Hello Long Beach! Here are some of the latest local news highlights to kick off the week of Monday, June 26, 2023.
“Shop Long Beach” program encourages residents to shop local businesses
From July 1 through September 3rd, residents of Long Beach will have the opportunity to earn rewards through the “Shop Long Beach” program when they shop at businesses that are locally owned, independent merchants. Shoppers can sign up at shoplb.org and submit photos of their receipts to be entered for chances to win prizes that are redeemable like cash and can be used to spend at participating locations. 50 winners will receive these cash-like prizes ranging from $25 all the way up to the grand prize of $1,000. Winners can then redeem their LocalCash™ through the Localight App. The ” Shop Long Beach” program aims to generate $1 million in spending to support economic recovery for small businesses hit hardest by the pandemic. Businesses interested in being a part of the program can join by signing up here: Become a Long Beach Spotlight Merchant. By joining, businesses will gain free promotion through the Localight app and receive tech support to enroll and maximize program benefits. Learn more here.
Long Beach releases preliminary plan for a proposed LGBTQ+ District
Last week, the city released an LGBTQ+ Cultural Report that details the history of the queer community in Long Beach and summarizes local input so far for the proposed LGBTQ+ District. The report outlines the next steps for the initiative and includes suggestions for neighborhood and business-led activation opportunities. The district would be designated in the East Broadway Avenue corridor between Alamitos and Temple Avenues, given the LGBTQ+ history and community tied to the area. Community members are encouraged to share their feedback on the plan by sending an email to LGBTQVisioning@longbeach.gov through Sunday, August 25. Residents can also provide their feedback at an event that will be hosted in conjunction with the 40th Annual Long Beach Pride Festival on August 4-5, 2023. All input will be consolidated and shared with the Mayor and City Council in fall 2o23. Learn more here.
City celebrates new junior lifeguard facility’s grand opening
A new $2.8 million Junior Lifeguard facility has officially opened in Long Beach. The 973-square-foot building will serve as the headquarters for the Junior Lifeguard program and will include a year-round first-aid stingray treatment room. The previous facility, built in the 1930s, was not up to current safety standards and lacked the necessary amenities. The new facility has additional square footage, restrooms, offices, and bicycle racks. The project was funded through Long Beach’s Tidelands Area Fund, which consists mainly of revenue from the city’s oil operations. The old building will be demolished after the summer. City officials expressed their excitement about the new facility, highlighting its importance for public safety and the youth involved in the Junior Lifeguard program. Learn more here.
Long Beach is updating regulations for secondary and accessory dwelling units
Long Beach is planning to develop new local ordinances for accessory dwelling units (ADUs) and two-unit residential developments. The ordinances aim to address housing needs while complying with state housing laws and will establish clear standards, procedures, and construction guidelines for residential ADUs and SB 9 opportunities on single-family residential lots. The objective is to benefit homeowners throughout the city by supporting the construction of new housing options and meeting local and statewide housing goals. One ordinance will update and make ADU regulations more accessible, while the other will implement SB 9, allowing for two primary residential units on single-family-zoned lots and potential lot splits. An in-person open house will be held on July 19 to inform the public about ADUs and SB 9, gather input on preferences and priorities, and contribute to shaping the ordinances. City staff will provide information and seek resident and community feedback to inform the development of the ADU and SB 9 ordinances, expected to be adopted in 2024. Further details can be found on the project webpage. Learn more here.
New Director of Police Oversight role aims to promote accountability in the police department
The City of Long Beach has initiated the recruitment process for its first-ever Director of Police Oversight, a significant role within the newly established Office of Police Oversight. The director will work closely with the Police Oversight Commission (POC) and other city departments to promote accountability, transparency, and community input in police oversight. Responsibilities may include conducting reviews and audits of police policies, training, use of force, complaints, and operational practices. The city is seeking community input on desirable qualities for the director through an online survey, and public meetings will also be held to gather recommendations. The recruitment process aims to attract a diverse pool of qualified candidates, with the selection expected to be announced by September. The establishment of the Office of Police Oversight is part of Long Beach’s efforts to reimagine community safety and enhance police accountability, driven by the Racial Equity and Reconciliation Initiative. Learn more here.