Notice: This is not a City of Long Beach site.

Dear Readers: Please note that this is not a City of Long Beach website and is not paid for nor maintained by taxpayer funds.

If you contact Gerrie Schipske through this site on any matter pertaining to the City of Long Beach, a copy of your contact will be forwarded to her official city email as an official public record.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Elected Officials Calendars

I am puzzled. If a city such as San Jose can have the calendars of their elected officials on line and it doesn't cause a problem for them -- why is this being such a problem in Long Beach?

Arguments about security are valid -- but there is a way to deal with this problem (even though San Jose publishes calendars in advance). Either take out the address so people can't show up and stalk the official -- or publish the calendar after the fact -- as I do.

Bottom line is that because we are employed by the public don't you think people should know how we do our job?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Not Even One -- Why Our Community Needs to Focus on What Caused the Death

Long Beach again makes the news because of yet another killing of a young person. This time on the east side of the city.

And the finger pointing begins: it was the police's fault for not having enough presence at the football game; it was the city council's fault for not budgeting enough police; it was the school district's fault for not sending security outside the school perimeter; it was the city's fault for not having enough programs that would have involved the shooter and turned him away from crime; it was....actually all of our faults. Both for this shooting and the many other shootings that have happened in Long Beach.

My blackberry goes off 1 to 3 times a week with notifications that someone has been shot in Long Beach or has showed up in a Long Beach Emergency Room with a gun shot wound. And yet, none of us, including me, has stood up and said "enough" and really meant it.

I made a move in that direction about 10 years ago when I had the honor of being on one of three Community Action Teams in the United States -- ours being Long Beach and Compton based -- organized by the Jimmy Carter Center to mobilize the community against youth firearm violence. The premise of the program was simple: The central driving conclusion of our gathering was the conviction that not one gun death of a child can be acceptable. Not even one.

As Marian Wright Edelman, president and founder of the Children's Defense Fund, pointed out, this country is losing the equivalent of a classroom of children every day because youth are being killed by firearms.

Under the project, named "Not Even One," Community Action Teams (CATs) were formed at demonstration sites in three states (California, New Mexico, and Georgia). CATs included local community members, parents, clergy, and representatives from law enforcement, education, and public health agencies. CATs were to:

* Collect public health data on fatal firearm injuries on youths.
* Collect data sufficiently detailed to prepare written portraits "putting a face" on the victims.
* Use the data to develop viable, effective interventions at the community level and, eventually, nationally.

A child's death by a firearm would automatically call for, not just a criminal investigation, but a public health investigation that would determine all of the things that went wrong and produce recommendations for corrective actions to be taken by every responsible individual, group, agency, and public organization to be sure it didn't happen again.

Such a sentinel system would inevitably become the basis for a research agenda so that the tragic deaths would at least bear a fruit of understanding. The sentinel events could put faces on statistics and channel emotions toward prevention, not just after-the-fact punishment. Firmly grounded research also has the power gradually to force public policy to implement the creative, compassionate common sense programs that are needed.

We met after the killing of a child and tried to put the pieces together of what led that person to kill that child and who in the community might have been able to prevent that killing. This concept is much like what is done in medical centers. A committee is formed to review the death of a patient to determine what led to the death and what might be done in the future to prevent similar deaths. No finger pointing. Just working together to prevent it from happening again.

The national Not Even One program was closed because of difficultly of getting data. But the concept remains sound.

Our community needs to examine the root causes of these killings. Our community needs to stand up and say "enough" -- "Not even one death is acceptable." And we need to mean it -- and not only just when the killing happens near our neighborhood.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Town Hall Meeting on How Marijuana Collectives Should Be Regulated

In response to the numerous e-mails and telephone calls I have received about the opening of marijuana collectives in the City, I am scheduling a Community Town Hall on Thursday, November 12 at 6:30 pm at the El Dorado Community Center, 2800 Studebaker Road.

I have invited City Prosecutor, Tom Reeves and Deputy Police Chief, Blair to attend the meeting and to listen to the concerns of residents who do not want these facilities in our city.

Please note that because the City of Long Beach does not regulate facilities dispensing marijuana for medical purposes, I do not receive any type of notice when they open. I am relying upon residents to let me know so that I can refer them to the Police Department.

Come to the Town Hall on November 12 and let your opinion be heard.

Also check this blog for the proposals I have sent the City Attorney regarding regulation of these facilities.

Save Station 18

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