Mayor Garcia delivered his seventh State of the City address at the Terrace Theater to a record online crowd who watched on the City’s website, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and LBTV3.
The Mayor began his speech with a sober acknowledgment of the toll COVID-19 has taken on our city. He noted record hospitalizations and 484 Long Beach lives lost since the beginning of the pandemic. “For me, personally and professionally, this has been the most difficult of my life,” said Mayor Garcia. “I’ll be forever grateful for the support I received from all of you during those days.”
He recognized the hard work of our doctors, nurses, teachers, grocery store, port, and transit workers. The Mayor noted, “Our response to this crisis and our heroic workers who continue on despite this challenge have made it crystal clear—The state of our city is strong.”
In his address, the Mayor announced the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center will become a vaccine distribution site, the first of several that will become available throughout the city in the coming weeks and months. The first workers who will be vaccinated at the Convention Center will be our grocery and food distribution workers. He also highlighted key points in an unprecedented vaccine distribution plan that is happening here in Long Beach:
- 13,000 health care workers, hospital staff, pharmacists, dentists, paramedics, firefighters and residents and staff at nursing homes and long-term care facilities have been vaccinated.
- Next week, more essential workers, including teachers, police officers, grocery workers and residents 75 and older will receive the vaccine.
- The first senior vaccination clinic begins this Saturday with clinics, hospitals and medical providers already in receipt of vaccines to begin vaccinating this group of seniors immediately.
- Beginning January 23 people 65 to 74 can also get vaccinated at city clinics.
The Mayor spoke to the critical work of supporting local small businesses, workers and rebuilding our Long Beach economy. “I am very optimistic in the weeks ahead, Congress will adopt a federal COVID-19 recovery package that could include tens of millions directly for our city,” said Mayor Garcia.
In this year’s remarks, the Mayor recognized the historic change Black Lives Matter has made nationwide. His speech was punctuated by strong remarks, as he said, “Black Lives Matter. They matter to this city. And they matter to me. We must acknowledge structural racism exists in all of our institutions.” Here in Long Beach, the Mayor uplifted the demands of thousands of people by noting more than 100 goals the city has embarked on through a Racial Equity and Reconciliation Initiative, which was formally adopted by the Long Beach City Council.
Mayor Garcia closed Long Beach’s 2021 State of the City with comments about the historic events at our nation’s capital just last week. As an immigrant who loves his country, he noted, “I was horrified at what we witnessed as a nation. We are an imperfect country, but we must strive toward truth and justice.” And with that, the Mayor encouraged the Long Beach’s community to be kind to one another, keep each other safe, and know in our hearts the best days are ahead.