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Councilwoman Stacy Mungo Flanigan Withdraws Her Application That Sought Spot On State Redistricting Panel

Her Pursuit Of The Position And Self-Description Of Her LB Council Record May Now Become Campaign Fodder For Challengers If She Seeks Third Council Term


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(May 6, 2019, 11:15 p.m.) -- As flashed earlier today (May 6) on LBREPORT.com's Facebook platform, 5th district Councilwoman Stacy Mungo Flanigan withdrew her application for consideration for one of 14 positions on a state panel empowered to draw election district lines for all CA Assembly, state Senate and congressional districts statewide.

Today's announcement was made an attorney for the CA Auditor's office (the agency conducting this portion of the applicant selection process) at the start of a May 6, 9:30 a.m. meeting of the Applicant Review Panel tasked with eliminating half of 120 finalists and advance the remainder to state legislators for possible elimination prior to a random draw. Roughly half a dozen of the 120 applicants withdrew their applications and Mungo Flanigan, who filed her application for the position on June 14, 2029 (less than a year into her second Council term) was among those withdrawing. ..

LBREPORT.com made an immediate Public Records Act request to the state Auditor's Office for Mungo Flanigan's withdrawal statement (so we could report the "why" and "when" of her action.) We received records indicating that on May 4 at 6:57 p.m., the CA Auditor's office sent Mungo Flanigan an email describing the following timeline:

  • On April 24, the CA Auditor's office sent all applicants an email asking them to indicate their willingness to serve if they were selected, and requesting a response by April 28.

  • The CA Auditor's office stated "In response, you sent us an inquiry on April 27, 2020 regarding your service for the City of Long Beach. We responded to your inquiry on April 28, 2020." .

  • [Auditor's office correspondence continued] "Since that time, our office spoke with you on May 1, wherein you indicated you would indicate your willingness to serve later that day. As of today [May 4], we have not received your response." The email said "[I]f we do not receive a response from you regarding your willingness to serve by 2:00 p.m. on May 5, 2020, we will inform the Panel of your lack of response." (The May 4 email noted that under the CA Administrative Code, the Applicant Review Panel can eliminate applicants who fail to meet deadlines.]

    On May 4, 2020 at 10:34 p.m., Mungo Flanigan emailed the CA Auditor's office:

    I have enjoyed participating in the 2020 California Redistricting Commission process. In conversations with Auditor staff I discussed the possibility of flying home each week for my City Council meeting. In light of your councilís recent guidance that they would request I step down from my non-partisan council seat, I must respectfully withdraw from the process.

    Thank you for your time and consideration. I hope I am better able to contribute to the process and creation of the Long Beach Redistricting commission with the experience I have had with this process and your exemplar and professional staff.

    Thank you,

    Stacy

    If Mungo Flanigan hadn't withdrawn and she had ultimately been chosen for the Redistricting Commission, she would have had to give up her a 5th district Council seat, triggering a special (no runoff) 5th district election. Among speculated candidates:

    [Scroll down for further.]



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  • Former LB Harbor Commissioner Rich Dines (who finished second to Mungo in a June 2018 runoff and indicated months ago he was seriously considering a 2022 run)

  • John Osborn, a 2018 Council candidate and proudly unabashed City Hall "outsider" who acknowledges this is the time when prospective candidates (including himself) are exploring the amount of support they'd need to mount a serious campaign.

  • Former Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske (now a lawyer representing LB taxpayers challenging City Hall actions, who hasn't decided whether to re-enter politics and seek the 5th district seat or possibly run for Mayor)

    By withdrawing her application, Council incumbent Mungo Flanigan is now free to seek a Council third term in 2002 or pursue some other elective office or do something else.

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    Although she's no longer in consideration for the state position, future LB political fallout may now follow from her actions. After quietly submitting her initial application on June 14, 2019 (less than a year into her second term of office and on October 20, 2019, Mungo Flanigan submitted additional written materials that included responses to four questions (below.) Her self-description of her record statements may provide campaign fodder for future challengers to her (if she seeks re-election in 2022) or to candidates endorsed by her.


    Sponsor

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    [State Auditor website text] Part 1: Essay Questions:

    The response to each of the following essay questions is limited to no more than 3200 characters including spaces (approximately 500 words). The response fields below will allow you to cut and paste text from any word processing program such as Microsoft Word.

    Sponsor



    I believe an independent, non-partisan and transparent process for drawing district lines is critical to ensuring fair representation. As a non-partisan elected official, I see first hand the positive outcomes that are possible when a community is included and feels represented by the individual they have elected. I believe in this process so much, that as a Long Beach Councilmember I worked hard to create our own independent redistricting commission modeled after California's process.


