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Thankful for Long Beach
Thanksgiving is a time for us to enjoy our families and friends.  I am looking forward to spending quality time with those I love, as well as my mom's homemade apple pie.  I am also thankful for the opportunity that all of you have given me to serve the city I love so much.  Long Beach is a great city - and our best days are ahead.
During this Thanksgiving holiday, it is also important to remember those who work to make our city a great place.  They usually don't get the credit for moving Long Beach forward, but we should all be thankful for all the people that clean our streets, fix our sidewalks, help our kids with library books, and maintain our parks.
These dedicated city employees rarely get the credit for the hard work they do, and I wanted to take this time to thank some of them:

We are thankful for people like Jim Osgood from the Neighborhood Services Bureau.  Jim has been with the city for 8 years and leads our city wide efforts for tree plantings.  He is deeply committed to environmental stewardship and has helped plant over 12,000 trees in Long Beach.
Another great team member is Lani Fuailelagi.  Lani has been with the city for 5 years and is responsible for ensuring that we remove graffiti within 24 hours of being reported.  Her work in the Public Works Department has led to the removal of over 37,000 tags this year alone.  Long Beach is a cleaner and more beautiful place because of people like her. 
Raul Romero from our Parks Maintenance and Operations Bureau is also a stellar worker who ensures that our Parks and Public Spaces are clean and litter-free.  Raul has been a dedicated Long Beach employee for over 8 years who has worked on numerous park projects at Cesar Chavez Park, the Downtown Dog Park, and the new Michael Green Skatepark.
And we are thankful for employees like Pear Utrapiromsuk, who works as a planner in the Downtown Project Area for the Redevelopment Agency.  Pear is working hard to ensure that our Downtown moves forward with new developments and infrastructure.  She is leading efforts for the new Pine Avenue Streetscape that will break ground in 2011.
These employees represent the thousands of dedicated women and men who make our city a great place to live.  Along with our dedicated Police and Firefighters, our front line city employees deserve our thanks - they sure have mine.

Go Long Beach!