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, August 16, 2012

National and International Press Take Notice of Idea to Use Long Beach's Urban Forest

It was exciting to read all of the national and international news coverage of my proposal to explore how the City of Long Beach can utilize its "urban forest" of 393,000 trees in medians and in parks and market the carbon offset credits these trees produce. I want to thank my two co-sponsors: Councilmembers Garcia and Johnston.

The marketing of these carbon offset credits and the revenues produced could help our city better trim and maintain these trees.

Under AB 32, California's landmark climate regulations, a cap and trade system is established that allows the selling and buying of carbon offset credits. The use of an "urban forest" for these credits is a new one but one being explored in California as evidenced by a recent workshop conducted by the University of California at Davis which you can view at:

Also check out some of the news stories featuring our proposal in Long Beach:

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Public Budget Meeting Set for August 20th at 6 pm -- Cuts to Be Discussed

For immediate release
Contact: Tiffany Andrews: 562 570-6932

Schipske To Hold Community Budget Meeting Monday, August 20th at 6 pm –
Discussion of Impact of Budget Cuts on City

August 16, 2012 – The public is encouraged to attend a meeting to discuss the impact of proposed budget cuts on the City of Long Beach this coming Monday, August 20th at 6 pm, today announced Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske. The open meeting will be held at the Long Beach Water Treatment Plant, at Redondo Avenue at Spring Street.

“We will present the cuts in services proposed by the Mayor and the City Manager and have staff on hand to answer any questions,” explains Councilwoman Schipske. “It is very important that residents throughout Long Beach come to this meeting and the meetings held in other council districts as well. These proposed cuts threaten the safety, character, and quality of life in this city.” 

Councilwoman Schipske is a forceful advocate for making local government more open and accessible and in addition to the public budget meeting she has implemented an on line way for residents to discuss the proposed budget cuts and to add a few of their own at: 
“IdeaScale is used extensively in other levels of government and in the private sector to really get a sense of what citizens and customers feel and expect,” says Schipske. “What is particularly effective about this tool is that everyone who logs on can see what everyone else feels about a specific question. It’s like talking together while sitting at the kitchen table.”

Schipske also brought to the City Council the on line “budget challenge” provided by Next10. “This organization launched the California Budget Challenge and made it available for cities to set up a budget challenge specific to their finances,” says Schipske.  “So now Long Beach residents can go on line to and participate in  a simulation of the tough choices we are faced with in Long Beach.”

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Why People Are Attached to Their Community

Check out these videos from the Knight Gallup project "Soul of the Community" which identified those key drivers that make people feel attached to their community.

To keep Long Beach alive, we need to make certain we aren't killing the soul of this community by cutting out important opportunities that help residents feels attached.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

We are hurting the soul of this city

I was struck by a 2010 Knight Foundation story that surveyed the factors that make a resident love their city -- what makes the soul of a city. The story showed in 25 cities -- including Long Beach -- that residents who love their city help make the economy grow. What residents want are places to gather, clean and green spaces and openness -- acceptance by others.

The cuts being proposed go to the soul of Long Beach. Our residents need and depend upon our libraries and our parks and recreation programs. Our families count on after school opportunities and a place for their children to study and to read. Our kids want to play sports and stay busy. Those with disabilities need adaptive recreation and safe swimming pools so they have the chance to interact with their peers. Our seniors want to attend programs that enable them to keep active and out of nursing homes.

We should not be pitting these quality of life services against police and fire for funding. It should not be an either or especially when the city has a surplus.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Response Times for Emergency Medical Services Increased with Budget Cuts

First as background -- let me tell you that before I became a Registered Nurse Practitioner I trained as an Emergency Medical Tech (EMT) and did my ride alongs with Fire Station 1 in downtown Long Beach. So I know a little more than the average elected about paramedics and the national response times that have been set as the standard.

Please see the following documents that were provided in response to my request at City Council that we be given data about the response times for emergency medical services -- paramedics. As you will note, as I was concerned, the data shows that response times have increased with recent budget cuts -- rolling brown outs of fire stations.

This is a serious report because there are now more proposals on the table to reduce fire services even more and possible close Station 18 which is at Palo Verde and Wardlow.

We cannot jeopardize the safety of our residents who call  9-1-1 and expect a response in keeping with national standards.

Complete breakdown of response times by Fire Station:
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Check out Vial of LIFE for Long Beach

 Check our Public Service Announcement about VIAL of LIFE for Long Beach -- a new program to put critical medical and prescription information in the hands of emergency first responders. After you view the video, click on to the website for more information about this life saving program. Click here.

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Thank You Volunteers for Shaping Up the 5th District and Pan Am Park

Two dozen volunteers from the neighborhood, local Walmart stores and church groups came out on a hot Saturday morning to help paint, landscape, spread mulch and paint some more. Pan Am Park on Centralia looks so good after their efforts.

Save Station 18

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