    As a current City Councilwoman, I have a very public track record that demonstrates how I have been able to set aside my personal beliefs and be impartial. For hearings, I weigh the facts only as presented and vote accordingly. When crafting policy or trying to solve an issue, I listen to presentations, research and public comment to find solutions that can achieve the common goal or intended outcome and I work to craft policy accordingly. In trying to achieve this we will often hear hours of testimony before deliberating on how to ensure the proposed policy can produce the intended outcome without unintended consequences. It is a skill to be able to hear and keep notes for use in the analysis and deliberation process. My colleagues and constituents have said that my ability to hear and extrapolate the impact of the policy is a quality they appreciate in me.

    Additionally, I'm a University of Chicago trainer in procedural justice. I mostly focus on training police departments that have applied for a Department of Justice grant because of some issue their city or department has had. My most recent trainings have included an implicit bias component that speaks to one's ability to recognize biases to be able to set them aside. To have been selected to teach this, the team believes the trainer to have mastered it and I'm proud of this designation.


    As an elected official in America's 10th most diverse city, I live diversity every day. For this designation Long Beach was ranked across five criteria: socioeconomic diversity, cultural diversity, economic diversity, household diversity, and religious diversity and I see more diversity than assessed as we also have diversity of sexual orientation, density, age, connectedness, and more. I believe my overwhelming re-election in one of America's most diverse constituencies despite several candidates running, demonstrates that the diverse community I serve believe I represent them well.

    As outlined in question two, I also serve as a traveling trainer for the University of Chicago and have demonstrated and taught my appreciation for California's diversity to local California police agencies. Knowing and appreciating the diversity of the communities they serve is important in their ability to be effective public servants. My appreciation for that diversity is important in my ability to connect with and teach the material.


    My full-time job as a Los Angeles County Fire Division Chief requires me to exercise my analytical skills daily. My job description reads: Directs and oversees highly complex and sensitive research assignments requiring a substantial depth of analysis using qualitative and/or quantitative analytical methods; defines study parameters and objectives and develops statistical and information-gathering processes to ensure the quality, integrity, validity and relevance of data obtained for analysis and decision-making purposes.
    In this role, I gather, and review maps, charts, spreadsheets, and data presented through other mediums. I analyze and aggregate the most relevant information. Then I synthesize it into a short yet complete briefing sheet to ensure we share the information and direction with the organization.

    My management consistently communicates that I "exceed expectations," a performance evaluation I am proud of.


    On April 14, 2020, an "Applicant Review Panel" conducted a video interview with Councilwoman Mungo Flanigan, asked her about her future plans after her current Council term expires in 2022 and she didn't rule out seeking a third term. For now, the interview remains online at in full at: this link.

    As previously reported by LBREPORT.com, about 56 minutes into the interview, the State Auditor's legal counsel called her attention to the CA constitutional provision prohibiting those chosen for the Redistricting Commission from holding any federal state or local elective office for ten years. After a several second pause, Councilman Mungo Flanigan stated what sounded like "okay" or "yes."

    For andio clip of the exchange, click here.

    As part of the process, Mungo Flanigan submitted three letters of recommendation. In addition, at least two members of the public submitted written comments in support of her selection by an April 29 deadline for written public comments pro or con. Fifth district resident Corliss Lee (who challenged Mungo Flanigan in the 2018 election cycle and went on to found the The Eastside Voice) submitted written comments in opposition. In the public interest, LBREPORT.com publisher Bill Pearl (who followed Councilwoman Mungo Flanigan's actions in office since mid-July 2014 in reporting them as newsworthy) provided the Review Panel with materials critical of some of her application statements and some aspects of her Council record (all public record.)

    Under the Review Panel's rules, Mungo Flanigan had six days in which to respond to written comments; it's not immediately clear if she did so or not.


    Support really independent news in Long Beach. No one in LBREPORT.com's ownership, reporting or editorial decision-making has ties to development interests, advocacy groups or other special interests; or is seeking or receiving benefits of City development-related decisions; or holds a City Hall appointive position; or has contributed sums to political campaigns for Long Beach incumbents or challengers. LBREPORT.com isn't part of an out of town corporate cluster and no one its ownership, editorial or publishing decisionmaking has been part of the governing board of any City government body or other entity on whose policies we report. LBREPORT.com is reader and advertiser supported. You can help keep really independent news in LB similar to the way people support NPR and PBS stations. We're not non-profit so it's not tax deductible but $49.95 (less than an annual dollar a week) helps keep us online.


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