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 29, 2013

Schipske responds to Fed announcement about Medical Marijuana

English: Discount Medical Marijuana cannabis s...
English: Discount Medical Marijuana cannabis shop at 970 Lincoln Street, Denver, Colorado. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For Immediate Release

Schipske Says “Now that feds have made it clear they will not stand in way of States which have made medical marijuana legal – Long Beach needs to move forward”

Long Beach, CA – August 29, 2013 – In response to US Attorney General Eric Holder’s announcement that the Obama Administration would not stand in the way of states where voters have supported legalizing marijuana either for medical or recreational use as long as those states maintain strict rules involving the distribution of the drug, Fifth District Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske issued the following statement:
“The City of Long Beach has rightfully been concerned that even though State law allows the use of marijuana for medical purposes, the federal government continued to arrest and prosecute those who grew and dispensed it. The release of a memorandum by US Deputy Attorney General James Cole to US Attorneys, today, outlines the position of the US Department of Justice which supports those jurisdictions that have legalized the use of marijuana and have put into place ‘strong and effective regulatory and enforcement systems to control the cultivation, distribution, sale and possession of marijuana.’
The memo further acknowledges that is not an efficient use of federal resources to focus enforcement efforts on seriously ill individuals, or on their individual caregivers and draws the distinction between the seriously ill and their care givers on one hand, and large-scale, for profit commercial enterprises on the other. The latter will continue to be the target of federal prosecutors if it is determined that these operations violate any of the following enforcement priorities of the federal government:
  • ·        Preventing the distribution of marijuana to minors;
  • ·        Preventing the revenue from the sale of marijuana going to criminal enterprises, gangs and cartels;
  • ·        Preventing marijuana possession or use on federal property;
  • ·        Preventing the diversion of marijuana from states where it is legal under state law in some form to other states;
  • ·        Preventing state-authorized marijuana activity from being used as a cover or pretext for the trafficking of other illegal drugs or other illegal activity;
  • ·        Preventing violence and the use of firearms in the cultivation and distribution of marijuana;
  • ·        Preventing drugged driving and the exacerbation of other adverse public health consequences associated with marijuana use; and
  • ·        Preventing the growing of marijuana and the attendant public safety and environmental dangers posed by marijuana production on public lands.

“What is most instructive to the City of Long Beach is the following statement from US DOJ:

               ‘In jurisdictions that have enacted laws legalizing marijuana in some form and that have also implemented strong and effective regulatory and enforcement systems to control the cultivation, distribution, sale and possession of marijuana, conduct in compliance with those laws and regulations is less likely to threaten the federal priorities set forth above. Indeed a robust system may affirmatively address those priorities by, for example, implementing effective measures to prevent diversion of marijuana outside of the regulated system and to other states, prohibiting access to marijuana by minors and replacing an illicit marijuana trade that funds criminal enterprises with a tightly regulated market in which revenues are tracked and accounted for.’

It is now time for the City of Long Beach to re-visit the issue of how the Compassionate Use Act can be implemented in the city through a strong and effective regulatory and enforcement system that protects the seriously ill and their care givers while at the same time complies with the federal priorities to prevent criminal enterprises.”

Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske represents the Fifth Council District in Long Beach. She is a Registered Nurse Practitioner and attorney at law.

The US DOJ memo can be viewed at this link: 
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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The importance of libraries in Long Beach

Libraries Work Because We Do!
Libraries Work Because We Do! (Photo credit: circulating)

Look carefully at the Mayor’s budget. It does not restore one cut to the City’s library system. It does not return librarians who were replaced by self-service check out systems. It does not replenish the materials budget which was slashed from $1.8 million in FY 2008 and is now down to $677,000.

It pretends to be an appropriate size budget for a library system that serves a population of 450,000. But through slashing and cutting and intimidation of staff who are afraid to speak out about what has been done to the library system in Long Beach, this budget helps feeds into the myth promulgated by the Mayor about the inevitable demise of libraries. After all, he told the Los Angeles Times that because of the internet, libraries have become smaller.

The library budget totals only 3.1 percent of the general fund. The FY 2014 budget proposes spending one-time funds for the north library furniture and books but does not budget one penny for staff. Small funds are proposed for tables to plug in lap tops but no funds are proposed to upgrade the wiring necessary to feed electricity to the lap tops. Minimal funding is proposed for some roof repairs – but details of which libraries to be repaired are missing. No funding is proposed to fix and repair all of the branch libraries that suffer from infrastructure neglect.

If we allow these cuts to remain and the library system to be diminished it is because we haven’t made it clear to our elected officials that libraries are more than a book-lending service – especially during bad economic times and high unemployment. Libraries add to the city’s economic growth and vitality by providing access to information and research, literacy programs, and spaces for reading, relaxing and working. For some, libraries are a safety net where they can access the internet.

Our libraries are providing numerous resources in various forms. We need to educate our elected officials what would will be lost if adequate funding is not provided for our libraries. Perhaps then, as one supporter of libraries wrote: “they will see a future for the library that is worth funding and avoid the folly of penny wise and pound foolish decisions that would withdraw this key service from the public.”
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Monday, August 26, 2013

Proposed State legislation would require elected officials to take financial management training

Finance (Photo credit: Tax Credits)
Now here's an idea. Elected local officials are required by state law to take ethics training every two years, so why not require them to take financial management training as well?

That's why Assembly member Gordon who thinks that with recent budget problems in several cities, that it might not be a bad idea to require all elected officials to undergo financial management training, which according to his bill is:

“Financial management training” includes, but is not limited
 to, the following:
 (1) Laws and commonly excepted accepted best practices
 relating to local budgeting, including, but not limited to, revenue
 sources, debt instruments, budget monitoring, and financial
 (2) Laws relating to financial reporting requirements for local
 agencies at the local, state, and federal levels, including auditing
 (3) Laws and commonly accepted best practices relating to
 long-term financial planning, cash management, and investments,
 for local agencies.
 (4) Laws and commonly accepted best practices relating to
 capital financing and debt management.
 (5) Laws relating to purchasing and contracting practices.

It would also help to require training in pension financing and setting performance measures for local budgets.

What do you think about this idea? You can read his bill at
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