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Will LB Council Vote Nixing No-Kill Animal Shelter And Dissing Its Advocates Sway Votes In Current And Coming LB Elections?


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(May 10, 2019) -- State Senate candidate Lena Gonzalez -- absent on the May 7 Council vote (missed entire meeting, won't tell us where she was but we believe she was in Sac'to) pretended not to understand anger at the outcome of the item she'd co-agendized. Her campaign manager asked an insightful question about the responses she was reading on social networks.

That happened just hours after Patricia Turner, Ph.D., who launched LB's reform-minded no-kill animal shelter movement over five years ago, responded to the City Council's May 7 vote with these comments on the No Kill Long Beach Facebook page:

[Scroll down for further.]


...After hearing dozens of people explain their opposition to the sham shelter approach called [labeled by city management] Compassion saves, we're wondering if [Gonzalez] was worried about how it might affect her chances in the upcoming election if she actually supported what is essentially animal control under another name after years of ignoring the issue of our shelter animals. But of course, who knows.

Days ago, LB Report.com talked about this issue. Running it again today, as it's something to think about:

[LBREPORT.com editorial excerpt] Councilwoman Gonzalez, a co-agendizer on the May 7 item, is running for a state Senate seat. It's expected to be a low-turnout special election and her LB record will matter as over half of LB can vote. (Vote by mail ballots begin flying May 6.) In a low turnout election, a few hundred votes by animal advocates could matter.>>

Councilwoman Pearce, the item's lead co-agendizer, is up for re-election in March 2020. Narrowly elected in 2016, Pearce has angered a number of her constituents by supporting high rise Land Use density in her district's crackerbox-scarred parking-scarce neighborhoods.

In blunt terms, if the Council adopts the May 7 item that no kill advocates consider basically a camouflaged version of the status quo, how many votes might that cost state Senate candidate Gonzalez in her runoff happening now? How many votes might that cost up to four incumbents who may vie for re-election in 2020?" [end LBREPORT.com text]

Definitely food for thought...

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Within hours, candidate Gonzalez wrote:

I'm confused. Why are we upset here? I personally met with advocates about a month ago, co-sponsored a council item with CM Pearce and have been a public No Kill supporter. This passed the council 8-0. In fact advocates were very happy and emailed my office and called to say thank you. unfortunately, I was unable to attend the council. I have commitments (outside of council) - a full time job and yes, I'm running for state senate.

Again, why are we mad here? And if you believe my opponent in the state senate race would ever support an item or policy similar to this, then you're mistaken.

This post is unfortunate. CM Pearce worked very hard on this item. I was happy to sign on.

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Dr. Turner responded (we quote in pertinent part)

Ms. Gonzalez, No Kill Long Beach submitted the document linked to below, and Ms. Pearce dismantled it, provision after provision until it became, inexplicably, a statement in support of Compassion Saves, which is just animal control under a different name. NKLB never endorsed or sanctioned Compassion Saves, or the dismantling of the original document into what it became. It's unfortunate that Ms. Pearce did not update you on the status of the piece that No Kill Long Beach submitted.

The problem with Compassion Saves is that it contains large numbers of loopholes that mean that animals will continue to be killed. By not outlining the methods for lifesaving, as our original proposal did, Compassion Saves removes any guarantee that our shelter will be operated in a manner that places humane lifesaving at the same level as public safety...

We HOPE that Mr. Guerrero would not endorse a policy similar to Compassion Saves because CS is just basic animal control at the end of the day...

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Dr. Turner's words brought these responses:

  • [Respondent 1] Lena Gonzalez the thing you voted on fell short of A No kill shelter. [Three emojis thumbs-up]

  • [Respondent 2] "Why are we upset here?" Lena Gonzalez, is that a rhetorical question? I can only assume that you didn't listen to public comment at the council meeting, that you didn't compare true No-Kill policies and programs to the resolution up for consideration, and that you haven't been following this page, yet you posted a comment here. With all due respect, if you were a No-Kill supporter, you would understand the upset.

    From a previous NKLB post: "...the main distinction between No Kill and "Compassion Saves" cited by City management is that animals with manageable conditions (like a cat with diabetes, the example given at Council) will still be killed, and dogs with behavioral issues that could be managed (like that of Trout, a dog who was killed by LBACS earlier this month, supposedly under a "Compassion Saves" framework) will also still be killed if placements can't be found. (Placement was strongly implied to mean a rescue organization, which is a very narrow definition of placement that excludes an adoptive family.) That is a big "if," and it's that "if" that provides the cover for "Compassion Saves" to continue killing.

