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Councilwoman Lowenthal Announces Re-Election Bid
(Sept. 24, 2005) -- Surrounded by friends, family and supporters outside LB's historic Bembridge House at Drake Park, 1st district Councilwoman Bonnie Lowenthal has announced she's seeking re-election.
"All of you are the reason that I ran for office in the first place and you're still the reason that I want to run and continue what I've started in these last four years," Councilwoman Lonwenthal told cheering supporters.
Among her accomplishments, she cited "an expansion of park space, and all of you who live anywhere near Drake Park can see it is beautiful, it is better utilized than it was before, it has a recreation center that has been renovated..."
Pointing to areas behind the Bembridge House toward the L.A. river, Councilwoman Lowenthal said, "[M]any of you know that all of that vacant land down at the bottom there is going to be ours very soon. We're in negotiations for something like 23 acres...that will create then a Chavez [Park] to Drake [Park] Greenbelt." She also cited smaller parks including Peace Park, Molina Park and the Organic Garden (6th/Pacific).
LBReport.com posts extended excerpts of the Councilwoman's Sept. 23 campaign kickoff address below.
Councilwoman Lowenthal: ...One of the issues that I've been really fighting for is improving our housing...Certainly we have a problem with slumlords, and we're trying to chase those guys out of town, and part of our doing that is to pass an ordinance that provides relocation benefits when people are forced to move because of substandard conditions...
...I will say that one of the other successes that I've heard, that not everyone supported but I am proud of it and I know it will be a success, is the city's first year-round homeless shelter. And I know some of you here were not supportive. That is going to be in an industrial area of the 1st district, and it's my guarantee to you that it will be a tremendous benefit to the city [applause rises] without any impact on the residents or businesses of the 1st district [applause continues] so I'm very, very proud of that.
...We have some issues that are in the offing that are in our near future and I am really pleased to say that based on your input, I am adamantly opposed to the siting of an LNG facility in the Long Beach Harbor. [applause]
...Air quality is still a very big issue for us and I think you know that I was recently elected by 27 cities to the MTA Board, the L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and in that capacity I am better able to address the issues of air quality, the 710 freeway while many of you participated in the development of a plan, that plan is now going through the MTA and other agencies, so I have to be on top of that for you.
The Councilwoman said a shopping cart control ordinance will be coming to the City Council in the next few weeks. "Shopping carts have been a blight in our neighborhood. I've tried very hard to work with the Chamber on that and I will look forward to having you there at that [Council] meeting," she said.
Among quality of life successes, Councilwoman Lowenthal pointed to a new requirement that ice cream trucks sell only food-related items, not replica guns, tobacco, or fireworks, a measure she said was supported by Stevenson Elementary School's principal and parents. She also cited a Council ordinance letting the City fence vacant lots considered nuisances, and noted that a recently passed ordinance deals with loud parties. "Last year, the police department had 16,000 calls for service for noise. Now I don't know about you, but I want those cops out there chasing gangsters." she said to applause.
In a written release, her campaign said:
- Led the effort for an Ethics Task force and the establishment of a code of ethics for Long Beach elected officials
- Helped create more Community Police Centers such as the Willmore Police Center to help bring more police into our community
- Fought and defeated attempts to cut fire services for downtown Long Beach
- Established new parks and services for existing parks, including new playground equipment, skate parks, basketball courts, park rangers, and held community meetings to guide development of new parks
- Push for a Housing Trust Fund to build affordable workforce housing and supported development of new, affordable units
- Cracked down on slumlords, helped streamline code enforcement, and provided for tenants displaced by code-condemned properties.
Among those we spotted at the event [not a complete list, titles for ID purposes]: LB Harbor Commissioner Mario Cordero, LBCC Board of Trustees member Dianne McNinch, downtown area advocate Phil Appleby, LB Redevelopment Agency Boardmember Rick Meghiddo and veteran neighborhood activist Don Darnauer.
Councilwoman Lowenthal's reelection campaign also rolled out a list endorsers that includes LB Harbor Commission president Doris Topsy-Elvord and Harbor Commissioners Mike Walter and John Hancock, LB area Assemblymembers Betty Karnette and Hector DeLa Torre, L.A. County Supervisor Don Knabe, L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca, L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, L.A. City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo, Signal Hill Councilman Larry Forrester, LB School Superintendent Chris Steinhauser and LBUSD Boardmembers Mary Stanton and Stevenson Elementary School Principal Gonzalo Moraga.
Also attending was a contingent of endorsing Lowenthals: State Senator Alan Lowenthal, son Josh Lowenthal and LB School Board president Suja Lowenthal.
Councilwoman Lowenthal, a 36-year LB resident, served seven years on the LB Unified School District board before winning election to the 1st district Council seat which became vacant in 2001 after Jenny Oropeza won election to the Assembly.
Her campaign release quotes County Supervisor Knabe as saying, "Bonnie is a strong leader for our communities. I am looking forward to participating with her on issues of local and regional importance such as transportation and public policy."
Neighborhood activist Don Darnauer said, "She's made mistakes but she's learned and she's corrected herself. She's for the community, more than she ever was so I really commend her for the things she's been doing, so I'm behind her."
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