Long Beach
Innovation Team

411 West Ocean Blvd.
Long Beach, CA 90802
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPress Release # CM: 02:22:17
Community Invited to Series of Events to Further Activate Harvey Milk Park
Connecting people, connecting place, co-creating a public space
Tracy Colunga
562. 570.7440
Long Beach Innovation Team (i-team)

The community is invited to attend a series of events designed to further activate Harvey Milk Park and Equality Plaza (Harvey Milk Park) throughout February and March. The series will include coffee gatherings, live music, educational sessions, and a re-creation of a Long Beach Debate Club called Spit ‘n’ Argue. The events are hosted by the City of Long Beach, in collaboration with Work Evolution.

“Activating the Harvey Milk Park Project is an integral part of our broader economic development efforts to connect people and institutions through more open, diverse, and inclusive public spaces for people to gather,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. 

The schedule of events at Harvey Milk Park, 185 East 3rd Street, features:

  • February 28, 8:00 – 10:00 am, Coffee+Book Exchange 
  • March 14, 8:00 – 10:00 am, Coffee+Ideation Session
  • March 17, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm, Lunch+Learning
  • March 31, Time TBD, Community Trans Visibility

“We encourage people to enjoy a cup of coffee or their lunch at Harvey Milk Park, and help activate this wonderful Downtown park,” said Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez.

December 2016 marked the beginning of an 18-month process of transforming Harvey Milk Park into an outdoor public space that encourages collaboration, entrepreneurship, connectivity, as well as celebrates the legacy of Harvey Milk and leaders of the LGBTQ movement. 

"When we think of Harvey Milk we imagine people coming together to create a sense of community,” said Councilwoman Jeannine Pearce. “Activating Harvey Milk Park will foster a safe space and further the positive energy that the City of Long Beach radiates every day."

On April 12, 2016, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation named the City of Long Beach a winner of the Knight Cities Challenge. The Foundation will provide $300,000 in grant funds to create the nation’s first “Outdoor Collaborative” where entrepreneurs and residents can come to work and collaborate in a City park. 

“I would like to thank the Knight Foundation for providing the City with this unique opportunity to co-create a public space at Harvey Milk Park,” said Tracy Colunga, Long Beach Innovation Team (i-team) Director. “With each phase of programming we gain a deeper understanding of what residents want to see at the park.”

Work Evolution, Downtown Long Beach’s first co-working community, serves as a place for people to explore their creativity and create better ideas that are transformed into viable products and services.

“Bringing together businesses, workers and residents is what our community needs more of,” said Mike Haynes, CEO of Work Evolution. “With our programmatic contribution, we hope to spur innovation that reflects the diversity of our community.”

A Bike Share station is located across the street from Harvey Milk Park, and free two-hour parking is available nearby at 50 East 3rd Street. For more information about the Harvey Milk Project, including this series of events, please visit http://innovatelb.com/showcase.

John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Long Beach Community Foundation
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Long Beach Community Foundation provided a $50,000 matching grant to make the City’s partnership with Citymart possible. The Long Beach Community Foundation is a nonprofit, public organization with over $25 million in assets and 96 charitable funds, whose mission is to initiate positive change for Long Beach. The Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more information, visit www.knightfoundation.org

About the Innovation Team
Launched in 2012, the Innovation Teams Program is one of seven Government Innovation offerings at Bloomberg Philanthropies. Innovation teams (i-teams) function as in-house innovation consultants; helping agency leaders and staff go through a data-driven process to assess problems, generate responsive new interventions, develop partnerships, and deliver measurable results. The City of Long Beach is one of 20 cities around the world that are participating in the program. Launched in 2015, Long Beach’s i-team works closely, and supportively, with their colleagues across city government — offering them a different set of tools and techniques to innovate more effectively. In partnership with these colleagues, the Long Beach i-team aims to deeply understand the problem they are trying to solve by building empathy for the people impacted by it and then work quickly and creatively to co-create and test solutions that deliver meaningful results for residents. 

For more information on the City of Long Beach Innovation Team, please visit www.longbeach.gov/iteam or follow them on Twitter @iteam_LongBeach and Facebook.