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Supernaw and Allen Block Committee Discussion On Naming South St. Greenspace "Pressburg Parkway"

Proposal initiator Richardson or other Councilmember(s) can agendize item for full Council vote



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(May 12, 2021, 3:00 p.m.) -- Despite multi-signature supportive correspondence from North Long Beach leaders, detailed written support of the area's neighborhood association, and a unanimous voted recommendation in support by LB's Parks/Rec Commission, Councilman Daryl Supernaw (chair of the Council's "Government, Personnel and Elections Oversight" Committee) and Committee Vice Chair Councilwoman Cindy Allen blocked their Committee's agendized discussion of renaming greenspace along South St. at Jaymills Ave. the Pressburg Parkway to honor veteran NLB community advocate Dan Pressburg.

The action played out at the May 11, 2021 meeting of Supernaw's committee. The agenda package contained a mutli-signature supportive letter from North Long Beach leaders and a detailed supportive letter from the DeForest Park Neighborhood Ass'n (texts below.) On January 21, 2021, LB's Parks and Recreation Commission voted 6-0 to support the Pressburg Parkway naming. On May 11, 2021, six individuals signed up to speak telephonically at the Committee meeting

The City Clerk called the agenda item. Committee chair Supernaw asked if there was a motion to support. Councilwoman Allen remained silent. Supernaw could have made the motion to support himself (forcing Allen to publicly decline to second it) but he didn't. Committee member Al Austin (whose unwillingness to support the Pressburg Parkway claiming he wanted evidence of community support) didn't attend the May 11 Committee meeting which provided that evidence.

With no motion or second from Supernaw or Allen, the May 11 Committee agenda item was poised to fail but the Councilmembers arguably might have been swayed after hearing public testimony.

Supernaw asked the City Clerk if public testimony on the agenda item was allowed. The City Clerk representative said yes. Supernaw then asked Deputy City Attorney Amy Weber who extemporaneously opined that she believed with no motion pending, public testimony would be [her term] "inappropriate."

[LBREPORT.com comment: Section 594954.3 (a) of the CA Government Code (Brown Act) allows and arguably requires allowing the public to be heard on the agendized item: "(a) Every agenda for regular meetings shall provide an opportunity for members of the public to directly address the legislative body...before or during the legislative bodyís consideration of the item, that is within the subject matter jurisdiction of the legislative body...".]

Committee chair Supernaw used Deputy City Attorney Weber's extemporaneous opinion (with no authority cited by her) as his basis to refuse to allow telephonic verbal testimony on the agenda item (effectively silencing public speakers prepared to speak.)

Although the Committee's action blocked its discussion of the item, it didn't kill it. The full Council, not a three member Council committee, ultimately decides. Any Councilmember(s), including Pressburg Parkway initiating Vice Mayor Rex Richardson, can re-agendize the item for full Council consideration.

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A May 11, 2021 letter from the DeForest Park neighborhood association stated:

The DeForest Park Neighborhood Association fully supports the renaming of the South Street Parkway to be renamed Pressburg Parkway in honor of Dan Pressburg.

Over the past 25+ years, Dan Pressburg has been an active advocate that provided time (over a thousand hours), dollars (in the thousands), hours of sacrifice and time away from family. This has translated into countless community meetings, neighborhood association meetings, city council meetings as well as county, state, and federal events.

We would like to say that Mr. Pressburg is more than qualified for the renaming of the South Street Parkway and this as one of the people who helped organize maintain and establish The South Street Parkway and The DeForest Nature Trail. He helped establish, maintain and promote the lot next to his historic home since 1998

Pressburgís impact over the last 30 years, has been extraordinary for the City of Long Beach. He has taught adults English and older adult s to read. Pressburg has planted approximately 375 trees across Long Beach in all council districts except Council District 5. In 1994 he was one of the original members of the Homeless Committee that established the Homeless Count. In 1995-96, he became a part of the Long Beach Historical Society and became a docent and writer for the downtown walking tour, the art tour, and the sunset walking tours. His children also became docents and did tours too. He became a member of the Cultural Heritage Commission (1995) and helped with the establishment of 3 Historic Districts and additions, (Rose Park, Wilmore Drake, and Bluff Heights). He had an article published regarding the "Mansionization" of the California Heights. He assisted in getting the city, at the time to file historic homes and residences on the title, to accurately reflect historic districts and residences. He and another member of the Long Beach Historical Society created the "New Citizenís Welcome," a celebration at Rancho Los Cerritos acknowledging new American Citizens. He wrote the script for the historic landmarks for the Long Beach Marathon and received a key to the city in 1997. Pressburg also received two Preservation Awards of Merit; and his home, The Historic Long Beach Dairy and Creamery was declared a landmark in 1994. In 1996- 1997 he worked with the then City Manager, Jim Hankla, to help establish Carnival Cruise Lines that opened in 2000-2001. During this time, he was also one of the original members of the North Project Area Committee, member and Vice Chair of the Central Area Project Area Committee Vice Chair (1998-2009) and remained a member until they ended Redevelopment.

