(May 14, 2007) -- As first reported this morning (May 14) in a FLASH announcement on LBReport.com's front page (www.lbreport.com), 5th dist/ELB Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske has withdrawn her name as a candidate in the race to succeed the late Congresswoman Juanita Millender-McDonald (D., Carson-LB).
Since announcing my intention to run for Congress I have been overwhelmed by phone calls and emails from Long Beach residents asking that I forego my congressional campaign so that I could continue what they referred to as the ‘good work’ I had begun over this past year. I wish to thank all of the people who reached out to me to express their appreciation for my work on Long Beach’s city council.
After a long weekend of reflection, I have decided that my Long Beach constituents were right. Now is not the time to interrupt the good work we are doing together to improve our city. I love serving on the Long Beach City Council and while I know I would be an effective member of Congress, I think it is important that I complete what I have set out to do in local government and not seek higher office at this time.
I believe much has been accomplished and more remains to be completed. I am proud of our effort to establish a memorial in the Rosie the Riveter Park, which I just worked to rename. Together we have also expanded access to free prescription medicines through rxforlongbeach.com. We have organized 5th Council District neighborhoods to better survive an earthquake through the Fifth District Good Neighbor Network (www.5thdistrictgoodneighbornetwork.com)
And we have developed numerous other programs to protect wildlife that use our lakes and ponds, give small businesses a voice, and expand our efforts to fix many more sidewalks more efficiently.
Many of these programs are in their infancy and still need effective leadership to nurture them. I believe I would better serve Long Beach by helping these programs along rather than seeking to serve in Congress.
Also, just this past week, I received final confirmation from the Smithsonian Institution that my application for the El Dorado Library to be a venue for the "Sea to Shining Sea" exhibit has been selected and we are one of 200 venues nationwide to host this important exhibit on June 21st. (click here) This is an important honor for Long Beach and I could not put my full energies into organizing this exhibit in the 5th District if I were campaigning for Congress.
I wish to thank both the people who offered me support to run for Congress and the others who expressed their appreciation and encouragement to remain as a member of the city council. I am honored by their trust and respect. I pledge to work as hard as I can to continue to earn the trust and respect of my constituents -- and to make Long Beach an even better place to live, work and raise a family.
Among the announced candidates are the late Congresswoman's daughter, Valerie McDonald; State Senator (elected Nov. 2006, previously Assemblywoman and former LB Councilwoman) Jenny Oropeza (D., soutbbay); Assemblywoman (elected Nov. 2006, previously LB Councilwoman) Laura Richardson; and Signal Hill Councilman Ed Wilson.