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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, August 5, 2011

Press Asks Why I Wasn't at Rally Against Hate Crimes

How do I begin? Last week I learned of a management proposal to seriously restructure the fire department. I asked my staff to get a community room at El Dorado park and we sent out an invitation to my constituents on AUGUST 1 announcing a meeting on Thursday, August 4 at 6:30 pm to discuss the proposal. The local press ran articles about the meeting.

On Tuesday, August 2 during city council, members of the public came before the council about the recent hate crimes against gay men in Long Beach. I strongly condemned the crimes and even suggested how the victims could get compensation from the Victims of Crime fund. At the end of council I again announced my community meeting on public safety to be held on Thrs.

Not one word was mentioned during council or afterwards that there would be a public rally on this issue.

On Wednesday, August 3 at 2:45 pm my office received a email from another council office telling me of a rally at Hot Java to show outrage about the attacks and slurs. My staff reminded the other council office that I already had a meeting planned at the same time and that with such late notice I could not cancel the meeting.

I held my community meeting on the mayor's proposed serious cuts to the fire department on Thursday, August 4th at 6:30 pm.

However, I sent my staff to the rally to make sure people knew of my support.

Now I get calls from the press asking why I wasn't there? Come on. Stop looking to make trouble in the lesbian and gay community.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

My update from the White House on Intergovernmental Affairs

Just received this briefing:

White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs Local Update
Welcome to the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs local update. In this week’s issue we hear about the Vice President's call with local officials, give you details on HUD's latest Sustainable Communities grants, introduce the SBA 100, and learn about the benefits of green infrastructure.

Keep an eye on your inbox and check out the
White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs Website for more information.

Vice President Biden Speaks with Local Leaders about Debt Deal

On Wednesday, Vice President Joe Biden joined over 440 state, local, tribal and territorial officials on a call to talk about the debt ceiling deal signed by President Obama on August 2 and the Administration's ongoing economic priorities.
Vice President Biden thanked the many state and local officials who spoke out during the debate for a balanced, bipartisan approach to the debt negotiations. He talked about the tough budget choices that state and local officials make every day, and discussed the President's insistence that costs not be passed on to state and local governments that can ill afford more budget cuts during these times. He also highlighted the significance of preserving funding for infrastructure, education, and innovation to help grow the economy and create jobs.
Following the Vice President, Jason Furman of the National Economic Council took questions from local officials on the call. These city and county leaders echoed the President’s remarks that now, with the debt ceiling raised and calamity averted, the conversation urgently needs to turn to job creation. Officials from North Carolina to Pennsylvania to Utah thanked the Administration for their efforts to stimulate job growth and encouraged federal officials to continue to push for programs that create jobs in states and cities.
We encourage you to send your additional questions about the debt deal, the President’s commitment to helping state and local governments, the Administration's jobs agenda, and other topics to and we’ll answer some of them in an upcoming blog post.
For more information on the bipartisan compromise, check out the deal explained in three steps and an overview of the myths and facts.
HUD Announces New Sustainable Communities Grants  

    Last week, U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan announced the availability of $95 million to support sustainable local initiatives through the FY 2011 Regional Planning and Community Challenge Planning Grant Programs from HUD’s Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities.
This year’s Regional Planning Grant program will encourage grantees to support regional planning efforts that integrate housing, land-use, economic and workforce development, transportation, and infrastructure developments in a manner that empowers regions to consider how all of these factors work together to enhance their economic competitiveness and catalyze community revitalization. This year’s Regional Planning Grant program will set aside $17.5 million for jurisdictions with populations under 200,000.
The Community Challenge Planning Grant program will be competitively awarded to state, local and tribal governments for efforts such as amending or replacing local master plans, zoning and building codes to promote mixed-use development, building more affordable housing, and the rehabilitation of older buildings and structures with the goal of promoting sustainability at the local and neighborhood levels. In addition, this year’s Community Challenge Planning Grant program will set aside $3 million for jurisdictions with populations under 50,000.
Community Challenge Planning Grant program applications are due September 9, 2011, and the pre-applications for the Regional Planning Grant Program are due August 25, 2011.
To read the full text of the advance funding announcement, visit HUD's Sustainable Communities Grants website.  
Introducing the SBA 100

This week, Small Business Administrator Karen Mills announced the
SBA 100, a showcase of 100 small businesses that got SBA help to create at least 100 jobs. These include Main Street businesses ranging from a small brewery in Delaware to a Dairy Queen owner in Alaska. They also include high-growth, high-impact firms that have made a major impact on our economy.

