We have now been operating under the Stay at Home orders for about 6 weeks. I know it's been a very challenging time for many of us, whether due to income anxiety, home learning challenges, or lack of socialization. It is definitely an unprecedented time and I know it feels comforting to some that we are starting the discussion about reopening Long Beach.  We all long for normalcy again but want to ease back into that state of being so as not to expose ourselves or others to unknown risks associated with the COVID-19 virus. 

A few weeks ago, I launched an outreach effort targeted at businesses and residents in my district. The goal of the outreach effort was to learn what people were thinking about reopening, and what that process might look like.  I wanted to make sure that my residents and I were part of the conversation.  As part of that effort, I hosted 5 focus group Zoom meetings to hear first hand from residents and business owners about what they would like to see happen in the next phase of our COVID response. I also disseminated a survey, which yielded over 1000 responses in approximately 24 hours asking the public to weigh in on some critical issues.  I would like to summarize my findings with you and share my thoughts on what reopening Long Beach could look like. 
Our survey:
On April 23, 2020 a survey was published to approximately 16,000  individuals,  resulting in 1,033  responses. A graph and summary of the survey is included at the end of my letter. 

Five questions were included in the survey. The questions were all open ended allowing for respondents to provide a narrative response to each question.  The questions we asked were:


1.  What district do you live in?

2. What business types should be able to reopen first when Long Beach begins lifting some of the Health Department's Emergency Orders?

3. Are there public locations or City services and facilities you would like to see reopened first?

4. What priorities do you think are most important when Long Beach businesses are reopened and the Health Department's Emergency Orders are lifted?

5. When do you think Long Beach businesses should be allowed to reopen?


In regards to the responses, it should be noted that 79% of the participants live in the 3rd District. We did receive responses from almost every council district as our email list includes a broad range of residents throughout the city. 
In terms of the businesses that people want to see open, businesses, restaurants and salons/hairdressers were at the top of the list.  Most respondents agreed that business should only open if it can be done safely with social distancing and other precautions.
In terms of public spaces, the types of facilities the respondents wanted to have were more access to parks and beaches.  193 respondents also highlighted golf courses and sports courts as  priorities for reopening.  Most respondents agree that health is a priority and access to open space is necessary. Many respondents indicated a desire for continued social distancing and the use of face masks where appropriate.
When asked about mitigation efforts that businesses can implement upon  reopening,  most respondents indicated a desire for social distancing and masks to be required for any business that is allowed to reopen.  Many respondents commented that avoiding a second wave of infections should be a priority. There was a common theme in the responses regarding businesses having to follow Health Department protocols including sanitation and other proven mitigation efforts.
Regarding the timing of reopening, we received 1020 responses. Comments included; "once vaccines or wide spread testing is available" (35%), and "ASAP" (30%), as the highest two responses. There were then specific dates suggested with May 15-May 31 (21%), and June 1-August 31 (7%), as well as responses indicating that the decision on when to open should be up to businesses to decide (9%).
Our focus groups:
I held a total of five focus group sessions via zoom.  Two were focused on business owners, two on residents, and one for a combination of the two.  In general, everyone seemed to indicate a desire to talk about reopening and what that might look like. The conversations were very respectful but represented the diversity of our district. Some felt that it was way too soon to reopen anything because the dangers of a second waive of infection is too great. Others felt that the numbers initially put out by our national leaders were exaggerated and therefore the threat of further increase in cases is unrealistic. 

Everyone agreed, however, that businesses and public facilities could take precautions to protect their employees and patrons/customers through social distancing, reservation style access hours, sanitization practices and face masks.  We even discussed the option of having a "COVID Safety rating" that businesses would place on the outside of their establishment indicating where they rank in terms of their compliance with Health Department guidelines (this would be similar to the letter grade rating based on health department inspections). The majority of focus group members believe that recreation and self-care is critical to our mental health at this time so there was a desire to prioritize access to beaches, bike paths, golf courses, and tennis courts. Personal grooming was also a category of business that many residents wanted to see opened.  Apparently, I am not the only with gray roots or boys that won't let me use the clippers on them! 