    Succinctly put: If your strategy to save a dog with kennel stress consists largely of contacting rescues, you don't have a comprehensive strategy, and you're not No Kill. Likewise, if your strategy to save a cat that is diabetic is, again, to contact rescues, you don't really have a comprehensive strategy, and you're not No Kill.

    The plan also features large numbers of loopholes that, again, provide cover for killing. While the plan states that no healthy or treatable animal will be killed, the "treatable" clause is significantly weakened by a qualifier: no treatable animal will be killed "without an aggressive search for a positive outcome." The question of how "aggressive search" is defined and how accountability measures will be built in so there is transparency to this process were not addressed. These are loopholes, as the saying goes, big enough to drive a truck through, and certainly enough to allow the killing to continue at LBACS in much the same way it did in the past."

    True No Kill policy is essentially a suite of programs and policies that work together to ensure that all healthy and treatable animals are saved. Compassion Saves is something designed to quiet the masses, and convince Long Beach animal lovers that something is being done to address their complaints about a mismanaged shelter. It contains relatively nothing new. Sadly, the City's continued resistance to No Kill will the cost lives of many healthy and treatable animals worthy of homes [Four emojis thumbs up]

    "Why are we upset here?" Lena Gonzalez, is that a rhetorical question? I can only assume that you didn't listen to public comment at the council meeting, that you didn't compare true No-Kill policies and programs to the resolution up for consideration, and that you haven't been following this page, yet you posted a comment here. With all due respect, if you were a No-Kill supporter, you would understand the upset.

    From a previous NKLB post: "...the main distinction between No Kill and "Compassion Saves" cited by City management is that animals with manageable conditions (like a cat with diabetes, the example given at Council) will still be killed, and dogs with behavioral issues that could be managed (like that of Trout, a dog who was killed by LBACS earlier this month, supposedly under a "Compassion Saves" framework) will also still be killed if placements can't be found. (Placement was strongly implied to mean a rescue organization, which is a very narrow definition of placement that excludes an adoptive family.) That is a big "if," and it's that "if" that provides the cover for "Compassion Saves" to continue killing.

    Succinctly put: If your strategy to save a dog with kennel stress consists largely of contacting rescues, you don't have a comprehensive strategy, and you're not No Kill. Likewise, if your strategy to save a cat that is diabetic is, again, to contact rescues, you don't really have a comprehensive strategy, and you're not No Kill.

    The plan also features large numbers of loopholes that, again, provide cover for killing. While the plan states that no healthy or treatable animal will be killed, the "treatable" clause is significantly weakened by a qualifier: no treatable animal will be killed "without an aggressive search for a positive outcome." The question of how "aggressive search" is defined and how accountability measures will be built in so there is transparency to this process were not addressed. These are loopholes, as the saying goes, big enough to drive a truck through, and certainly enough to allow the killing to continue at LBACS in much the same way it did in the past."

    True No Kill policy is essentially a suite of programs and policies that work together to ensure that all healthy and treatable animals are saved. Compassion Saves is something designed to quiet the masses, and convince Long Beach animal lovers that something is being done to address their complaints about a mismanaged shelter. It contains relatively nothing new. Sadly, the City's continued resistance to No Kill will the cost lives of many healthy and treatable animals worthy of homes

  • [Respondent 3] Sent in mail-in ballot this morning AGAINST Lena Gonzalez
  • Respondent 3's comment prompted a question from Kristina Farah Bigdeli, who didn't mention that she's being paid by the Gonzalez state Senate campaign as its campaign manager. To read her professional bio click here.

    So of course, Ms. Bigdeli asked a key question that had nothing to do with no-kill: "In other words, you voted for a Republican. Is that right?" The response from Respondent 3: "Kristina I cannot believe it, but yes. I have never, ever in my life voted for a Republican. This issue is so important to me, I couldn't do anything else."


    It's unclear what candidate Gonzalez and her paid consultant Bigdeli actually think of no-kill, but it's quite clear that they are totally focused on electing Lena Gonzalez to the state Senate. And it's unclear what Councilwoman Pearce really thinks of no-kill, but it's also quite clear that she'd like to get re-elected to the City Council in 2020 and challengers will start surfacing soon.

    LB animal advocates will now show the entire city if they intend to continue pleading with non-elected management that doesn't answer to them and with elected incumbents deaf to them, or whether they can move votes.

    No-kill policies may or may not matter to some electeds, but peoples' votes matter to all of them. The state Senate election is being decided by vote by mail ballots that are circulating right now. In a low turnout election, a few hundred votes can matter. If Gonzalez loses by a few hundred votes, it will be difficult for LB incumbents to shrug LB animal advocacy voters. If she wins, there'll be a special election to replace her on the City Council. And LB's 2020 Council elections for four incumbents are less than a year away.

    Developing. .


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