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First District Update: Housing, Dog Park, Skate Park & New Businesses

I want to keep you updated on some of the great things that we are working on for our communityLocal Housing Preference

I have authored legislation, with the support of Councilmember Gary DeLong, to encourage local preferences in workforce and affordable housing. Currently, per state law, 20% of all redevelopment dollars are set aside to fund affordable or workforce housing. When these housing developments open, the City conducts an outreach effort to local residents before opening up the new housing to applicants who do not live in Long Beach.

The City estimates that approximately 60% of new affordable units go to people who live or work in Long Beach at the time of application. That means that approximately 40% of our affordable or workforce housing stock goes to residents who do not live or work in Long Beach.

Creating a stronger local preference for our residents and workers would ensure that we are addressing our local housing needs and that city resources are serving our residents first. Also, I am happy to have the early support of the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce on this important issue.


We look forward to reviewing this proposal at the City Council meeting next week.

K-9 Corner Now Open

The Grand Opening of the K-9 Corner dog park at ninth and Pacific took place this past Sunday and it was a terrific event, attended by hundreds of residents, including plenty of kids and several dozen dogs. Thanks to the North Pine Neighborhood Alliance, who have worked so hard to make this park a reality, the police officers who grilled our lunch, the animal welfare advocates who provided lots of great information to the public, and the folks at the kids’ table who offered fun activities throughout the day. The grand opening was the perfect way to introduce the park to our community.

I am also very proud that this park in Long Beach's first 100% solar and sustainable park.

14th Street Skatepark

Another important park in the First District is also well on its way to a grand opening. The groundbreaking of the 14th Street Skatepark took place on September 19, and construction has already begun on this project. We expect a grand-opening in early 2010.

It’s going to be one of the most modern skateparks in the country, providing much-needed recreational opportunities for our young people. The park is just one part of the revitalization of the 14th Street corridor, a project close to my heart, which will help to entirely change the character of the area and create a safer and greener neighborhood.

Revitalizing Daisy Avenue in Willmore

The effort to revitalize the small business district between 9th & 10th on Daisy will get a big boost from the Long Beach Redevelopment Agency. If you want to be involved in this project, please attend the Willmore City Heritage Association meeting on Wednesday October 21 at 7pm.

As you know, I am focused on revitalizing our business corridors, and this street is important to Willmore, the birthplace of our city. I hope you can attend to share your ideas about revitalizing this important area.

New Businesses Coming to Pine: Kress Market, Vault 350

We are working hard to improve Pine Avenue. This includes a new Master Plan for the street and attractable new businesses. As you may already know, the Vault 350 is preparing to reopen under new management on fourth street, and has the potential to become an anchor for the area, bringing world-class music and performing artists to the heart of our community. Also set to open soon is the Kress Market, which will carry organic produce, fine wines, and simple meals for people on the go, as well as groceries. These two businesses – and a few more that are “in the pipe” – will improve downtown and help to extend the terrific rehabilitation of Pine Avenue farther north. I will have more announcements about Pine Avenue in the coming weeks.

Pacific Avenue Taskforce Update

I want to update you about the Pacific Avenue Taskforce. The Taskforce has helped to identify priority code violations, and the City has already begun working on bringing those properties into compliance. Meanwhile, we have planted new trees, are installing bike racks and cleaning up the corridor.

Police Commander Jay Johnson will be our guest at the next Taskforce meeting. For more information about the Taskforce, please contact my office at

Latin American Parade & Festival

I hope you had a chance to enjoy the first annual Latin American Parade & Festival in Downtown Long Beach. My office, and the Downtown Long Beach Associates worked hard on this event. The festival attracted thousands to Downtown and began a new tradition in our community. The event was fully funded with private donations, and we look forward to an even bigger festival and parade next year.

Thank You

We have much more going on, I will fill you in on those projects at a later time. Thanks again for your support. If you have any questions, please send me an email at or call my office at (562) 570-6919.