Enter the SBA 100 Gallery
What they all have in common is that they directly benefited from SBA help at a critical moment in their growth. Some received great advice from SBA staff or counselors. Many got SBA loans. Others won federal contracts. Still others used unique programs like Small Business Investment Companies or the Small Business Innovation Research program.
Browse through the gallery of stories and see how the SBA can help businesses in your community build, expand, and hire.
Working Together for Clean Water and Strong Communities  

This week, EPA Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe explained on
our blog how green infrastructure is helping communities across the country:
    EPA is always looking for new ways to keep communities clean and healthy, while creating jobs and fostering economic growth. One way we’re accomplishing this goal is through innovative, sensible and cost-effective investments like green infrastructure. When it rains, stormwater picks up oil, pesticides and other chemicals on our streets and buildings and carries those pollutants into nearby waters. Communities have traditionally considered this stormwater to be wastewater that needs to be stored and treated – something that’s very costly to cities and towns on a budget. Green infrastructure manages stormwater by treating it like the valuable resource it is, working with Mother Nature, not against her. By using permeable pavements, rain barrels, landscape changes and other techniques, green infrastructure changes capture and filter stormwater so our waters will stay clean. We’ve seen the success green infrastructure investments can have in communities throughout the nation. Like in Seattle, Washington, where adding trees and shrubs to a city block reduced 99 percent of the stormwater runoff – leading local residents to advocate for similar changes on their streets. In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where innovative strategies and investments like planting trees and installing green roofs have helped the city save about $170 million since 2006, according to city estimates. These cities and many more have realized the benefits of coordination and are working with EPA to determine how green infrastructure plans can best help them meet their stormwater management needs now and in the future.

Learn more about how communities across the country are incorporating green infrastructure and other innovative techniques into their long-term clean water plans.Get Updates 

For more information, visit the
White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs website.

Find your new Congressional, Assembly and State Senate District

Click on the link and type in your address to find out your new congressional, assembly and state senate district  drawn by the Citizens Redistricting Commission.

The maps become final on August 15th, however there is a possibility several groups may sue because the lines draw out communities of interest from their current political districts.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Urgent Community Meeting on Fire Department Staffing

Long Beach Fire Department Headquarters 
Schipske Calls for 'Community Conversation' on Fire Department Staffing Issues

 Long Beach, CA -- Fifth District Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske will hold a "community conversation" on the issue of whether or not staffing on fire trucks should be reduced from the current levels.

"This issue is too important not to engage the community right now," says Schipske, who led a fight to keep Station 18 open two years ago.

"In light of the fact that the City continues to 'brown out' stations and now apparently management is floating proposals to cut staffing further, I think the community needs to hear a full presentation and provide their input."

The "Community Conversation" will be held on Thursday, August 4, 2011 at 6:30pm at the El Dorado Community Center, 2800 Studebaker Road.

All residents of Long Beach are invited to attend.

Getting Long Beach Back to Work

I am sure you agree that Long Beach needs jobs!

That's why I am asking my colleagues on the City Council to approve two measures I have placed on the agenda.

1) Revamping the business license law to allow small, home based plumbing, masonry and construction businesses. We have many out of work residents who have worked in the building trades and want to operate a one person business from their home. I am asking that our code be revised to allow this -- but obviously with protections so the character of residential neighborhoods are not negatively impacted.

2) Reducing or waiving business license fees and taxes to encourage business to locate here or to remain here. While we don't have the highest business license fees and taxes, these are sometimes a block to getting business to locate here or to remain here. My proposal asks City Manager to develop a way we can waive or reduce these fees as incentives. These fees would be reduced or waive with the creation of jobs by these businesses.

The City has very few of its own means at its disposal to provide incentives to business to create jobs.

These two proposals are a start.

We need to put Long Beach back to work. Our unemployment is the highest in the county.

Would appreciate your thoughts.

Save Station 18

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