We had a lot of restaurant owners on our calls. They offered many suggestions on measures that could be implemented to protect both employees and customers, including reservation-only service, use of disposable menus, social distanced space planning, plexiglass dividers, and increased use of outdoor seating, where feasible. 

We also talked about the most vulnerable members of our community and how to best protect them, while still allowing for businesses to reopen.  Ideas such as senior-only shopping hours could work at recreation facilities, retail stores and personal grooming businesses (this would similar to how they are being implemented at grocery stores).

All in all, I learned a lot from my discussions with our residents and business leaders.  It was great to connect with everyone via zoom and learn that we are all generally on the same page. We are all craving normalcy. We are all craving connection. We want to be part of the conversation. And, most importantly, we are all committed to doing it in a way that is safe and prudent. I look forward to this discussion coming to council and being able to share what I have learned with my colleagues and our city team. 
Please don't hesitate to reach out to me anytime to share your thoughts and perspective on this topic. I look forward to hearing from you.

Summary of District 3 Survey on reopening Long Beach

Thanks to the District 3 team for helping complete the data.
Suzie Price, 3rd District Councilwoman
Calling all John Parkin Greenspace Helpers
Located at the intersection of E. 1st St and Loma Ave. is this special space in Bluff Park's Historic District. Recently Measure A dollars improved this space with an extended sidewalk for pedestrians to stop in front of the greenspace and not be in the middle of the crosswalk. The green space will also have red curbs painted and no parking here. Previously there was 1 parking spot proposed but that will be painted with a red curb.
There are nearby residents who have contributed to this greenspace with plantings, weeding, or providing water which was originally initiated by a neighborhood and city-leader,  John   Parkin . John Parkin was incredibly active and dedicated to the Bluff Park Community and all of Long Beach. Since his passing, many nearby residents have stepped up to continue this legacy and maintain this treasured place.

This excerpt is from the Bluff Park Neighborhood Association in 2018 requesting to name the green space 'John Parkin Green Space', " In the September 2010 edition of the Neighborhood Newsletter, John wrote about his own efforts for the park:

'The landscape project at East 1st Street and Loma Avenue is scheduled to begin this month (August). The irregular shaped intersection was at one time a part of the old PE [Pacific Electric] right-of-way, long since abandoned. At the intersection there is a triangular shaped patch of pavement, approximately 30 feet on each of its sides, in the center of the intersection. It is this area that is scheduled for landscaping. Because of cost considerations there will be no irrigation system installed, which makes the project somewhat unique. After the city has completed the project, the neighborhood will have to step forward and nourish the planting until it is well established.' "

Please reach out to Councilwoman Suzie Price at  district3@longbeach.gov to help identify and recognize those who have been maintaining this special green space.
Before and After Pictures:

-Gabriela Yates
3rd District, Field Deputy
Save Lives and Donate Blood: How and Where During COVID-19

During this crisis everyone wants to do their part to help. So, one of the most important things you can donate is your blood, which is highly overlooked. There is a constant blood supply shortage, yet it is so important to saving many lives. This is one of the easiest ways that you can give back to the community during the pandemic that can truly help someone.
If you are looking for a location to donate blood check out this link below:
Additionally, I want to highlight that  Long Beach Memorial is accepting blood donations as are many of the American Red Cross  locations including the one here in Long Beach at (3150 E 29th Street).
You should only be donating blood if you are in good health and meet other criteria set by each different location.  Here is a link with more information on different ways that donating blood can help out those in need and the blood types of donations that are best for those with various needs including cancer patients, trauma patients, Sickle Cell patients, burn patients, and chronic disease patients. 

-Jack Cunningham
3rd District, Chief of Staff
Enjoy Concerts From Your Home!

