safe activities and alternatives to the street.
Economic Development that Works
I have been a champion for small business and economic growth. I facilitated more than 80 business facade grants and invested in fixing and enhancing infrastructure in business corridors that had previously been neglected. My City Council District has seen incredible development over the last few years including the new Molina Healthcare development on Pine Avenue, the new Downtown Courthouse, expansion at the Port of Long Beach, new unique retail and restaurants, and the development of hundreds of units of homes, lofts, and quality apartments. I also initiated HireLB.com, a city job search engine for local workers that has connected hundreds of residents with potential employers in the past three years, and have been outspoken in calling for the reconfiguration of the Breakwater and the return of waves to our waters, which has the potential to bring thousands of tourists downtown.
New Parks & Open Space
As the Councilmember for the First District, I opened 7 new parks, 3 new community gardens, and 3 creative open spaces, improved and enhanced parks throughout the district, and expanded park and green space into new neighborhoods. I also secured funding from Sacramento and the federal government to improve parks and add green space in some of our densest neighborhoods. Thanks to these efforts, more than 300 new trees have been planted in the district, with more on the way this year.
Technology & Open Government
I have authored or led the way on every major technology initiative over the last 4 and a half years. I proposed and oversaw the creation of the "Go Long Beach" smart phone application, which has greatly improved code enforcement in the city. I also made sure free Wi-Fi would be installed in our parks and libraries, created a technological innovation fund for the city, and authored the city's first open government policy. My initiative led to the first use of e-comments during City Council sessions, the publication of contracts on-line, an increase in government transparency and accountability, as well as a huge improvement in the city’s use of social networking to stay connected with the residents we represent.
Go Long Beach,
Vice Mayor, Long Beach