The City of Long Beach released the Racial Equity and Reconciliation Initiative – Initial Report to Mayor Robert Garcia and City Council. The report details actions to address anti-Black racism, advance racial equity, and reconcile with the vision that race should not determine social and economic outcomes for those who live or work in Long Beach. The initial report represents the fourth step in the Framework for Reconciliation following acknowledging, listening and convening with stakeholders to shape policy and ideas.
“We thank each and every one of our community members who contributed to this report and shared their perspectives and stories with us,” said City Manager Tom Modica. “We are committed to advancing racial equity across our city for Black, Indigenous and people of color, and this initiative is laying the foundation to pave the way.”
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. The four goals, along with their outlined strategies include:
- Goal 1: End systemic racism in Long Beach, in all local government and partner agencies, through internal transformation.
- Goal 2: Design and invest in community safety and violence prevention.
- Goal 3: Redesign police approach to community safety.
- Goal 4: Improve health and wellness in the City by eliminating social and economic disparities in the communities most impacted by racism.
Altogether, the plan consists of 21 distinct strategies and 107 potential action plans.
The purpose of the potential actions is to center the needs, voices and assets of those most affected by anti-Black systemic racism and eliminate disparities in order to expand opportunities for all Long Beach residents.
“Our City staff and leadership are dedicated to the action items in this report and upholding the integrity of the community’s pleas for racial equity,” said Deputy City Manager Teresa Chandler. “We are so grateful for our stakeholders who contributed to this report, and we are committed to honoring the emotional labor and time they put into this process with us by ensuring the action items move forward with their partnership.”
The City encourages community members to stay engaged by submitting their comments on this agenda item in advance of the Aug. 11 City Council meeting at longbeach.gov/cityclerk.
More than 1,500 people participated in 13 listening sessions and four community town halls that were hosted by the City, and two that were hosted by community partners, totaling more than 30 hours. Nearly 600 community members and City staff completed the City’s reconciliation survey. The City partnered with Dr. Amber Johnson, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Science, from California State University, Long Beach, to analyze the qualitative data collected during the listening sessions and town halls.
Data from the survey, listening sessions and town halls informed initial goals and strategies; from which nearly 50 community stakeholders and subject matter experts were invited to participate in the stakeholder convenings. Selection included being an active resident in Long Beach, participation in the listening sessions, and ensuring representation from organizations that support and provide services for Black residents and residents of color.
On June 23, 2020, the Long Beach City Council unanimously adopted a resolution acknowledging racism as a public health crisis and adopted the Framework for Reconciliation. The reconciliation process and report are intended to be a first step in eliminating anti-Black racism in Long Beach. Along with the City’s initial strategies, the report includes additional recommendations provided by stakeholders to make sure the totality of the conversations is captured and considered. The City will continue to provide opportunities for community input as the process moves forward.
Additional comments and recommendations can also be sent to the Office of Equity by emailing [email protected].
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.