-Gabriela Yates
3rd District, Field Deputy
Shopping and Cleaning What You Bring Home

As a result of COVID-19 we have all been much more conscientious about germs, and keeping things clean. It has always been important to wash fresh fruit and vegetables before eating, but how about everything else, from prepackaged food, frozen items, or even things delivered to your home or arriving in the mail. How should we all be protecting ourselves from the virus, and what is necessary to do with the things you are bringing into your home?
Per the FDA and CDC:

"There is no evidence to suggest that food produced in the United States or imported from countries affected by COVID-19 can transmit COVID-19. and currently there is no evidence of food, food containers, or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19.  Like other viruses, it is possible that the virus that causes COVID-19 can survive on surfaces or objects. For that reason, it is critical to follow the 4 key steps of food safety- clean, separate, cook, and chill. 

If you are concerned about contamination of food or food packaging, wash your hands after handling food packaging, after removing food from the packaging, before you prepare food for eating and before you eat. Consumers can follow CDC guidelines on frequent hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; and frequent cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces." Read more here
There is no evidence that food or food packaging has been linked to getting sick from COVID-19. Read more here
The most important thing to remember is that the biggest threat when grocery shopping is the other people shopping, not the groceries themselves. It is of course important to maintain social distancing by keeping a 6 feet from any other shoppers or workers. Making sure you only grocery shop when needed, and not bringing anyone you don't need to the store with you will help keep the shopping experience much safer. An alternative is to have your groceries delivered through online services.
Again, there is a larger threat from coming into contact with another person than there is with these materials.  Make sure to thoroughly wash your hands after returning home and putting away groceries. Disinfecting packaging is not a necessity, it is instead suggested to transfer the food into a cleaner container. If the items are non-perishable, you can leave them in the garage or an unused room for a few days as well but it is not needed. Just please make sure to wash your hands after cooking with anything and before eating. 
The lowest risk item is the produce itself like fruits and vegetables. If you want to wash your produce beyond scrubbing with water, it is highly un-advised to use any soap or detergent. Cleaning produce with soap poses a bigger danger, as soap is non-consumable and can be absorbed by produce. There are specific produce cleaners that are sold at grocery stores if you are concerned, but throughly washing and scrubbing your produce with cold water is adequate.  Setting up a sterile cleaning station will help keep the process as safe as possible. This can be sanitizing counter space before and after unpacking groceries, setting down towels or cloth of some short, and continuously washing your hands.

Again, the biggest risk when grocery shopping is coming into contact with other people. Make sure to utilize the disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizers at the entrances of stores, and throughly wipe down your carts. It is safe to act as if all surfaces have been touched by someone sick, so only grab what you are going to buy and minimize touching anything else. Packing your own groceries and immediately washing your hands after putting them away is key. It is important to not fear or avoid grocery shopping, but it should only be done as needed and safely.  
-Jack Cunningham
3rd District Chief of Staff
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) Program
This is a newly available emergency unemployment assistance program under the federal CARES Act. PUA provides assistance for unemployed or partially unemployed individuals who are not eligible for regular unemployment insurance and who are unable or unavailable to work due to COVID-19 related circumstances. To find out if you are eligible to receive assistance, please visit the  California Labor and Workforce website.

-Jack Cunningham
3rd District Chief of Staff
California Guidelines for Outdoor Recreation Updated!
Many in the community will be relieved to hear that California published  new guidelines for outdoor recreation. It continues to be okay to go outside to go for a walk, to exercise, and participate in healthy activities as long as you maintain a safe physical distance of six feet and gather only with members of your household. The beaches and parks remain closed at this time.

Below is a non-exhaustive list of those outdoor recreational activities. This list does not outline every activity, but will provide you with an idea of the types of activities authorities deem safe when practicing proper social distancing. Specifically, sun bathing and remaining stationary on the beach is prohibited, but you may walk across the beach to get to the ocean for recreation, such as surfboarding. 

