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Out Of Town Dollars Dominate (Incl. Pro-Density/Subsidized Housing Advocates) Giving 8th Dist. Candidate Thrash-Ntuk $100,000+ To Unseat Garcia-Endorsed Incumbent Austin And Push Reformer Ovalle Out Of Runoff


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(July 31, 2019, 9:35 a.m.) -- A newly filed campaign contribution disclosure form -- which can be viewed in full here -- shows out of town sources including pro-housing-density/subsidized housing advocates, a statewide pro-YIMBY ("Yes in my backyard" PAC) -- combined to give 8th Council district candidate Tunua Thrash-Ntuk a LB record-setting $100,000+ to unseat Mayor-Garcia-backed incumbent Al Austin (full campaign release verbatim below.)

Local contributors include the former policy director for 9th Dist. Council incumbent Rex Richardson who went on to head a policy advocacy group whose PAC ran a controversial campaign for Charter Amendments BBB/DDD.

Councilman Austin's March 2020 opponents also include reform-advocacy candidate Juan Ovalle. Councilman Austin (and other Mayor-backed incumbents) have supported LB policies that incrementally advance pro-housing density and affordable housing policies.

If no candidate receives over 50%+1 in March 2020, the top two will proceed to a November 2020 runoff. The prevailing candidate will have a vote land use, development projects and policies affecting neighborhoods citywide.

Ms. Thrash-Ntuk's early contributors include:

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  • California YIMBY Victory Fund, a PAC that supports what it calls "pro-housing candidates." CA YIMBY (website is here) has advocated preemptive state legislation by state Senator Scott Wiener (D, SF) including SB 50 (a sweeping measure that sought to override single family housing zoning statewide.) Earlier this year, the LB City Council voted (in an item co-agendized by Austin) to oppose SB 50 which carried 8-0 (with then state-Senate candidate Gonzalez [endorsed by Sen. Wiener and Mayor Garcia] absent on the vote.) (SB 50 stalled in a Sac'to committee, but Sen. Wiener has vowed to continue to advance it through other means.)

    At a Wrigley candidate forum, then state Senate candidate Gonzalez declared herself to be a "YIMBY." Now a state Senator, she has endorsed 1st dist. Council candidate Mary Zendejas, a pro-affordable-housing advocate (who also supported Housing LB's attempted LB rent control petition initiative.) Mayor Garcia has endorsed Zendejas for the City Council...and Ms. Zendejas' Facebook page says the LB Firefighters Ass'n PAC has also endorsed her.

    Alyssia Gutierrez, former policy director for 9th district Council incumbent Rex Richardson/current VP of the Long Beach Democratic Club. Ms. Gutierrez currently heads the EPIC ("Economic and Policy Impact Center"), an advocacy group (website here whose PAC waged an independent campaign for Garcia-supported Charter Amendments BBB (lets incumbents avoid third term write-ins) and DDD (redistricting.) Its campaign portrayed BBB/DDD as civil rights matters (LBREPORT.com coverage here.) Measure BBB was opposed by LB's Reform Coalition; multiple social network comments criticized the EPIC PAC's pro-BBB/DDD campaign as needlessly divisive.

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    Ms. Thrash-Ntuk's campaign release follows in full:

    Record-Breaking Fundraising Demonstrates Strength to Compete in March 2020

    Long Beach, CA Tunua Thrash-Ntuk, a housing and economic development director, raised a total of $107,220 for her campaign to represent Long Beach's 8th City Council District. No other candidate in Long Beach City Council elections has raised greater than this amount in his or her first campaign filing. Thrash-Ntuk's impressive fundraising total exceeds the combined amount raised in the 2012 and 2016 election periods by incumbent Councilmember Al Austin.

    "I am incredibly grateful for the outpouring of support I've received for my campaign for city council," stated Thrash-Ntuk. "It's time for a change at City Hall. I'll be a champion for our community by fighting for safe neighborhoods, solutions to our homelessness crisis, and an equitable local economy that includes all Long Beach residents."

    Thrash-Ntuk's fundraising haul represents the total raised since launching her campaign in January 2019 through Sunday, June 30th, the semi-annual campaign finance reporting period. She received contributions from more than 585 individual donors, with an average contribution of $162. The maximum contribution a Long Beach City Council candidate may receive is $400.

    The previous record for the most raised in a semi-annual campaign finance reporting period for a Long Beach City Council campaign was held by then Vice Mayor, Councilmember Rex Richardson, who reported raising $70,030 on June 30, 2017 for his re-election campaign.

    About Tunua Thrash-Ntuk

    Tunua Thrash-Ntuk is a candidate for the Long Beach City Council, 8th District. A collaborative leader, Thrash-Ntuk works to catalyze opportunities in neighborhoods by creating great places to live, work, do business, and raise a family.

    Thrash-Ntuk leads a non-profit organization whose innovative efforts have helped transform underserved communities throughout the Los Angeles region. Her leadership has resulted in thousands of affordable housing financed and built, increased capital for small businesses, and smarter public policy around neighborhood revitalization.

    In 2018, Thrash-Ntuk Co-Chaired the City of Long Beach's "Everyone In" Economic Inclusion Policy Task Force, an initiative designed to provide economic inclusion recommendations to create a local economy that includes and benefits every Long Beach resident. As a member of the task force, she led the efforts to convene six months of policy roundtables with a multi-disciplinary team of experts such as Policy Link. As a result of these discussions, the Long Beach City Council adopted several of the task force's recommendations, and the city has received several hundred thousand dollars in funding to create and sustain programs ensuring local equity and economic inclusion. Thrash-Ntuk organized Long Beach's first Economic Inclusion Summit in 2018 with more than 250 local community partners, business leaders, policymakers, and philanthropic partners for a day-long conversation that explored innovative policy solutions to address Long Beach's economic inequities.

    Thrash-Ntuk has a strong track record of serving her community as a board member or advisory board member to many organizations, including Housing California, Federal Home Loan Bank San Francisco's Affordable Housing Council, City of LA Measure HHH Citizens Oversight Commission, Greenlining Institute, Union Bank's Community Advisory Board, and Frontier Communications Community Advisory Board. She earned her Master's in City Planning from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and her undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley.

    Thrash-Ntuk also serves as her daughter's Girls Scout Troop Leader, volunteers at the Hughes Middle School PTA, and was crowned the 2019 Mrs. Long Beach. She and her husband, Uduak-Joe Ntuk, are raising their children in the Riverdale Community of North Long Beach.

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