The Long Beach City Council voted unanimously on August 11, 2020, to approve the Racial Equity and Reconciliation Initiative – Initial Report.
“Long Beach has taken bold steps towards dismantling systemic racism and uplifting justice and equity,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “In partnership with our local community, we will create a healthier environment to support families, make our neighborhoods safer for everyone, and improve educational outcomes for all our students.”
The initiative followed a four-step process known as the Framework for Reconciliation: to acknowledge the existence of systemic racism in our community, listen to community members’ accounts and experiences of inequity, convene with stakeholders to shape policy, and catalyze racial equity in the city.
The initiative was brought forward by Councilmember Rex Richardson, co-sponsored by Vice Mayor Dee Andrews, Councilmember Jeannine Pearce and Councilmember Al Austin and approved by the full City Council on June 9, 2020, for City staff to create a listening process and recommendations to the City Council to address systemic racism. On August 11, the entire City Council voted to formally adopt and approve the Initial Report as amended by the Council.
“Last night’s historic action represents an embrace of racial equity as a core philosophy and guiding principle in our decision making,” said Councilmember Rex Richardson. “This is not the end of a process, but the beginning of a transformation. Long Beach is committed to ensuring that every member of our community, no matter your race or zip code, can live, work, learn and thrive in a healthy and safe community.”
The report details actions to address anti-Black racism, advance racial equity, and create a vision for Long Beach’s future where race does not determine social and economic outcomes. The goals and strategies of the initial report include actions related to government/infrastructure, public safety and policing, violence prevention, health equity and economic inclusion. Altogether, the plan consists of 21 distinct strategies and 107 potential action plans.
The City conducted 13 listening sessions and four community town halls as part of the second step in the framework. Cal State Long Beach partnered with the City to analyze the data collected from the listening sessions, and hundreds of survey responses by community members and City staff were also incorporated. The responses and feedback directed the goals and strategies of the report.
City staff will now move forward to develop implementation strategies that include detailed actions, identification of funding sources and timelines for completion, in addition to creating measurable benchmarks for ongoing assessment to evaluate progress. The City will continue to work with the community and broader stakeholder network to share updates on progress and opportunities for input and collaboration.
Comments and recommendations can be sent to the Office of Equity by emailing EquityLB@longbeach.gov.
About the City of Long Beach
Home to approximately 470,000 people, the multiple award-winning and innovative City of Long Beach offers all the world-class amenities of a large metropolitan city while maintaining a strong sense of individual and diverse neighborhoods nestled together along the California coast. As a full-service charter city, Long Beach is home to the Queen Mary, Aquarium of the Pacific, several museums and theaters, a highly rated school district, Long Beach Airport and the Port of Long Beach. The City also has a highly respected university and city college, two historic ranchos, five hospitals, five golf courses, 171 parks, miles of beaches, marinas and bike paths.
For more information about the City of Long Beach, visit http://longbeach.gov/.