On Tuesday, January 7, five members of the Long Beach City Council voted to take solutions to our city’s homelessness crisis off the table.
They had an opportunity, after years of studies and reports, to take action by putting a measure on the 2020 ballot. They could have given Long Beach residents the ability to decide for themselves whether the city should build supportive and affordable housing for seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities experiencing homelessness.
As it stands, more than 65% of Long Beach voters want supportive and affordable housing for their neighbors. Instead, as the streets of Long Beach fill up with tents, five members of the City Council chose to deny their constituents the right to decide on the future of their city.
However, the night was not one of defeat. More than 300 Everyone in Long Beach supporters came out to make their voices heard at the rally prior to the hearing and during the nearly three hours of debate that followed. There were signs raised high and advocates speaking eloquently, calling on the Council to do the right thing.
Four members of the Council did vote to give their constituents a seat at the table. Mary Zendejas, Jeannine Pearce, Roberto Uranga, and Rex Richardson were instrumental in leading the charge and their dedication to their constituents was inspiring.
Ultimately, the vote didn’t go our way, but we’re only just getting started. There is strength in numbers and the numbers are firmly on the side of those who believe in building supportive and affordable housing for Long Beach’s nearly 1,900 people experiencing homelessness.
More voices will need to be heard as the fight continues. Every Long Beach citizen who wants their voice heard in November needs to contact their council member and speak up for their neighbors who deserve safe, clean affordable and supportive housing.
Join us. Let’s build the coalition and advocate for the homes and services that will bring Everyone In for good.