Councilwoman Pearce Uses Her Office And City of LB Email Channels To Announce/Promote Free Chartered Bus Transportation (Event Supported By These LB Councilmembers And Pols) To UPDATE: Councilwoman Pearce Staffer Responds, Says Buses Paid Using Her Officeholder Acc't (Contributor, Not Taxpayer Funded) And Has Been Assured Emails OK
UPDATE: Councilwoman Pearce Staffer Responds, Says Buses Paid Using Her Officeholder Acc't (Contributor, Not Taxpayer Funded) And Has Been Assured Emails OK
|(Jan. 17, 2018, 10:23 a.m. UPDATED 4:35 p.m.) -- Second district Councilwoman Jeannine Pearce has used her City Hall office staff and City of Long Beach email communication channels to promote an event offering free chartered bus transportation to this Saturday's (Jan. 20) second annual L.A. Women's March, an event that had its genesis in last year's protest that drew hundreds of thousands of mainly women (but also a sizable number of men) to an anti-Trump march/protest the day after the presidential inauguration. The L.A. Times described last year's event at the time as "the first act of resistance to a conservative administration." Large crowds also turned out for similar events in other U.S. cities and internationally.
The organizing entity for this year's event (a 501(c)(3) non-profit) has issued press release (with an italicized sub-headline of "March to Focus on Power to the Polls") that says this year's event "is committed to turning out the vote and hopes to use the power of the upcoming March, along with the work being done by partner organizations, to bring attention to the urgency of preparing for the November midterm elections" with speakers discussing "a plan of action leading up to November 2018 and beyond." Notwithstanding the 2017 event's genesis as an
The Pearce office release also indicates that the charter bus event is supported by a number of Long Beach City Councilmembers, most of whom are currently seeking re-election in the 2018 city election cycle. Councilwoman Pearce isn't part of the LB's regularly scheduled election cycle but is facing a formally launched recall effort now getting underway. Councilwoman Pearce's release didn't indicate who's paying for the charter buses (plural) scheduled to leave LB's Harvey Milk Park at 7 a.m. and return to LB at roughly 2:30-3:00 p.m.
An email sent at 5:02 p.m. on Jan. 16 from Councilwoman Pearce's office by her office's "Communication Deputy/Special Events Coordinator" used City of LB email communication channels labeled "CM- Social Media Distribution" and "CM - Media Distribution" and "CM - National Media Distribution") to distribute a media release announcing free charter bus transportation from Long Beach to the nominally non-partisan but politically charged event. City management's Interim Public Affairs Officer, Kevin Lee, tells LBREPORT.com that the "distribution list labels you referenced below are the same labels that the City Manager's Office uses, but I am not sure that the emails associated with them are the same. The City Manager's Office does not give permission for distribution of press releases that come directly from a council office, including the one you have sent me. The council offices dictate who they send their council office-specific releases to."
[UPDATE] LBREPORT.com emailed Councilwoman Pearce's staffer this morning and inquired about this matter, and at 2:25 p.m., Councilwoman Pearce's Communication Deputy/Special Events Coordinator Devin Ablard responded as follows:
Firstly, the buses are being funded through the Councilmember’s Officeholder Account.[END UPDATE]
[Scroll down for further.]
Councilwoman Pearce's release indicates local co-hosts for her event include Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D, NLB-Lakewood), Senator Ricardo Lara D, LB-Huntington Park, now running for Insurance Comm'r), Supervisor Janice Hahn, Vice Mayor Rex Richardson, Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez, Councilwoman Suzie Price, Councilmember Roberto Uranga, Building Healthy Communities Long Beach, Elders Rising, LiBRE, Long Beach Area Peace Network, Long Beach Firefighters Union Local 372, Long Beach PRIDE, MADE by Millworks, Queer Mafia, Ronnies House Foundation, The LGBTQ Center of Long Beach, and VIP Records.
Pearce's release cites a Facebook event page titled "WeRiseStronger LB Women to La Women's March" which indicates the page is "hosted by Councilmember Roberto Uranga and Councilmember Jeannine Pearce." The Facebook page says "Jeannine Pearce and Co-Hosts Ricardo Lara, Vice Mayor Richardson, Councilmembers Lena Gonzales, Suzie Price, and Roberto Uranga, Stacy Mungo and dozens of other community leaders invite you and the Long Beach Community to get on the bus!" [LBREPORT.com has emailed Councilwoman Mungo, the Council's only Republican whose re-election bid has the support of the LB-area Republican party, to see if she is in fact part of the LB event. UPDATE: LBREPORT.com is told by a reliable third party that Councilman Uranga won't be going on the bus, leaving unclear to us what his role will be.]
In her release, Councilwoman Pearce (currently facing a formal recall effort following an incident involving her now-former Chief of Staff that escalated to an LBPD-encounter with no charges ultimately filed by the DA against Pearce) states: "After a life of experiences often difficult to share, I have found my voice and power through the support of my community. After years of seeing more women rising, marching, and sharing their stories, I know what comes after the struggle...We Rise. I continue to be inspired and I know through these collective struggles, We Rise Stronger. We see that the most difficult part of #MeToo is the courage it takes to break the silence especially in the face of people questioning your truth, but what we learned is that for all of us; men, women, and members of the LGBTQ community, our struggles are not for nothing! Our struggles have become our strength."
The L.A. event's website (at this link), states in part: "Our event on January 20th will feature music, art, community booths, and speakers in a shared voice of resistance with advocacy aligned with the national Women's March Unity Principles: ending violence, protection of reproductive rights, LGBTQIA rights, workers' rights, civil rights, disability rights, immigrant rights, Indigenous people's rights and environmental justice...The 2018 Anniversary event will provide participants the tools, and amplify their motivation, to use their vote as their voice to build government that reflects their ideals. We will create a safe and peaceful space where the important issues of voter turnout, access, restrictions, and intimidation will be addressed and begin a plan of action leading up to November 2018 and beyond." It adds: "We will use the power of the Women's March on January 20 to bring attention to the urgency of preparing for the November elections and to augment and magnify the work being done by our partner community organizations to turn out the vote in 2018 and work on important voting initiatives in the future."
The event's Facebook page says the L.A. event will be "part of a national movement to unify and empower everyone who stands for women's rights, human rights, civil liberties, and social justice for all. This is a non-partisan and peaceful event. People will unite locally and nationally in every state and major metropolitan area to stand with us in solidarity for the American values we represent."
The L.A. event website includes a page at this link. listing its partners and as of Jan. 17 at dawn, lists the following "Partners, Speakers, Grassroots, Community Groups":
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