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.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Schipske and Garcia to Walk Together in Gay Pride Parade

Following my earlier blog posting today, Councilman Robert Garcia and I exchanged a series of emails discussing the need to make it clear to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community that the two of  us are not engaged in any type of fight about the issue of naming space in honor of Harvey Milk.

I suggested to Councilman Garcia that the two of us walk together at the upcoming Sunday Gay Pride Parade to demonstrate our unity.  He agreed. (I do hope we have a backup car just in case my feet give out.)

Both of us understand how very important this weekend is to our community and how significant it is that Long Beach has two openly lesbian and gay elected officials who both care deeply about our City and all of its residents.

I've cautioned Councilman Garcia that our walking together without my partner, Flo, will be the talk of the community.  But in the words of my favorite (maybe lesbian) singer, Anne Murray: "Let's give them something to talk about."

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Let's stick to the truth

For those of you who really value the truth, you need to know that some of the press coverage over the issue to name a space on 3rd and Promenade in honor of Harvey Milk is not factual -- either deliberately or laziness in researching the issue.

I understand that a news caster stated that the City Council voted unanimously to approve the naming of the space in honor of Harvey Milk and that I voted against it.

  • I have never opposed the naming. I just didn't co-sponsor the item because (gasp..) I thought we should expand the concept and include local LGBT heroes. (And apparently so did others on facebook. Councilman Garcia even posted to say he appreciated the discussion.)
  • I wasn't at council because I left earlier due to bronchitis that triggered coughing I had a hard time stopping. 
  • Only five council members remained.
  • The agenda item was NOT the approval of naming the space but to refer a recommendation to two committees that will have public input on the item.
  • I would have voted for the council agenda item to send it to committees because I do think we should have discussion.
I understand that the discussion of any thing less than naming the area for one specific person and expanding the concept to include local LGBT heroes in any dedication, is being characterized as a "fight."

  • Really? There is no "fight" going on -- just a healthy discussion. I know it is more dramatic to frame this as an "us vs. them" fight -- but that is not what is going on. There isn't any "them."
  • I understand no one came to council to oppose the issue -- so where is the "fight."
  • The lesbian and gay community is diverse and has diverse opinions and ideas.
  • Many people fought very hard against City Hall to have a Gay Pride Parade and Festival -- that was a real "fight" and should be acknowledged and honored.
Is Gerrie Schipske "gay enough?"


  • Heard this for the past 25 years in local politics if I ever dare raise questions or another view point.
  • On the other hand, I have been the target in many political mailers because I am gay.
  • My partner Flo and I have been together for 31 years and have worked on so many issues.
  • I subscribe to the Harvey Milk theory of being gay and a public official: Milk was quoted about his work on non-gay issues: "All over the country, they're reading about me, and the story doesn't center on me being gay. It's just about a gay person who is doing his job."

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Out with bronchitis

Made it through the first hour of council tonight after a full day of meetings at City Hall and then my bronchitis got me. Was down a couple days last week and should have just taken it easy.  Am going to listen to doctor's advice this week.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Headlines on Plastic Bag Ban Visible through Plastic Bag holding Press Telegram

I count on it. I retrieve my daily Press Telegram in its plastic bag -- free of dirt and water from the sprinklers.
How ironic that today I could read "LB Council Set to Pass Plastic Bag Ban" through the plastic bag that held my newspaper. But I should not despair, because those plastic bags won't be banned if the Council has its way, even though the bags are as thin (if not thinner) than the ones proposed to be outlawed. (We reuse them in our house when the dog is walked.) Only those bags used for groceries will be banned unless you sell groceries in Target or Wal-Mart -- because their bags are thicker.

As you know I held a town meeting on this topic several months ago because of the emails I received that indicate residents (the majority) are not supportive of a mandatory ban of plastic bags and a mandatory fee of ten cents to buy a paper bag.

The opposition boils down to the following:
  • Use of non plastic bags should be voluntary as it is now.
  • Grocers already admit to increasing the cost of groceries for both plastic and paper bags.
  • The current economy is not conducive for adding any type of fees.
  • How in the world is the city going to enforce the ban and the imposition of the fee?
  • The production of paper bags is the number ONE source of air pollution in the Pacific Northwest.
  • The ordinance may be found to be illegal . We will know once the California Supreme Court finishes a case before it challenging the Manhattan Beach plastic bag ban.
  • Shoppers will go to Lakewood or Signal Hill (which do not ban the plastic bags) and our Long Beach businesses will be impacted unfairly.
I took a walk in El Dorado Park yesterday and found several plastic bags floating through the air or stuck on a fence. Many of them were from the 99 cent store -- which does not sell groceries and would not be covered under this ban. So what about those bags?

A statewide ban on plastic bags would be more appropriate and probably more legally defensible.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

See Short Video on TEDX-So Cal that we are bringing to Long Beach in July

Readers -- see this exciting spot on the Tedx-SoCal that we are bringing to Long Beach this July 16th! My staff and I and a wonderful committee of creative, talented people put the event together. Our theme is "Thriving". Tickets are on sale and we encourage students to attend to listen to the array of thought provoking speakers and entertainers.

Save Station 18

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