|(July 1, 2019, UPDATED 11:55 a.m. from 8:50 a.m. initial) -- On June 24, 2019, LBREPORT.com reported (first again) that some person or persons had quietly filed organizational paperwork on March 25 to create a political campaign committee in connection with some type of Long Beach ballot measure(s): The entity is titled "Lift Up Long Beach Families - Rex Richardson Ballot Measure Committee." Although Councilman Richardson is named (and thus obviously supportive), a name chosen by organizers of a political committee may or may not reflect who's actually directing its operations.
We asked Councilman Richardson about this, along with what type of tax increase (parcel tax? bond measure?) the "Lift Up Long Beach Families -- Rex Richardson Ballot Measure Committee" is seeking. We also sought permission to attend the group's fundraising event.
June 24 text message] I'm traveling out of the country with Nina. I'll be happy to send you more details when I am back in town.
LBREPORT.com thanks Councilman Richardson for his swift reply; we regret not receiving it and we look forward to speaking with him further about what he and committee have in mind.
In a brief telephone follow-up this morning (July 1), Councilman Richardson indicated, with indicating exactly what the Committee has in mind, that they're not aiming for the March 2020 special citywide election [anticipated to propose makinig permanent the Measure A sales tax increase] but possibly the November 2020 election [the Presidential primary...which may have the biggest turnout in LB election history.] [End UPDATE]
As LBREPORT.com reported over two months ago (April 15), a number of groups scheduled an
The listed participants were Housing Long Beach, Long Beach Forward, the Southern California Association of Nonprofit Housing (SCANPH) and United Way of Greater Los Angeles. An online description said "Attendees will develop a shared understanding of an affordable housing bond measure as a real solution to address Long Beach's pressing need for locally-generated affordable housing funding."
[Scroll down for further.]
The invitation described the event's agenda as:
The invitation didn't mention collecting initiative petition signatures. We presume that's because Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia and at least four incumbent Councilmembers -- led by Richardson -- previously signaled their willingness to pursue a ballot measure for what they then-vaguely called an "independent revenue source" for affordable housing and/or homeless services.
On July 24, 2018, Councilman Richardson (joined by Councilmembers Gonzalez, Austin and Vice Mayor Andrews) agendized an item to seek management options for consideration at the next available Council meeting -- just in time for placement on the November 2018 ballot -- an unspecified "dedicated local revenue source" for affordable housing/homeless spending. Councilman Richardson indicated he was prepared to discuss it, but his co-agendizers and others didn't voice audible support at that time (presumably because Mayor Garcia was then-focused on November passage of four Charter Amendments.
However no Councilmember(s) voiced opposition to such a "dedicated local revenue" measure at a later time (LBREPORT.com coverage here.
In wrapping up the July 24 Council item, Mayor Garcia explained his reasoning:
As a reminder, the City doesn't, we don't tax anybody. The taxes that pass the City are voted on by the voters, and so this Council doesn't go and increase someone's tax or do a parcel tax. That is only decided by voters in the city." Mayor Garcia explained...Should this City look and work with the community a local source of to fund more affordable housing? The answer in my opinion is absolutely "yes."...
At the same time as he absolved himself and the Council of responsibility for LB tax increases, Mayor Garcia stated: "Should this City look and work with the community a local source of to fund more affordable housing? The answer in my opinion is absolutely "yes."...
Garcia argued that some type of "dedicated local revenue source" is needed for affordable housing after Sacramento dissolved local Redevelopment Agencies statewide [that had allowed LB City Hall to divert property tax revenue to float debt that enabled City Hall-favored developers to buy "blighted" properties for projects in locations and types approved by City Hall.]
On December 11, 2018, a Mayor-chosen "Task Force" released recommendations that included identifying and implementing "one of more dedicated, sustainable revenue sources" for homeless services and affordable (low income/subsidized) housing spending. The Council didn't explicitly vote to approve its recommendations (instead "received and filed" them)...but no Councilmembers voiced opposition to pursuing a ballot measure for multiple millions of dollars in recommended new spending.
This coming Tuesday July 2, 2019, an item on the City Council agenda enables city management to present City Councilmembers with various rationales for reneging on the City's word to voters that the June 2016 Measure A "blank check" General Fund sales tax increase would -- by its explicit voter-approved terms -- drop in half by 2023 and disappear by 2027. Management's agendized materials advise the Council to approve at an upcoming meeting a declaration of "fiscal emergency" to enable a March 2020 LB ballot measure that would make Measure A's sales tax increase permanent.
It's not yet clear when the Richardson-named entity is aiming to put whatever its desired measure is on the ballot. It may be in March 2020 (coinciding with the Presidential primary) but that would collide with City Hall's desired Measure A-forever ballot measure and initial elections for four Council incumbents in districts 2, 4, 6 and 8. Instead, proponents of the Richardson-named measure may be aiming for November 2020, which would avoid colliding with City Hall's desired measure, would collide with Council runoffs (for incumbents who don't receive 50%+1 in March) and would coincide with the high turnout Presidential election.
The Richardson-named committee held a downtown fundraiser last week and its timing is significant. It means the group will be able to show its initial contributions and contributors on a financial report due for filing on or before July 31. Boasting of the amounts contributed and the contributors can be useful in generating additional contributions.
The entity's contribution solicitation listed suggested levels ranging from $150 to $25,000. Among individuals/entities it's indicated are supportive (besides Richardson) of what the new committee supports were (titles below for identification, summary description by LBREPORT.com):
It's not yet clear exactly what type of ballot measure the "Lift Up Long Beach Families" entity is seeking. Whatever it is, a Council majority could vote to put it on the March 2020 ballot (coinciding with the CA Presidential primary on which Council incumbents in districts 2, 4, 6 and 8 are also seeking re-election or the November 2018 ballot (Council incumbents who receive less than 50% in March would proceed to a November 2020 runoff coinciding with the national Presidential election.)
Developing. Further to follow on LBREPORT.com.
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