Pressburg has been recognized nationally for the work he has done. Below are some examples of the awards and activities for which he has been recognized:

  • Assisted in the Salt Lake Neighborhood Award for Neighborhood Watch Social Neighborhood Award
  • Neighborhoods USA NUSA (6th) - Better Balance Long Beach Neighborhood Award for reforming 14th Street Park (1st) 2009
  • Better Balance Long Beach, (NUSA) Social Neighborhoods Awards and National Grand Prize (2008-2009)
  • NUSA, Better Balance Long Beach, (The Christmas Store) 2011-2012
  • US Army Award For Veteranís Affairs 2014, 2015 and recognition
  • 5 certificates from Assemblywoman and Assemblyman 2000-2001, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007
  • 6 Award State Senate Awards
  • 6 awards from the County of Los Angels
  • 18 Community awards and certificates from the following Districts, 1,2,3,4,6, 7,8,9. Mostly the 8th and 9th District
  • Press Telegram Neighborhood Hero Award (3 times)
  • Assemblymember Hall Man of the year twice and Senior of the Year
  • DeForest Neighborhood Award -- Assemblymember
  • Restoration Award County of Los Angeles 2004
  • Governorís Award from Pete Wilson
  • 100 years of North Long Beach History at the Long Beach Dairy and Creamery 2003-2004
  • Los Angeles County Award -- 100 years of North Long Beach History at the Long Beach Dairy and Creamery 2003-4
  • Go Long Beach Award 2014
  • Numerous City Awards for Neighborhood Associations ∑
  • 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003 North Long Beach Community Action Group
  • 1998 Community Development Award, Awards for the community Maintenance of the Nature Trail and South Street Parkway
  • Two volunteer awards recognizing 700 hours of Community Service 2003-4
  • 1996 Golden Shield Award.

Sincerely, Ryan Blazer
Acting Secretary on behalf of DeForest Park Neighborhood Association

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May 13 multi-signatory letter from North Long Beach Neighborhood Leaders:

We the undersigned North Long Beach Neighborhood leaders, support naming the Pressburg Parkway in honor of our friend and neighbor Dan Pressburg. As a proud resident of the 9th District, Dan Pressburg has lived a life dedicated to the community. Dan Pressburg has time and again demonstrated why cementing his legacy in this City is fitting in recognition of his commitment to Long Beach and the greater Uptown Community.

Examples of Danís service to the community are numerous. He has for years donated turkeys and rescued trees for families during the holidays. His innovative spirit of giving was also lauded by Neighborhoods USA (NUSA), receiving two national titles for the "One - Day Christmas Store."

Additionally, his service to the City goes beyond the 9th District, in which he resides, with helping to establish parts of the narration for the Long Beach Marathon, Downtown Walking Tours, and as a Docent at Rancho Los Cerritos in the 8th Council District. As an original member of the Veteran's Day Parade Committee, he led promotions for 16 years and provided a unique quiche breakfast for staff and honored guests who sat in the reviewing stand. Finally, for the past seven years, Pressburg has led the DeForest Park Neighborhood Association as president, organizing tree plantings, and community events, such as the Chili Cook-Off. Pressburg was also instrumental in the DeForest Park Wetlands Restoration, which officially opened in 2018.

In closing, the 9th District has been a location of historical first. One of these examples is the South Street Parkway, the City's first-ever "pocket park" established in the late '90s. The park features turf, trees, and fencing. There are no structures in the Pocket Park and is established as an open green space, utilized by all members of the DeForest Area Community.

It is for these reasons and many more, that we, the undersigned District 9 Neighborhood leaders, request that South Street Parkway be named "Pressburg Parkway" in his honor.

Sincerely, North Long Beach Neighborhood Leaders

Jeff Rowe
President, Nehyam Neighborhood Association

Juanita Doplemore
President, Collins Neighborhood Association

Eileen M. Oien
President, St. Francis Place Neighborhood Association

Linda Wilson
President, College Square Neighborhood Association

Monica Rodriguez Keller
President, Starr King Neighborhood Association

Renette Mazza
President, Hamilton Neighborhood Association

Renee Rios
President, Longwood Neighborhood Association

The public speakers whose telephonic testimony on the agenda item wasn't permitted were veteran LB neighborhood advocate Annie Greenfeld, Shirin Senegal, Michael Ebenkamp and Pressburg family members Holly Pressburg, Aaron Pressburg and Lauren Bareahona.

LBREPORT.com notes that Mr. Pressburg now publishes North Long Beach News which (using a Facebook platform) has gained a sizable readership in NLB and beyond with its independent coverage of NLB events and curated coverage by other publications (including LBREPORT.com.)

Background

On December 15, 2020, Vice Chair Richardson initiated his proposal to name the green space for Mr. Pressburg by agendizing a memo praising Mr. Pressburg's record along with a PPT displaying photos of the site. On that basis, the Council voted 9-0 to forward the proposal to the Parks and Rec. Commission and Housing and Neighborhoods Committee for recommended Council action.

In early Jan. 2021, Mayor Garcia eliminated several Council Committees including Housing and Neighborhoods, and gave a newly created "Government, Personnel and Elections Oversight Committee" chaired by Supernaw specific oversight on policies for naming city facilities..

On March 23, 2021, the newly created Government, Personnel and Elections Oversight Committee (Supernaw, Allen, Austin) considered the issue. Committee member Allen moved, and Supernaw seconded approval of the proposal. But Committee member Austin balked, inquiring if there was additional community input in support of the action beyond Vice Mayor Richardson's initiating memo. (When he inquired, Austin could see none was agendized.) There were no additional written communications or public testimony in support at the mid-afternoon March 23 Committee meeting. which Austin contrasted a Committee meeting agendized letter signed by multiple individuals and groups that supported renaming the Long Beach Performing Arts Center as the "Beverly OíNeill Performing Arts Center."

Supernaw then backed away from the motion-to-approve that he'd just seconded, and Austin ultimately made a substitute motion to await evidence of public support for the Pressburg Parkway item. Supernaw seconded Austin's substitute motion and the Committee voted 3-0 not to recommend the item for Council approval for now without evidence of public support.

The Committee's May 11, 2021 actions then followed.

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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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