Long Beach
Office of the Mayor

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Calling For “Shared Commitment and Responsibility,” Mayor Rex Richardson Announces New City Council Committee Leadership and Structure
Mayor Proposes Additional Updates to Roles, Responsibilities, and Functions of Standing Committees
Shawna Stevens
Chief of Staff
Office of Mayor Rex Richardson
Dorian Bonner
Communications Coordinator
Office of Mayor Rex Richardson

LONG BEACH, CA — Today, Long Beach Mayor Rex Richardson announced his proposed City Council Standing Committee structure and member appointments, which would focus on fostering joint leadership between Councilmembers that advances the Opportunity Beach Agenda.

“I am proud to present a new committee structure and leadership team that places a greater focus on Long Beach’s biggest challenges and greatest opportunities, like expanding tourism and cultural arts, protecting our coast, and preparing for an inclusive and climate sustainable economy,” said Mayor Rex Richardson. “In the weeks to come, I will be asking these new committee chairs to take on key elements of the Opportunity Beach Agenda as outlined in our 2023 State of the City address. By working together, we can demonstrate a shared commitment and responsibility amongst city leaders to deliver results for Long Beach residents.”

This new organizational structure is designed to unleash the potential of growth sectors outlined in Mayor Richardson’s Grow Long Beach Initiative that are key to the city’s economic success, including aerospace, healthcare, ports, arts and culture, tourism, and education.

The proposed committee layout would create a new Arts, Culture, and Tourism Committee, elevating our creative and tourism sectors as a top priority of the City Council while enhancing public art and entertainment activities, nurturing the local arts community, and uplifting Long Beach’s rich cultural diversity.

“Ensuring that Long Beach is an attractive destination to live, work, and visit is critical to our long-term economic prosperity,” said Downtown Councilwoman Mary Zendejas. “Our city has an incredible wealth of cultural traditions, performing arts, and historic landmarks that deserve to be celebrated and preserved. I am honored to serve as the inaugural chair for the new Arts, Culture, and Tourism Committee, and I look forward to leveraging this space to more fully support and engage our local arts and entertainment community.”

“We know that a thriving city and economy is not possible without a well-supported, inclusive arts and culture sector,” said Griselda Suárez, Executive Director of the Arts Council for Long Beach. “We can build upon our 45-year partnership with the City of Long Beach with the addition of this new Council committee dedicated to supporting our world-class arts organizations. Together, we can work side-by-side to ensure our local organizations and events have what they need to succeed.”

Equitable representation is a central tenet of Mayor Richardson’s administration and was a leading consideration behind the Mayor’s proposed committee structure and leadership assignments, including the historic appointment of Ninth District Councilmember Dr. Joni Ricks-Oddie as Chair of the influential Budget Oversight Committee.

“The Ninth District community in North Long Beach has never had a representative serve on the City’s Budget Oversight Committee, let alone as Chair of the committee,” said Councilmember Dr. Joni Ricks-Oddie, a statistician and former chair of the Planning Commission. “The City’s budget is a reflection of what we value most, and I am so honored to have the opportunity to represent the values and priorities of not only North Long Beach residents, but families across the City as the new Committee Chair.”

The proposal would maintain a committee centered on sustainability issues and would broaden the committee’s scope to place a greater focus on protecting Long Beach’s coastline, natural habitats, and resources while preparing for the transition from fossil fuel production.

“We are sharpening our focus on preserving the vitality of our coastline, creating new open spaces, and improving air quality in our city,” said Third District Councilmember Kristina Duggan, who would chair the Climate, Environment, and Coastal Protection Committee under the proposed structure. “Our City must find common sense solutions to ensure a safer and healthier quality of life for Long Beach residents.”

The existing LBUSD Joint Use Committee would be repurposed and renamed the Educational Partnerships Committee, with a specific focus on building partnerships and joint use opportunities with major educational institutions serving the City, including LBUSD, Long Beach City College, and California State University, Long Beach.

The proposal would also merge the existing State Legislation and Federal Legislation Committees into a new Intergovernmental Affairs Committee, combining the City, State, and Federal legislative agenda and streamlining legislative advocacy efforts on behalf of the Council and the City.

The recommended Standing Council Committee structure changes will be brought to the Long Beach City Council at the upcoming meeting on February 14, 2023. If approved, the recommended Member appointments will need to be approved by the City Council at the following session on February 21, 2023.

Below is the list of proposed Standing Council Committees and their members:

Arts, Culture, and Tourism Committee (new)
Chair: Councilmember Mary Zendejas
Vice Chair: Councilmember Dr. Suely Saro
Member: Vice Mayor Cindy Allen

Intergovernmental Affairs Committee (formerly the State Legislation and Federal Legislation Committees)
Chair: Councilmember Roberto Uranga
Vice Chair: Vice Mayor Cindy Allen
Member: Councilmember Megan Kerr

Budget Oversight Committee
Chair: Councilmember Dr. Joni Ricks-Oddie
Vice Chair: Councilmember Roberto Uranga
Member: Councilmember Kristina Duggan

Mobility, Ports, and Infrastructure Committee (formerly Ports, Transportation, and Infrastructure Committee)
Chair: Councilmember Dr. Suely Saro
Vice Chair: Councilmember Megan Kerr
Member: Councilmember Al Austin

Economic Development and Opportunity Committee (formerly Economic Development and Finance Committee)
Chair: Vice Mayor Cindy Allen
Vice Chair: Councilmember Mary Zendejas
Member: Councilmember Dr. Suely Saro

Public Safety Committee
Chair: Councilmember Al Austin
Vice Chair: Councilmember Kristina Duggan
Member: Councilmember Daryl Supernaw

Climate, Environment, and Coastal Protection Committee (formerly Climate Action and Environmental Committee)
Chair: Councilmember Kristina Duggan
Vice Chair: Councilmember Daryl Supernaw
Member: Councilmember Roberto Uranga

Housing and Public Health Committee
Chair: Councilmember Megan Kerr
Vice Chair: Councilmember Al Austin
Member: Councilmember Dr. Joni Ricks-Oddie

Government Operations and Efficiency Committee (formerly Government, Personnel, and Elections Oversight Committee)
Chair: Councilmember Daryl Supernaw
Vice Chair: Councilmember Dr. Joni Ricks-Oddie
Member: Councilmember Mary Zendejas

Special Committees

Educational Partnerships Committee (formerly the LBUSD Joint Use Committee)
Chair: Councilmember Megan Kerr
Vice Chair: Vice Mayor Cindy Allen
Member: Councilmember Dr. Suely Saro

Charter Amendment Committee
Chair: Mayor Rex Richardson
Members: All members of the Long Beach City Council

I-710 Oversight Committee
Chair: Councilmember Roberto Uranga
Vice Chair: Councilmember Al Austin
Member: Councilmember Dr. Joni Ricks-Oddie

A complete copy of the proposal, including committee descriptions, is attached.

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About Mayor Richardson: Rex Richardson is a husband, father, and the 29th Mayor of Long Beach.

Mayor Richardson’s history in Long Beach is grounded in empowering communities to have a seat at the table. He believes that everyone, no matter their circumstance, deserves the opportunity to thrive. He works to change the culture of city hall to be smarter, more inclusive, and more responsive to the needs of our neighborhoods, businesses, and families while ensuring an equitable future for all.