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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 2, 2013

Schipske Responds to City Manager/Mayor Proposed Budget -- Need to Focus on Job Creation in Long Beach

New-Long-Beach-City-Seal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Schipske Responds to Proposed Budget -- Says Time for City to Wage A Real War For Jobs – Calls for Portion of One Time Funds to Be Used to Spur Private Job Creation, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development in Long Beach – 
Also Calls for relief for residents from high fees and fines

August 2, 2014 -- In response to the release of the City Manager/Mayor budget for Fiscal Year 2014, Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske released the following statement:

“As required by state law and City Charter, the proposed budget for FY 2014 is balanced. This year, it reflects a large surplus in revenue caused directly by the return of property tax dollars due to the dissolution of redevelopment and the continued high price of oil.

While $5.5 million of this revenue surplus – also called one time funds -- are being proposed by the Mayor for Public Safety (something for which I have strongly advocated over the past several years), there is no provision to utilize any of the surplus to deal with the high unemployment rate and the lack of private sector job growth in Long Beach.

Long Beach continues to experience the highest unemployment rate in California. As recently as March 2013, the rate was 11.6% as compared with 8.8% percent for California and 7.6% nationally. This should be unacceptable to any elected official in this City and reversing this problem should be our first priority.
The State Legislature just abolished the ‘enterprise zone’ tax credits that Long Beach was able to use to recruit companies to create jobs here, so now more than ever we need a strategy that pulls together entrepreneurs, educators and City leaders to find out how together we increase job creation.

The City must utilize a portion of this $56 million dollar surplus to wage a war on creating and retaining private sector jobs. We need to figure out why our unemployment rate is so high and why other cities, particularly in the Bay Area of the state, are thriving and creating sustainable, good paying jobs. We need to closely examine what part our city government can play in developing a local solution.

As John Clifton writes in his article: “Cities: Where Good Jobs Are Created” -- Have your whole city wage a war for jobs. Everybody in charge of anything needs to focus on job creation. If they divert their attention, vote them out. Be ruthless. If the bike path doesn't have anything to do with job creation, there is no bike path. If rezoning improves the jobs outlook, rezone.

I would propose that $2 million dollars be designated to establish a Small Business Services Initiative that would offer seed money for entrepreneurs so that businesses can start, operate and expand in Long Beach. Most importantly, a SBSI would also bring together local educational institutions, entrepreneurs, labor unions, local government and others to address the problems of job loss, low graduation rates, the continued ‘brain drain’ of college graduates who leave Long Beach, and the lack of training programs for blue collar jobs, to ensure we are all on the same page about the need to create jobs. This initiative could also help locate affordable workspaces to support start up businesses. (Perhaps the City could use some of the 296 properties from redevelopment for workspaces.)

The City also needs to pursue locating a ‘Green Tech Zone’ in Long Beach which can serve as an incubator for innovation and would create jobs in these growing industries. I authored legislation last year directing the City Manager to explore this possibility to duplicate what the City of Los Angeles has done.  I asked that a committee of the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce work with the City to explore this option for Long Beach. The aim would be to attract clean industries through incentives, including help obtaining permits and tax and utility rebates. 

Long Beach needs to make its top priorities – real job creation and economic growth.

We also have to lessen the burden on the working families of our city who struggle to keep their jobs and pay their taxes. Recently, the City Council passed legislation so that real estate agents no longer have to pay a separate business license if they work under a broker. The City Council needs to review all of the fees and fines we require residents to pay: From the costs of a home business license to the parking ticket for not moving your car in time for the street sweepers. We need to provide some relief.”

Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske has represented the 5th Council District since 2006. She will hold a District 5 Budget Meeting on August 14th at 6 pm at the Water Treatment Plant, 2950 Redondo (at Spring).

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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Find out the latest and connect with the Long Beach Police Department

The City of Long Beach has developed or purchased a number of phone apps which can be used to connect residents directly with city services.

See this video on the latest phone app that will connect you with the Long Beach Police Department.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Right Up Your Alley..

Shaping Up the Fifth Summer Alley Clean Up: Volunteers Have Tackled Three Alleyways in First Two Weeks of Project
Alley Between Palo Verde-Conquista Before     Alley between Palo Verde-Conquista_After 

 Before and After photos of alley between Palos Verde and Conquista above.
In the first two weeks of the Shaping up the Fifth Alley Cleanup, volunteers have tackled seven blocks of alley in three locations in the Fifth District. Volunteers working under the supervision of Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske's Office, have raked and swept up dead vegetation, removed weeds and overgrowth, inspected for potholes, graffiti, and reported large dumped items and other hazards.

The alley clean up project will continue every Wednesday through Friday from 8 am - noon through the summer. The project has been done every two summers as part of the Councilwoman's Shaping Up the Fifth initiative. The process began this year with an inspection and prioritization of need. Volunteers will clean approximately 45 blocks of alley that are in the Fifth District this year.

Alleys cleaned so far: 
  1. Between Palo Verde and Hackett from Keynote north to where it dead-ends south of Saint Maria Goretti School - about two and a half blocks long. 
  2. Between Palo Verde and Hackett from Pageantry to where it dead-ends just south of Wardlow. 
  3. Between Palo Verde and Conquista from Pageantry and Killdee.
My staff and I are working hard to track areas with greatest need for improvements and repair. Our biannual alley cleanups have also helped to keep our alley safe.  

I hope that funding will be made available for full alley repaving. Currently, the City of Long Beach has focused only on streets.  

Help Keep Our Fifth District Alleys Clean and Beautiful

Volunteers and residents are invited to join Councilwoman Schipske in this community event to promote healthier neighborhoods and involve residents in keeping their community beautiful. Volunteers will meet at targeted locations each week to help pull weeds, bag up debris, and make note of issues such as faded signs, graffiti, dumped items, and potholes. Ruth Bach and El Dorado Neighborhood Libraries will also get some help from volunteers later in the summer with some fresh paint, and clean up tasks.
The meeting place for the next alley to be tackled on Wednesday, August 7th is between Clark Ave and Greenbrier Rd. at Harco St. Volunteers are asked to meet 8 am. Residents are invited to bring their own tools to supplement the limited number of rakes, shovels, hoes, and gloves that will be available.   

Bi-annual Shaping Up the Fifth Alley Clean up Project 

Wednesday through Friday 
8 am - noon
Next Clean Up Session: Wednesday, August 7

on August 7th, meet at the alley 
off Harco between Clark Avenue and Greenbrier Rd.

Help remove weeds and debris, and inspect for potholes and report graffiti

The Councilwoman's ongoing effort to address infrastructure needs in the Fifth Council District, called "Shaping Up the Fifth," focuses on local alleys every two years. Council staff and neighborhood volunteers continuously inspect and inventory the district's streets and sidewalks,.

It's a great opportunity to get involved and make a difference!

To volunteer for the alley clean up project, 
and to confirm daily locations, 
please call the Office of Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske 
at 562-570-6932 or email
weekdays between 8 am - 5 pm

A staff member will be able to give you directions to that location. 
Please be sure to include your phone number in your message so you can be contacted directly in the event of rain or unforeseen location changes.

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