NO Councilmembers Agendize Actions On Looting Or LBPD/Mayor Response. Instead, Councilmembers Richardson, Pearce, Andrews & Austin Agendize Sweeping "Reconciliation Framework" That Includes
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|(June 5, 2020, 10:45 p.m.) -- In the wake of rioting and looting that impacted areas from downtown to uptown to ELB and SE LB, no Long Beach City Council incumbents agendized any discussion or aciton(s) regarding the responses of city management, LBPD or Mayor Robert Garcia.
Instead, four Councilmembers -- led by Councilman Rex Richardson joined by Councilmembers Jeannine Pearce, Al Austin and Vice Mayor Dee Andrews (the latter two in Nov. 2020 runoffs] -- have agendized a June 9 City Council item proposing multiple actions they describe as a "Framework for Reconciliation in Long Beach."
Among their proposed actions are a potential November 2020 ballot measure (with no agendized description of its proposed substance), updating LB's "Citizen Police Complaint Commission" to strengthen its independence, transparency and oversight (major changes would require a LB ballot measure) and budget changes that tacitly parallel the position of LB groups that have urged the Mayor/Council to divest/shift budgeted funding away from policing to other spending areas (LBREPORT.com coverage here.)
The Richardson-Andrews-Austin-Pearce June 9 agenda item proposes "Budget reforms to ensure equitable investment in community safety, including youth development, housing, healthcare, public health, and economic equity "
On June 2, the Long Beach Forward's Facebook page posted the following (preceded by "Share, support, and follow BLM LBC on twitter and instagram. #BlackLivesMatter) in pertinent part:
City of Long Beach,
[Scroll down for further.]
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In addition to directing the City Manager to issue a statement "acknowledging and denouncing [agendizing memo text] "the existence and longstanding impacts of systemic racism in our America and in Long Beach," the Richardson-Andrews-Austin-Pearce agenda item asks city management to "catalyze action, presenting immediate, short-term,medium-term, and long-term present recommendations for the City Council to consider, including, but not limited to (bracketed context by LBREPORT.com.)
June 9 is the first Council meeting since the May 31-June 1 civil unrest. The June 2 Council meeting was cancelled in the wake of the recent downtown civil unrest.
Long Beach's Mayor/City Council currently budgets roughly 1.6 officers per thousand residents. By comparison, L.A.'s Mayor/Council budget roughly 2.5 officers per thousand residents (not including Airport/Port police.) Signal Hill, surrounded by Long Beach, budgets roughly 3.15 sworn officers per thousand residents for its taxpayers.
LB's per capita budgeted citywide deployable police level (for LA County's second largestcity) is currently roughly equivalent per capita to what Los Angeles would have if it cut funding for roughly a third of LAPD officers.
Then-Mayor Bob Foster responded to the economic downturn ("Great Recession") by recommending, and the then-Council (which included then-Councilman Robert Garcia and incumbent Dee Andrews) voted to approve "proportional budget reductions" that over the next five years erased the largest number of budgeted police officers for LB taxpayers in the more than 100 year history of the City of Long Beach.
Mayor Garcia responded to June 2016 LB voters' approval of the Measure A General fund ("blank check") by proposing a FY17 budget that would restore 8 of the 208 erased officers.
In early 2017, Councilman/then-Vice Mayor Rex Richardson pressed to restore Rescue 12 plus 9 additional officers...and the Council did so, restoring a total of 17 in FY17.
In FY18. the Mayor/Council restored no additional citywide deployable officers.
For FY19, the Council restored 5 net additional citywide deployable budgeted officers. Mayor Garcia didn't change his recommended figure for FY20 and no Councilmember(s) offered contrary motions, leaving LB taxpayers with 22 officers restored 186 not restored since voter approval of Measure A..
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