Who Approved "Donation Meters" Inviting Money For "Mayor's Fund To End Homelessness"? Who Governs The Privately-Run
(Oct. 8, 2019, 5:30 p.m.) -- On Oct. 2, 2019, LB Mayor Robert Garcia and other city officials held a press event unveiling one of four "Donation Meters" inviting money for and awareness of the "Mayor's Fund to End Homelessness." How'd that happen?
On May 24, 2016, Councilman Al Austin (lead agendizer) joined by then-Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez (now state Senator) and then-Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal (now Hermosa Beach City Mgr) agendized an item "to study the feasibility in Long Beach and report back to the City Council on a meter donation program to raise awareness about the issues of homelessness, generate new revenues to help address the problem, and potentially reduce the amount of panhandling in our business corridors." The Councilmembers wrote in pertinent part:
Homelessness remains an ongoing issue in Long Beach and throughout the region. Many residents want to help address homelessness, but are not sure of how their monetary donations will best be utilized to help. Some cities, such as Pasadena and San Diego, have in recent years tried a new approach to addressing issues associated with homelessness.
The Council vote was
[Scroll down for further.]
A few months later, LBDHHS told the Mayor/Council (in a memo dealing with a number of homelessness-related items) that it was looking into the meter matter. On Oct. 2, 2019, the City held a press event attended by Mayor Garcia other city officials to unveil the Donation Meters...accompanied by a press release. The release indicated four locations were chosen for the meters: 2017 E. 4th St., 135 Pine Ave., 4708 E. 2nd St.
5251 E. 2nd St.(although it's currently unclear who chose those locations and on what basis.) The release also indicated that the Mayor's Fund for the Homeless (created by the City in 1990s) is now administered by the "Long Beach Community Foundation," a privately run
How'd that happen? And who governs the "Long Beach Community Foundation"?
The Long Beach Community Foundation's Board of Directors contains some familiar names, among them former LB Councilman Gary DeLong (board chair) and LB Mayor Bob Foster. For a full list of its current governing boardmembers, click here.
The Dec. 11, 2018 agendizing memo doesn't indicate who proposed for Council consideration that the "Long Beach Community Foundation" should administer the Mayor's Fund, or when, or on what basis (competitive or otherwise.)
So who ultimately approved having the privately-run non-profit "Long Beach Community Foundation" administer the formerly City-run Mayor's Fund for the Homeless? The City Council did...in a Dec. 11, 2018 voted action (7-0: Yes: Gonzalez, Pearce, Price, Andrews, Uranga, Austin and Richardson; Absent: Supernaw and Mungo.)
The stated rationale for the action, and the amount transferred from the City to the Long Beach Community Foundation, were indicated in the Dec. 11, 2018 agendizing memo at this link.
The agendizing memo notes that the then-current balance in the Mayor's Fund was $142,694, which will be transferred to the Long Beach Community Foundation to administer the "Mayor's Fund to End Homelessness."
Text added to initial version of this story linking to City's release, indicating the locations of the four "Donation Meters" and noting additional questions.
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