|(August 2, 2019, 8:55 a.m.) -- Six candidates seeking to fill LB's vacated 1st district Council seat (which would give them a vote on policies affecting neighborhoods and taxpayers citywide) debuted in a well-organized, flawlessly livestreamed candidate forum presented by Our Revolution Long Beach..
LBREPORT.com carried the event live and provides on-demand link below.
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The six-appearing candidates included two Mayor-chosen/Council approved appointees to City Hall bodies: Mary Zendejas (named to the LBTransit Board by Mayor Garcia, endorsed for the 1st dist seat by Garcia and immediate past incumbent Gonzalez) and Mariela Salgado (named to LB's Park/Rec Comm'n by Garcia/approved by the Council.)
Of the six, Ms. Salgado (a small business owner) and democratic socialist Elliot Gonzales struck us as the most articulate and polished in their presentations. Ms. Salgado's campaign materials cite her independence but at the forum she steered clear of opposing current City Hall policies or Council voted actions.
Mr. Gonzales explicitly supported rent control and (as he has consistently done) advocated a "LB Green New Deal."
Ms. Zedejas applauded new LB tenant relocation assistance policies (enacted 6-3 on Gonzalez's last day in Council office) and didn't volunteer that she'd previously supported Housing LB's attempt to put a LB rent control measure on the ballot.
Candidate Misi Tagaloa (boardmember of non-profit Retirement Housing Foundation, previously advanced to a 2014 runoff for the 1st dist. Council seat won by Gonzalez) stressed the need to produce more housing and opposed rent control.
Candidate Ray Morquecho equivocated on some issues, said he favors comprises and opposes rent control while urging both sides to pursue unspecified housing solutions. Despite several opportunities, Mr. Morquecho didn't publicly disagree with votes cast by immediate past incumbent Gonzalez or policies advocated by Mayor Garcia.
Candidate Hashim Muhammad voiced a number of grassroots supportive positions.
No questions were asked by the event organizer or the audience, and no candidates chose to raise the issue, of restoring police (including LBPD's field anti-gang unit) despite the 1st district's disproportionate levels of shootings/homicides.
Likewise undiscussed: an upcoming City Hall-favored ballot measure to make permanent LB's Measure A General Fund ("blank check") sales tax and a likely Nov. 2020 ballot measure for some type of not-yet-publicly-disclosed tax increase regarding affordable housing/homeless issues. (On the latter, see LBREPORT.com coverage here)
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