January 24, 2012 – Long Beach City Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske today issued the following statement concerning her plans for the next two years:
“I want to thank those who have encouraged me to run for higher office. Your support and confidence are gratifying. However, many people also have come forward and urged me to continue my work on the City Council – being a voice of reason and asking the questions that need to be answered and bringing the community together through events, forums and discussions.
The City of Long Beach faces incredible challenges due in no small part to actions taken in Sacramento: the release of criminals back into our community and the State Legislature’s elimination of redevelopment – which impacts more than 40% of Long Beach.
In the first three weeks of the new year, Long Beach has experienced a dozen or more shootings – several of which were murders. Residential burglaries are up in my district. Our Police force is spread thin because of budget cuts – which I voted against. Our Fire department is using staff from the Westside of the city to cover the eastside – which I voted against. City employees in every department are stretched thin and services reduced – again which I voted against. Instead of using increases in oil revenues to restore cuts to public safety and quality of life services – as I proposed – these monies will be spent on one time special ‘projects.’
Additionally, public trust of government is at an all time low and needs to be restored by making all levels open, transparent and accountable. To make the City of Long Beach more transparent, accountable and collaborative – I have just announced the launch of OpenUpLongBeach.com – a project to involve residents in making certain this happens.
For these reasons, I have decided to continue to focus my attention on serving the City of Long Beach for the remainder of my second term on City Council. I urge residents to join me in the efforts to get more police and firefighters and to open up the City of Long Beach in order to make our local government accountable to and collaborative with its residents. Help me send the message that the ‘State of the City’ needs to be improved.”