OP-ED: "Long Beach, a Family Town"

Long Beach Post, by Jeannine Pearce - October 13, 2015

My daughter Jubilee, who is three, would tell you that WalletHub’s analysis of Long Beach has it wrong.

From our new Bixby Park to our bike and walk lanes on the beach; from our amazing community churches to the creative community that makes up the Art’s District and Shoreline Village’s live music and Skee ball: Long Beach is a great place to raise a family!

The survey lacks the depth necessary to understand the unique character of Long Beach and its residents that instills me with a great sense of community pride.

Sure, we face challenges. In 2009, one in four children in Long Beach lived in poverty. Rising housing costs and this summer's uptick in crime are certainly things that we need to address. Our city has also taken on a number of issues to create economic opportunity for residents.

We’ve invested in Downtown and the Waterfront, creating new jobs and opportunities for small businesses; we’ve raised the minimum wage for hospitality workers and are looking at other sectors to reduce the city’s income gap and help families make ends meet; and we've begun looking at and implementing policies to encourage the hiring of local residents. These changes have been spurred by Long Beach’s leaders and residents working together to make our city better.

I’ve been inspired by the work of people like José Landino, a hotel worker who courageously led the minimum wage campaign; Sonya Clark, a single mother who is raising five amazing kids while working to increase access to nutritional foods and healthy lifestyle programming for working families; Martha Cota, who has been organizing families to stand up for affordable housing and environmental equity and Luis Navarro, a restaurant owner who invests in business corridors and employs over 40 Long Beach residents.

Long Beach residents like these and so many others are leading us to work together to make safe, healthy and accessible neighborhoods and I plan to work alongside them to make the city we love a little better each and every day. They all make up the fabric of this town, knitting us together to be a stronger community; a community that is the best place to raise a family.

I know that our community will continue to towards a city that is affordable and safe by supporting public safety and violence prevention efforts, working with creative developers to find ways to increase our city’s affordable housing stock, increasing our code enforcement team to ensure the quality of our current housing stock, and centering the experiences of residents in decision making so we can continue to proudly raise our families in this great city.

Jeannine Pearce
Candidate for Second District Long Beach City Council

Read the LB Post Publication Herehttp://lbpost.com/news/2000007288-op-ed-long-beach-a-family-town

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