|(Jan. 4, 2020, 7:40 a.m.) -- For the second year in a row, some LB animal advocates plan to demonstrate outside the Terrace Theater on Jan. 14 where Mayor Robert Garcia will deliver his "State of the City" message. An event recently announced on Facebook titled "Stand Up For The Animals Of Long Beach," is scheduled for Jan. 14 from 4:45 to 6:00 p.m. at 300 E. Ocean Blvd., stating in its "Details" section:
Demonstrate at the state of the city in front of the terrace theater (300 E Ocean Blvd)
In January 2019, a number of LB animal advocates seeking changes in LB city policies (including implementation of "no kill" policies) held a well organized demonstration -- during a rainstorm -- outside the event and showed their digital savvy by amplifying the event with video-streaming online (LBREPORT.com coverage coverage here.). LB's famously fractious animal advocacy community doesn't speak with one voice, but this year, some may be more motivated to confront City Hall after the Mayor and Council (without dissent) took actions in 2019 that plainly declined to support some widely advocated positions.
While Mayor Garcia and city management cite steadily decreasing numbers of euthanasias and increased numbers of live releases, a number of LB animal advocates say the Mayor/Council have failed to remedy chronic issues first identified years ago by No Kill Long Beach and subsequently independently corroborated by the City Auditor's office. A number of animal advocates, including those not explicitly supportive of all "no kill" policies, have urged the Mayor/Council to provide funding for Animal Care Services sufficient to correct those staffing shortages. Instead, Mayor Garcia recommended and the Council adopted a FY20 budget stops short of correcting the issue.
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Mayor Garcia and Council incumbents have consistently refused to agendize "no kill" policies for a forthright Council policy discussion, pro and con. Instead, in 2019, the Mayor applauded and the Council approved a city management-created policy (dubbed "compassion saves") that pledges to try to minimize but continues to allow the killing of otherwise healthy adoptable animals. (LBREPORT.com <coverage here.)
City management hired a new shelter manager, Staycee Daines, whose expertise and efforts have been widely praised (including by critics of the Mayor and Council) and has sought to further reduce animal killings but this hasn't placated a number of LB animal advocates who want more than less-than-no-kill "compassion saves" policies.
A number of animal advocates have urged the City to operate its own animal adoption program separate from SPCA-LA; instead, city management announced it intends to maintain the City's long-time relationship with SPCA-LA.
And when animal advocates came to Council meetings to address the Mayor/Council (limited to 180 seconds per speaker) on non-agendized items, some Councilmembers were caught on reverse-angle video talking to each other and otherwise not paying attention (LBREPORT.com coverage here.)
Plans for the Jan. 14 demonstration outside the "State of the City" event surfaced on Facebook after city management scheduled, but then canceled. a
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