LONG BEACH, CA – Long Beach residents gathered downtown for ‘Questions and Answers’ with candidates running for mayor in the 2022 election.
The Meet Your Next Mayor Forum, organized by the Ocean Residence Community Association (ORCA), gave community members a chance to submit a question for mayoral candidates: Deborah Mozer, Suzie Price, Rex Richardson and Franklin Sims.
The ORCA board members compiled the most popular questions that had been submitted and gave each candidate 90 seconds to answer each question asked.
The most common questions asked by the audience of around 100 Long Beach residents was what the candidates planned on doing to address the homelessness crisis in Long Beach once they are elected.
Deborah Mozer was the first to answer the question stating that homelessness is one of the biggest issues facing Long Beach.
“We have a great health department that definitely needs to be augmented so that we can respond to the mental health and drug addiction issues that the homeless suffer from,” said Mozer.
Candidate Suzie Price shared plans for an increase in services to the homeless community.
“We need to invest in pallet housing so that when people are taken out of the parks, the beaches and in front of businesses they are taken to a community where there are services and security for them,” said Price.
Rex Richardson shared his goals of bringing control of homeless services into the Long Beach Community. Richardson explained that many homeless services in Long Beach are controlled by the LA County Department of Mental Health.
“We need to expand our shelter capacity, we need to make sure we have localized plans where the assets in the community are all coordinated together and we need to localize mental health,” said Richardson.
Franklin Sims brought up the issues he sees with the current efforts being made by the city to help curb homelessness.
“We’ve got to stop giving special deals to institutions that have failed us. There is a homeless shelter in North Long Beach but it’s closer to Compton than it is to the residents here in Long Beach. We have to recognize that that was a 10 million dollar loss” said Sims.
Candidates were also asked what they would do differently in office than Long Beach’s current mayor Robert Garcia.
Suzie Price was the first to answer the question stating that while she has a good relationship with Mayor Garcia, she does see differences in how she would hold office as mayor such as focusing on constituent service.
Rex Richardson addressed the changes that local government has gone through within the last few years and touched on the changes that need to be made in order to help low income residents in Long Beach
Franklin Sims discussed his thoughts on the current state of our local government and brought up the changes he would make to term limits in the office of mayor as well as city council member political donations.
Deborah Mozer discussed Mayor Garcia’s lack of interest in the Long Beach community as he has already turned his focus to running for congress.
The candidates spoke about their plans for the city and urged voters to make their voices heard in the upcoming election.
The election is taking place June 7, 2022 and voter registration is open until May 23. Long Beach Residents can go to longbeach.gov to register to vote or find their local polling place.
By Morgan Trivitt