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.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Ethnic Groups Possibly Change Boundaries for Assembly, Senate and Congressional Districts Including Long Beach

Although the State Citizens Commission on Redistricting is supposed to draw the new lines outlining the boundaries of Assembly, Senate and Congressional districts which include Long Beach, it is clear that some of the Commission's work has been done for them by Redistricting Partners and Political Data, Inc. Additional work has been done by the Mexican American Legal Defense and the Asian Pacific Law Center.

Redistricting Partners is a Sacramento‐based political redistricting firm working at the state, county and
local level to help local governments and outside interest groups navigate the redistricting process. Key
clients include the Community College League, the Valley Industry and Commerce Association, the
Sacramento Downtown Partnership and several incumbent legislators and members of Congress.
Political Data Inc. is the unparalleled leader in voter information, working with campaigns throughout
California on a bipartisan basis. For twenty years Political Data has provided campaigns with necessary
tools for direct voter contact, phone, mail, internet and walk programs. The Political Data servers house
the most robust and trusted political data in the state ‐ and this information will be at the fingertips of
their clients in this year’s redistricting process.

They have teamed together and calculated data based on the census and the supplemental information found in the PDI dataset that will be used by demographers and mapmakers to justify lines based on economic, workplace, and consumer patterns.

I am linking their proposed maps for your review. 
Announcement of PDI-+-Redistricting-Partners
California Minority Districts
Congressional Populations
Senate Populations
Assemly Populations

MALDEF maps:
MALDEF Narrative
Proposed Congressional maps
Proposed Assembly Maps
Proposed Senate maps

You will find of interest that the Assembly Districts and Congressional Districts which include Long Beach all experienced increases in Hispanic populations and all will have to add people in order to be balanced. Alan Lowenthal's 27th State Senate District actually had a decrease in Hispanic population.

The most startling news and the factor that will probably produce a congressional district with all of Long Beach within it -- forcing Congresswomen Richardson and Sanchez to slug it out with Congressman Ed Royce and Congressman Dana Rohrabacher if they want to stay in congress.

Particularly vulnerable are Congresswoman Laura Richardson with an 8% increase in Hispanics and a 4% decrease in African Americans. Ed Royce saw a 6% in Hispanics; Linda Sanchez saw a 4% increase and Dana Rohrabacher a 4%.There is another calculation that takes place that is referred to as Citizen Voting Age Population. A 50% CVAP provides protected status on a minority group.

Whatever occurs, it is almost certain that Long Beach will be in one Congressional District, most likely shared with west Orange County -- which is steadily going bluer and bluer (more Democrat). If this redrawing occurs, then the Congressional District will look very much like the one I almost won in 2000 -- to be precise I lost by less than 1% of the vote. It was reported as the 5th closest Congressional race in the U.S. And if this new Congressional District includes west Orange County...I just might have to take a second look at running for Congress again.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Why I Voted Against the Plastic Bag Ban and 10 Cent Fee

Schipske one of three votes against banning plastic bags in grocery stores -- and slapping on 10 cent fee for paper bags... 

It apparently didn't matter to the majority of council members that that most residents of Long Beach do not appreciate being told they aren't responsible enough to recycle and reuse plastic bags or that they now must pay 10 cents for the privilege of using paper bags in grocery stores. That's why on a vote of 5-3 (with one member absent), the Council approved the ban and slapped on the 10 cent fee.

I VOTED AGAINST THE BAN AND 10 CENT FEE -- I did so for a number of reasons:
  • unless the state bans all plastic bags, this action singles out only one type of plastic bag used by one type of store -- grocery stores
  • it is not appropriate for a city council to slap on a fee for anything that is not related directly to local government -- this fee goes to the grocers who already admit that they charge customers for plastic and paper bags by increasing the cost of groceries
  • if the intent was to help clean up the ocean and the LA River, then why aren't we going after the real culprits -- styrofoam and plastic water bottles?
  • we are losing numerous wild birds in our local El Dorado Park because they are wrapped up in fishing line..but we aren't going to ban fishing or fishing line
  • this action does not generate one penny for the city to recover any refuse costs associated with plastic bags
  • not one plastic bag from Long Beach winds up in landfills -- that's because in Long Beach we don't use landfills for our trash -- we burn in at our SERRF plant which generates electricity
  • the EPA warns that paper bags can house cockroaches and their eggs and should be kept outside...nice
  • this country switched from paper to plastic because of concern of how many trees were being destroyed and the terrible pollution the manufacture of paper bags makes...duh, these are still concerns
  • many of the reusable bags being sold are not all safe -- many have been recalled due to lead and other toxic materials (if you use one, cotton is the best)
  • I believe that the best approach and most reasonable thing to do would be to continue a voluntary recycle and reuse plan and perhaps even implement a plastic bag refund program whereby grocers could pay customers who return 10 or more plastic bags..nothing works better than incentives
  • This issue should be put to a vote of the residents who will be impacted 
What you can do:

