After Raising $40,000 (Mainly In June 2019) To Seek Re-Election In May 2020, 2nd Dist. Councilwoman Pearce Now Says She Won't...So Who Gets The Money And Whom Will Her Supporters Support? Choices Now Shaping Up: Reform-Ticket Robert Fox vs. Newcomer Jeanette Barrera vs. Mayor/Council Contributor Cindy Allen
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(Nov. 1, 2019, 1:15 p.m.) -- After raising over $40,000 (most of it in June 2019) to seek re-election in March 2020, 2nd dist. Councilwoman Jeannine Pearce told her constituents in her weekly newsletter this morning (Nov. 1) that she won't seek re-election in March 2020.
Pearce's re-election supporters included organized labor entities including the LB Firefighters Ass'n, lobbying firms, development interests and a number of recognizable LB political and civic figures.
The race now shaping up (still in flux, others could enter the race) currently pits Reform-Ticket candidate Robert Fox against newcomer Jeannette Barrera and recently entered (Oct. 14) Mayor/Council campaign/officeholder contributor Cindy Allen. (Ms. Allen's Oct. 28 fundraiser was attended by a number of current and former LB-area electeds: LBREPORT.com coverage here.)
In March 2020, 2nd district voters will either elect a new Councilmember outright (if one of the candidate receives over 50%+1 of the vote) or (more likely in a multi-candidate field) send the top two finishers to a November 2020 runoff.
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Between Jan. 1, 2019 and June 30, 2019, Pearce's 2020 re-election committee collected $40,575, spent $2,821, and on June 20 reported $37,804 cash on hand with $2,000 in accrued/unpaid expenses. $400 is the legal campaign contribution maximum to a candidate committee; contributor descriptions below are by LBREPORT.com.
American Life: $400. (Corporate entity planning to build high rise hotel on SE corner of Pine/Ocean Blvd. (former Jergins Trust site), given an "economic development incentive" of 80% of the future hotel's transient occupancy tax revenue for nine years (Dec. 2017 Council action, motion by Pearce, approved without Council dissent.)
Matt Knabe $400 (lobbyist Englander, Knabe & Allen)
Alex Cherin: $400 (consultant, lobbying firm Englander, Knabe & Allen)
Englander Public Affairs $400 (lobbying firm)
Herlinda Chico: $300 (field deputy LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn)
Who gets the roughly $37,000+ collected by Pearce's 2020 re-election committee? An FPPC spokesperson referred us to the FPPC's Campaign Manual, Chapter 5, which indicates "surplus" campaign funds "may only be used to make the following expenditures":
Payments for outstanding campaign debts or officeholder expenses.
Refunds to contributors.
Donations to a bona fide charitable, educational, civic, religious, or similar tax-exempt, nonprofit organization, provided no
substantial part of the proceeds will have a material financial effect on the candidate, on any member of the candidate's immediate family (spouse or registered domestic partner and children), or the campaign treasurer.
Contributions to a political party committee, so long as the funds are not used to make contributions in support of or opposition to
a candidate for elective office. (For example, funds earmarked for overhead expenses.)
Contributions to support or oppose any candidate for federal office, any candidate for elective office in a state other than
California, or any ballot measure.
Payments for professional services or attorneys’ fees for litigation that arises out of campaign or election activities.
Payment for an electronic security system
Councilwoman Pearce narrowly outpolled Eric Gray in a June 2016 runoff, faced and survived a December 2017 launched/2018 failed recall [signature gathering botched/fell short] but ended up censured in March 2018 by her Council colleagues (LBREPORT.com coverage here.) In 2019, LB's City Attorney's office issued a report that concluded/alleged that Councilwoman Pearce hadn't fully disclosed certain outside income on annual required FPPC Form 700, which the City Attorney's office said created conflict of interest issues on certain Council votes/issues (LBREPORT.com coverage here.) LB's City Prosecutor's office has referred related matters to the L.A. County DA's office for its review (in process now) and FPPC staff is also separately looking into the matter.
Ms Pearce's newsletter announcement text follows below:
District 2 Residents,
It has been an honor to serve as the Second District Councilwoman. I have led with my values, my heart, my community, and have given everything I have into service. I could not be prouder of what my team and I have accomplished in just over three years, both tripling the constituent services and pioneering progressive policies that benefit not just the district but the entire city. I love my community, the city of Long Beach, and the opportunity I have to serve. Still, I have made the hard decision to not run for a second term and I want you to know why. It’s not the press. It’s not the pressure from the corporate CEO’s or the other people or associations who oppose progress. No. Those who know me well, know I thrive under pressure. I am a fighter and always will be. So, know that it is not these pressures that have made me decide not to run, but rather a greater calling to prioritize what matters most—my daughter, my health, and my commitment to advocate and build power for a progressive community. I know we have made history in Long Beach, not just in these past three and a half years, but over the last decade.
