Candidates’ latest announcements to run for 1st and 2nd District in Long Beach

Following the past weeks’ state Senate election, candidates running to represent the 1st District made their formal introductions and previewed announcements of their plans for the City of Long Beach.

Image result for Mary Zendejas

On Friday June 7th, 2019 Transit Director and Community Leader, Mary Zendejas announced her candidacy for the 1st District and expressed “as your Councilmember, I won’t be afraid to take on the difficult issues facing our City, and pledge to bring people together to build upon the great work that has been completed by former Councilmember and Senator-Elect Lena Gonzalez.” With a strong background in transportation, as Vice President of the Ms. Wheelchair America up until recently and continuously a Board of Directors for the Disabled Resources Center in Long Beach, as well as establishing a mentorship program in partnership with California State University, Long Beach, the Long Beach Unified District, and the Murphy Family Foundation – Zendeja’s approach is to implement affordable housing and tenant protections, better the public transport systems, as well as equal access measures for people in wheelchairs. 

In March 2019, small business owner of the 1st District, Ray Morquecho, launched a website showcasing efforts to run for the council seat. He disagrees with aspects from both Democratic and Republican parties, therefore, declining a preference. On his site he states to ensure quality of life, including cleaner streets, more green spaces, better parking structures and more efficient transportation means, as well as addresses issues on housing, job growth and business support. 

Former Member of the City’s Sustainability Commission, Elliot Gonzalez, claims to be running as a Democratic Socialist and describes himself as a “Progressive running on a platform calling for a land trust to build public housing and affordable housing, creating a Green New Deal and a public bank to back the Green New Deal”. In his public campaign held on Saturday June 8, 2019 at 11am at Harvey Milk Park, Gonzalez speaks upon details in his flyer on the following topics: 

  • End Homelessness Through a Public Land Trust for Affordable Public Housing
  • Parking and Street Sweeping Fee Reductions for Residents 
  • Creation of Free Citywide Broadband and Reduction in Public Transit Fees
  • Green New Deal for Long Beach with Union Jobs
  • Public Bank to Fund Infrastructure, Public Land Trust, and Green Union Programs 

The Latest, Director of the Long Beach Council of Neighborhood Organizations (CONO) and Veteran of 2nd District Neighborhood advocate, Robert Fox, announced last night on Thursday June 13, 2019 that he would be picking up City Hall papers later today (Friday June 14, 2019) to enter Long Beach’s March 2020 election and unseat Councilwoman Jeannine Pearce from the 2nd District. Fox made the statement at a meeting held at the Alamitos Beach Neighborhood Association with approximately 100 people in attendance. His dissatisfaction with Pearce and the implementations for the 2nd District thus far have been made known during his speech last night. Strategies of his plans for the District touch upon crime, parking and traffic, height and density, housing and gentrification, environmental concerns and responsive government.  

The election for council seat is to provisionally be held in November.

By Yasmine Tanres