  • Contact Mayor Foster and ask him to veto the ordinance. He has 10 days to sign it into law or to veto it.
  • Contact your local grocery store and tell them you want them to carry and offer the types of plastic bags that are used at Wal-Mart and Target stores for their groceries and which by the way are STILL LEGAL under the City ordinance -- a little factoid not told to many.
  • Gather signatures to stop the ordinance and to place it on the ballot. 
Please keep in touch.
Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske, 5th District 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Schipske to Request Report on Impact of Supreme Court Decision Mandating Release of Prisoners

 Readers -- I am submitting the following council agenda item in light of the May 23 US Supreme Court 
decision ordering the release of State prisoners:

Subject:           Request for Report from City Manager and Chief of Police on Local Impact of Supreme Court Decision Ordering State to Release Prisoners and Assessment of City Budgeting Necessary to Respond


On May 23, 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered the State of California to release tens of thousands of state prison inmates, saying overcrowding in the state prison's had resulted in "needless suffering and death." The state is being required to reduce its prison population by as many as 46,000 inmates. Some prisoners will be transferred to local jails, others may be sent to the community to live in half-way houses and still others may be released.

It would be helpful and instructive to the City Council if the City Manager and Chief of Police provide an assessment of the potential impact of this court decision, including what additional public safety budgeting may be necessary.

Motion to approve a request that the City Manager and the Chief of Police  report on the local impact of the U.S. Supreme Court decision ordering the State to release prisoners and an assessment of what additional public safety budgeting will be necessary to respond.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Not controversial enough -- but I won my bet!

I bet my staff that the Press Telegram wouldn't cover the fact that Councilman Robert Garcia and I walked together in the Gay Pride Parade on Sunday.

I had a hunch that they would rather print a story that portrays Garcia and me in some type of "fight" about what to name an area at 3rd and the Promenade. They did just that last week and then KCAL picked it up incorrectly that I voted against referring the issue to committee, when in fact I wasn't even there. But it made good tabloid news.

So Councilman Garcia and I were both concerned about the inaccuracies and decided to walk together behind a banner with both of our names. Not only did the Press Telegram not even mention that we walked together to show unity, but I am the only member of the City Council who was in the parade that didn't appear in their photo gallery.

Gosh, fellas, your bias is really showing. If I didn't have this blog, the people couldn't get the facts. Now I have to collect my bet.

PS. Justin Rudd sent me a photo so I know I was there. (Time to get the grey dyed...)

What a busy week

On Thursday, community volunteers and the Long Beach Firefighters came through again to help fill over 100 bags filled with items for newborns and educational materials for their moms in my annual Community Babyshower. Great community involvement! Thanks everyone.

On Saturday, residents, staff and I, associates from Wal-Mart and Public Works planted 12 new trees in the Rancho's area on Premium. Great team work and involvement from the residents, who after having 17 diseased trees removed by the City, got together to move ahead getting replacements, which we got from the City Office of Sustainability. Thank you!

Today, I marched the entire length of the Gay Pride Parade with Councilman Robert Garcia. Yes, I can and yes, I did!

Ran home (actually was driven there) and changed my clothes so I could head over to Carpenters Center at CSULB and give the commencement address to the class of 2011 from Charter College. Charter prepares students for careers in health care, law enforcement, business and technology. The Center was filled as 200 graduates received their diplomas.

I shared with the graduates how I had been reluctant to accept the speaking engagement since yesterday was supposed to be the end of the world. I thought maybe I was invited because the school thought I'd be the only elected official in Long Beach left behind.  I also pointed out that while the end of the world would have spoiled their would have wiped out their student loans -- to which I received a lot of applause. It was fun to watch people starting their careers and celebrating their accomplishments. I am glad I said "yes."

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