My journey for equity and justice in Long Beach began in 2008. I saw a city with failed developments that gave millions of dollars in tax breaks to developers without asking for any community benefits for our residents and a city that had deep poverty and high crime. I saw a Long Beach where the hotel and port workers felt unseen and unheard. A city that ignored the calls for climate action and affordable housing, a police department that refused to acknowledge the calls for police reform.
So we organized. In ten years, we made drastic changes to how we worked in small steps to become a city where residents felt heard by city hall. When I began as an organizer in Long Beach, we had a lot of heart. We found a shared vision for a city that was proactive, inclusive, and cared about equity for our community. We developed programs like Long Beach Rising where community leaders continue to educate, activate, and empower residents to engage in local politics for social change. From 2009 to today, we worked to get progressive leaders elected to make a real change from the inside. In 2015, I decided to run for City Council. Not to have my name on a door, but for the values, my community had fought so hard for. Today, I thank all the warriors of justice who marched, knocked on doors, and advocated for policy change. THIS city is the other Long Beach we saw possible. THIS is the city I am proud to call home thanks to your efforts.
Together, we ran against a long-standing establishment that includes corporate CEO’s, the oil industry, the Apartment Association, and the entire hotel industry and yet We Won. It was expensive and thanks to the community, volunteers, small community dollars, and a vision for justice … We Won… We Won this race because we brought together a coalition of community leaders that stood up for the many who had no voice. My race was a turning point for the city and the city council. I have always been proud to be your councilmember, although it has not been without struggle.
We are all human, none of us are perfect. My imperfections came through in the new pressures of being in public office. I have had moments of struggle, growth, and having a deep dive into who I am as a mother, community member, and an elected leader. I believe these past 4 years of being in the public eye have taught me much about myself. I know these lessons are invaluable and will help not only myself, but my daughter, and women across our city. This journey was made even more public by the recall attempt. Months into my first year when the same people who opposed my candidacy over support for hotel workers decided to launch an ugly campaign to recall me, masked as a personal attack but funded 98% by the hotel industry. It was clear this recall was about corporate power because of my advocacy for basic worker safety and panic buttons. We ALL prevailed.
Despite a failed recall attempt, we accomplished more than we could have imagined in just three and a half years and even passed Hotel Worker Safety at the ballot box. Our accomplishments include the opening our Bixby Dog Park, funding for a new walking path at Bixby Park, championing in “Compassions Saves” for our animal shelter, passing tenant protections, and relocation fees, creating a fund for immigrants and youth, to last month when Long Beach had the opportunity to meet and honor a hometown hero; Billie Jean King with a library in her honor.
Additionally, we have seen the lowest crime rates in over a decade in our city. Our police officers now equip body-worn cameras and our firefighters now run 3 Homeless Engagement Response Teams, with a 4th one coming to our Marine Bureau Department. We will have three new union hotels in the city and a convention center that has true labor peace by ensuring our most valuable assets do not face strikes or economic downturn.
But none of these accomplishments matters without systematic changes to how our most marginalized communities are represented in the city. I am proud to say last week, Long Beach launched the Long Beach Equity Tool Kit. This will be used by city staff to ensure that each department is prioritizing equity, lifting up the residents who need it most so that all of Long Beach can participate in the progress we have made. This is the structural systematic shift that will ensure Long Beach continues on the path to being a world-class city.
The city has more changes yet to come. Long Beach deserves a full-time council. Our City Manager-City Council Charter needs reform. The residents deserve a councilmember who is solely focused on representing them. For people like myself who are deeply passionate about serving our community, it is difficult to focus on a second job when all you want to do is work in improving infrastructure, drafting policy, and connecting with residents. I urge you all to give an appreciation to your councilmembers, for this work truly is about service.
So it is with this context, the personal and the history of successes that I feel confident about where our city and where our district is. I have accomplished what I have set out to do, which is structurally shift the path to equity for all residents in our city. I know that the second district has many great community leaders that can serve as your elected representative. I say this with a wealth of pride, consideration, and excitement for what the future holds. I’m looking forward to serving the last year of my term without the distraction of a campaign and will continue to deliver progress for my community as your councilwoman and your advocate.
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