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    Gabelich Endorses Colonna For Mayor As Colonna Unveils 10-Point "Neighborhood Bill of Rights"

    (February 16, 2006) -- Outside an iconic LB Italian restaurant where as a teenager he once made pizzas, Mayoral candidate Councilman Frank Colonna unveiled a 10-point Neighborhood Bill of Rights...and received the endorsement of 8th district Councilwoman Rae Gabelich.

    With a number of prominent LB area activists in attendance next to Nino's Ristorante Italianio in the 3800 block of Atlantic Ave., Colonna called his Neighborhood Bill of Rights a cornerstone to his Mayoral campaign. He enumerated its ten points which focus on issues ranging from neighborhood safety, parks. infrastructure to public works projects, pollution and LB's Port and Airport.

    [For the record, we post the full text of Colonna's Neighborhood Bill of Rights later in this article].

    Councilwoman Gabelich, who in 2004 unseated a Council incumbent backed by the LB Area Chamber of Commerce and LB Mayor Beverly O'Neill, endorsed Colonna's Mayoral bid in terms echoing the "neighborhoods first" theme that marked her successful campaign.

    Councilwoman Gabelich listed issues (including LB Airport but not exclusive to it) on which she regards "neighborhoods first" as central to maintaining LB's quality of life...and endorsed Councilman Colonna citing his record and his Neighborhood Bill of Rights. "He has a plan," Gabelich said. posts Councilwoman Gabelich's endorsement below:

    I believe that each one of us has been given certain strengths and opportunities to give back to our country, to our communities and to our neighborhoods.

    Some have the quiet gift of working behind the scenes to contribute to society and to our community. Others are leaders who are dedicated and willing to work tirelessly for the betterment of their specific arena.

    I'm here today to give my support and endorsement to Frank Colonna for our next Mayor of Long Beach. [applause]

    I believe in Frank's vision to continue to move our city on the positive, successful road that we are fortunate to experience at this time here in Long Beach. However, in addition to supporting the successful efforts of downtown, Frank is committed to support the much needed revitalization in our neighborhood communities. Frank has a plan.

    Frank is a strong, committed supporter of improving our environment. Whether it is Port, Airport or growth-related. Frank's commitment to me and to all residents of Long Beach is to defend the quality of life issues that we are confronted with daily.

    Neighborhoods First, that was my platform, and it is a firm commitment in Frank's plan. Frank has a plan.

    My Eighth district, our Eighth district, is confronted with Port pollution, truck pollution, Airport pollution, areas of poverty, lack of recreational opportunities for youth, the need for revitalized retail -- all quality of life issues regardless of income levels. Frank is committed to assisting me in raising the standards here in the Uptown of Long Beach.

    I believe that active involvement, a history of service to our city and the knowledge of our development path is a critical component to the next step for success in our residential communities. An attribute that Frank can claim.

    Leadership builds with experience. Frank has had eight years of City Council experience and has grown to the challenges. Frank served the Belmont Shore Business Association for 12 years with visible, proven community leadership. Look at the continued success in that part of our city.

    For the past year and a half, Frank has been on the same page as I have been in every quality of life issue that has come before the City Council. Near and dear to my heart, he supported the effort to put our neighborhoods first in the modernization of our Long Beach Airport.

    Whether it is protecting our entire city from the $100 million construction debt falling on the backs of its citizens to the smart planning of design that will discourage future growth above our court-ordered 41 [+] 25 flight limit, Frank has been committed to the process.

    Frank stands against LNG [Port-sited Liquefied Natural Gas facility] in our backyards. He joins in leading the charge on No Net Increase [in pollution] at our Port and in fact a progressive approach on overall emissions reduction.

    Each of the Mayoral candidates speaks of dedication to our city. Each man speaks of their vision. Hopefully each one comes from a place of integrity. But Frank comes with a defendable, promising record of community involvement and leadership.

    A vision and a plan to integrate Long Beach citizens into a more transparent, touchable partnership with your Long Beach government. I urge your support for Frank Colonna on April 11th. [applause]

    Colonna thanked Councilwoman Gabelich and presented his Neighborhood Bill of Rights, elaborating extemporaneously on several points:

  • Ensure that every neighborhood is safe for all our residents and families.
    ["It's basically the same foundation that we all believe in, that every neighborhood is going to be safe for every one of us."]

  • Add additional police officers in every neighborhood throughout the city.
    ["...Additional policing is important not just for Rae's district or mine but for the entire city..."]

  • A 3 day citizen guarantee for pot-hole repairs and graffiti removal

  • A 30 day citizen guarantee for sidewalk repairs.
    ["We can have the greatest city in the world, but if you trip going out the're in real trouble."]

  • Empower neighborhoods by establishing quarterly neighborhood meetings with the Mayor.

  • Safe and clean parks in all neighborhoods.
    ["We shouldn't expect anything less."]

  • A commitment to keeping all neighborhoods litter-free.
    ["I want to aggressively pursue enforcement of that...As a kid I remember growing up and seeing [signs saying] $300 fine for littering, I want to see some of those up again..."]

  • Provide advance notice to all residents of any public works or repair projects impacting their neighborhoods.
    ["...We've got to get up to Sacramento and we've got to make sure that it isn't just the main thoroughfares that get our gas tax revenue, we've got to go into the neighborhoods..."]

  • Ensure that airport noise and flight do not exceed city mandated standards.
    ["Rae really is a voice for the community, and I applaud her for that...She's pushing this Council to do the right thing, because in 63 years, this is the first time any Council is ever going to have to step up to the plate and make some hard decisions about this Airport and the terminal."]

  • A commitment to clean air in every neighborhood by reducing port and truck emissions.
    ["'No net increase' [in pollution] is good [as a baseline] but I've always believed that what we need to do is make...that reduction even further and push the industry to do better things...The Port is an industry, just like the Airport, just like our Water Dept. and Gas Dept., but we as investors have got to expect more. As stockholders, we want to live a longer life than just being another statistic..." ]

  • A call seeking comment on Colonna's Neighborhood Bill of Rights from Foster for Mayor campaign manager Mark Taylor wasn't returned...but a call to Drummond for Mayor campaign manager Traci Kittinger brought a sizzling response. "Who does [Colonna] think he is, Newt Gingrich?" [presenting his "Contract with America"] Ms. Kittinger emailed...and added a stinger, "Where has he been for the past eight years?"

    Among those attending the Colonna campaign event was Don May, president of the environmental group California Earth Corps. Mr. May told he's endorsing Colonna for Mayor "because of his great record on wetlands and chairmanship of Los Angeles/San Gabriel Rivers and Mountains Conservancy."

    Also attending (and visible in photo above with Gabelich and Colonna) is LB neighborhood advocate Bry Myown, noted for her involvement in neighborhood watches and organizations prior to leading opposition to locating an 80+ million gallon LNG facility in the Port of LB. Ms. Myown told "Every candidate claims they support neighborhoods and oppose LNG. Frank has been there and done something about it when it counted."

    NLB community activist Dan Pressburg also attended. "Are you endorsing Colonna?" we asked. Mr. Pressburg replied, "Councilwoman Gabelich's endorsement is important," Mr. Pressburg said...promising us his answer shortly.

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