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    News

    LB Area Chamber of Commerce Endorses All Four Council Incumbents Up For Reelection On April 13...And Announces Establishment Of "Candidate Academy"

    Chamber advocacy arm also launches web page: LB Vote 2004


    (February 26, 2004, initial post 11:45 a.m., updated 1:45 p.m.) -- The Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce has announced it is endorsing all four City Council incumbents up for reelection on April 13:

    • 2d district: Councilmember Dan Baker
    • 4th district: Councilmember Dennis Carroll
    • 6th district: Councilmember Laura Richardson
    • 8th district: Councilmember Rob Webb

    The recommendations were made by the Chamber's Political Action Committee (PAC) Board of Directors (members listed below), a separate entity from the Chamber's governing Board. The Chamber PAC Board's vote was unanimous, said Chamber VP for Government Affairs Shaun Lumachi.

    The Chamber PAC forwarded its recommendations to the Chamber's full governing Board which voted this morning (Feb. 26) to approve them. Its vote was unanimous with one abstention and not all Board members present, Mr. Lumachi indicated.

    Following the Chamber board vote, the endorsements were announced at a Feb. 26 midmorning news conference with Chamber officials.

    At the press event, David Neary, who chairs the Chamber's full Board and the PAC Board, also announced the establishment of a Chamber "Candidate Academy." "This fall, we will invite past candidates and future candidates for elected offices to participate in a monthly seminar dedicated to fostering future candidates for elected offices," Mr. Neary said.

    LBReport.com posts Mr. Neary's written remarks distributed to the media below:

    ...Growing businesses create more jobs for our community. Growing businesses also improve our working and living environment and it expands the financial base that supports the community services needed by our residences.

    As the stewards of a strong business climate, it is the Chamberís responsibility to insure that our business communityís interests are represented in the political decisions of our community. The Chamber's Political Action Committee raises funds and endorses candidates for a better Long Beach. Our current efforts are focused on the 2004 city council and the November State Assembly election.

    Today, we are here to announce our endorsements for the April 2004 City Council elections. I am thankful to each and every candidate for their time and willingness to participate in our process. I will now announce our endorsements and say a few words about why they are important to our business community.

    Dan Baker, Long Beach City Council District 2

    Councilmember Baker has a strong record of working with The Chamber and our business community.

    He has played an active role in the revitalization of our downtown including business retention and attracting new businesses into the Pike at Rainbow Harbor. He is supportive of the Boeing Pacific Center project which The Chamber views as a major economic necessity for our region.

    He understands the major state legislative issues that will impact our community. As Chair of the Councilís State and Federal Legislative Committee, Councilmember Baker will continue to fight for workers compensation reform and other issues that impact our business community. Councilmember Baker will oppose tax increases as a solution to our cityís dire financial situation.

    Dennis Carroll, Long Beach City Council District 4

    Councilmember Carroll has a positive record of supporting pro-business issues within our city. He spearheaded a fight to bring workers compensation to a high level of attention throughout our community. He is supportive of the Boeing Pacific Center project which The Chamber views as a major economic necessity for our region and his district.

    Councilmember Carroll is committed to cutting red tape at City Hall in order to attract new businesses to our city and create jobs. Specifically, Councilmember Carroll will oppose tax increases as a solution to our cityís dire financial situation. He also understands and is willing to make the tough decisions necessary to completely implement the cityís three year budget plan.

    Laura Richardson, Long Beach City Council District 6

    Councilwoman Richardson is an advocate for business in our community. Her district faces an unemployment rate twice as high as the national average.

    She understands the importance of jobs and job creation within her community. The Chamber looks forward to working with her to ease anti-business legislation in Sacramento and attracting new jobs to Long Beach.

    Specifically, Councilwoman Richardson is a stanch supporter of revitalizing the Long Beach Airport. She shares The Chamberís position of revitalizing the airport to meet current needs without sacrificing the flight capacity.

    She is supportive of the Boeing Pacific Center project which The Chamber views as a major economic necessity for our region. Councilwoman Richardson will oppose future tax increases as a solution to our cityís dire financial situation.

    Rob Webb, Long Beach City Council District 8

    Councilmember Webb is a business advocate. The Chamber has appreciated his tireless efforts on behalf of our business community. Specifically, he has spearheaded revitalization efforts in the Bixby Knollís area of his district. He has been an advocate for new businesses personally involving himself in the recruitment of new business to his district.

    Councilmember Webb is committed to taking a stronger stance on the future of our airport. He shares The Chamberís position of revitalizing the airport to meet its needs within the current flight capacity.

    The Chamber will look to Councilmember Webb to take a leadership role in finding compromise to the issues facing the Long Beach Airport and its future.

    He is also supportive of the Boeing Pacific Center project which The Chamber views as a major economic necessity for our region.

    Thank you again to each of our endorsed candidate for their energy and leadership for a better Long Beach. I also wish to thank to other candidates that took time away from their campaign to interview with us. We honor their willingness to serve our community and look forward to playing a role in their political future.

    With that in mind, I am formally announcing the establishment of the Chamberís Candidate Academy. This fall, we will invite past candidates and future candidates for elected offices to participate in a monthly seminar dedicated to fostering future candidates for elected offices. The Chamber believes that the willingness to run for office should not end with an election. That willingness needs to be fostered and experiences honed in the non-election season. The Chamber will play a role in this and we look forward to working with future candidates. More details will be available later this summer and The Chamber will update the community throughout the development process of our new Candidate Academy.

    Members of the Chamber's Political Action Committee Board of Directors are publicly listed in the legislative issues section the Chamber's advocacy web site (www.longbeachadvocacy.biz). The Chamber PAC Board's members are:

  • David Neary, PAC Chairman, Chamber Chairman of the Board, CEO, Westland Construction, Inc.
  • Scott Dionne, PAC Treasurer, Partner, Windes & McClaughry Accountancy Corporation
  • Justin Hunter, Partner, Ernst and Young
  • Janet McCarthy, CEO, Goodwill Industries of Long Beach & South Bay
  • Larry Uyeda, CEO, JCA Resources
  • Matt Kinley, Partner, Tredway, Lumsdaine and Doyle
  • Lou Anne Bynum, Chamber Chair-Elect, VP - Assistant Superintendant, LB City College
  • Kimball Wasick, Senior Director, Cushman & Wakefield of California, Inc.
  • Byron Schweigert, President, LB Memorial Hospital
  • Bob Stemler, Attorney At Law, Keesal, Young and Logan
  • Larry Whitley, Public Relations, Boeing
  • Randy Gordon, Chamber President and CEO
  • Shaun Lumachi, PAC Staff, Chamber VP for Government Affairs
  • The Chamber says the PAC Board extended invitations for interviews to all candidates running (including 2d district write-in candidate Sonny Bozeman).

    The Chamber's advocacy web page lists its public policy platform, developed in 2002 by the Chamber's Government Affairs Council (reported at the time by LBReport.com) and approved by the Chamber Board. It can be accessed via www.longbeachadvocacy.biz.

    [update] LongBeachAdvocacy.biz has also launched a new web page: Long Beach Vote 2004, a robust page featuring the Chamber's position on the March 2, 2004 statewide ballot measures (Yes on Props 55, 57 & 58; No on Prop 56), along with details, and the Chamber's endorsement (previously reported by LBReport.com) of Steve Luykendall for the 54th district Assembly seat.

    The page also includes a video welcome by LB Chamber Board chair Neary. [LBReport.com comment: Impressive!]


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