If Mayor Garcia Exits Or Mayor's Office Opens Up, Ass'yman Patrick O'Donnell (Former CD 4 Councilman) Says It's "Highly Likely" He Will Run For Mayor
|(June 21, 2021, 8:35 a.m., AUDIO added 9:30 a.m.) -- Assemblyman Patrick O'Donnell (D, LB-San Pedro), a former Long Beach City Councilmember (ELB CD 4), has told LBREPORT.com that if Mayor Garcia exits early or the Mayor's office otherwise opens up (a vacancy occurs) it's "highly likely" he will run for Mayor.
Assemblyman O'Donnell cited the effects of homelessness, including visible encampments, the impacts on business and neighborhoods, providing help to mentally ill individuals who need it, and greater oversight in how taxpayer sums are spent, as his top priority.
Assemblyman O'Donnell voiced firm opposition to SB 9 (co-authored by state Senator Lena Gonzalez) which would require cities to allow four dwelling units on single family home lots with no add'l parking within half mile of quality transit) coming to a final Assembly policy committee vote tomorrow (June 22). Unlike dozens of other CA cities, the City of Long Beach (via its Mayor, Council or non-elected city staff) hasn't taken a position on the bill,.
Asked if there are any Democrats in Sacramento opposed to SB 9, he said he wasn't certain and didn't name any. Asked if Long Beach's Mayor, City Council or city staff had contacted him on SB 9, he said they had not. Pressed on why he hasn't taken the lead in opposing SB 9 in a more high visibility way (news conferences, op-eds, talk radio appearances), but noted he's doing so now with us and added there's little he can do legislatively beyond casting his own vote.
Following up on his position on homeless issues, LBREPORT.com asked about state Senator Gonzalez's Committee vote last year blocking SB 640, a bill that would have enabled medical intervention to help those gravely mentally ill. Assemblyman O'Donnell didn't comment specifically on that bill or criticize Gonzalez for her action.
Assemblyman O'Donnell voiced doubts about the financial viability of the Queen Mary, said the issue would have to be addressed with a new opertor, and if it's not financially viable, "it'll have to go."
Asked if there would be changes in the way he would run the Mayor's office compared to incumbent Garcia, O'Donnell didn't criticize Garcia but indicated that as with past Mayors there would be some changes, indicating he was a "back to basics" guy but didn't elaborate on specifics.
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