Outdoor Athletics:
  • Throwing a baseball/softball
  • Canoeing (singles)
  • Cycling
  • Exploring Rock Pools
  • Gardening (not in groups)
  • Golf (singles, walking - no cart)
  • Hiking (trails/paths allowing distancing)
  • Horse Riding (singles)
  • Jogging and running
  • Kite Boarding and Kitesurfing
  • Picnics (with your stay-home household members only)
  • Roller Skating and Roller Blading
  • Skateboarding (not in groups)
  • Soft Martial Arts - Tai Chi, Chi Kung (not in groups)
  • Volleyball (singles)
  • Wash the car
  • Watch the sunrise or sunset (not while sitting on the beach)
-Jack Cunningham
3rd District Chief of Staff
COVID-19 Interactive Dashboard

I know many residents feel empowered by the details and information provided on an ongoing basis. For those of you that want to get deeper into the data orienting the Health Department's decisions, here is a great link that is updated daily, and allows people to mix and match numbers to get a more complete look at this crisis and its impact here in Long Beach.

-Jack Cunningham
3rd District Chief of Staff
Senior Resources

Seniors have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 virus. With that in mind there are a number of useful resources designed specifically to assist older adults. 

  • Food Needs,
  • Free Delivery Services,
  • Phone Call Programs,
  • And other assistance that benefits our Long Beach Seniors
You can also contact the Older Adult Resource Line 
  • Operated by the Long Beach Health Department every week day, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Provides resources for food delivery, home supplies, prescription delivery services, utility restoration and mental health resources.
  • Call 562-570-INFO and select option 5.

-Jack Cunningham
3rd District Chief of Staff
District 3- Extraordinary People Series

Excellence is not an act, but a habit.
Julie Lie is an extraordinary person in the district. Julie is the Executive Director of the Urban Community Outreach. UCO works to provide assistance, food, and opportunities to those in need who are suffering from homelessness. Julie works tirelessly to help people in need, and has been mobilizing additional donation events to collect food and other things people suffering from homelessness need during this emergency.
Thank you for all you do for our community, Julie Lie!

The  Belmont Heights Community Association  is our extraordinary person/group. The need for home-delivered meals has skyrocket ed since the "Stay at Home" order. With this in mind the BHCA made a $1,000 contribution to Meals on Wheels in response to COVID-19 and is in the spirit of helping our community.

This willingness to help those in need is so great to see in our community, and stepping in to help people struggling with essentials like hot meals is wonderful to see.

Thank you for all you do for our community BHCA!

Cantor Sara Hass is an extraordinary person in the district. Through her work with our local Temple Israel she is working hard to continue providing a  sense of community and connection. Cantor Hass leads a number of video programs aimed at helping people manage the emotional impacts this crisis is having. She uses her amazing talents for music by holding a  weekly Gift of Music Hour, as well as focused music  and meditation live videos, and kids music and story time.
Her commitment to helping everyone feel in touch with others in our community and  using music to enrich our lives is incredible and I am so thankful that our neighborhood has Cantor Hass and the beauty she brings into it.

Thank you for all you do for our community Cantor Sara Hass!
COVID-19 Business Support and Resources

The Long Beach Post is sponsoring daily live stream interviews every weekday at 1 PM. These interviews are with various leaders, experts and officials discussing COVID-19. 

Monday - Former Mayor Bob Foster on recovery task force
Tuesday - Dr. Mario Molina on coronavirus health issues
Wednesday - Steve Gerhardt of Walk Long Beach
Thursday - TBD
Friday - TBD
View the live streams courtesy of LB Post on  Facebook .

If you are looking for resources for small businesses struggling to cope with COVID-19,  here is a link to a comprehensive list of resources courtesy of the Long Beach Business Journal: click here

Additionally, our Long Beach Economic Development Department has been working diligently to provide up-to-the-minute grant and loan funding sources to help our business owners through this tough time. Here a few that might be of interest to you:

City of Long Beach Partner Processing Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Applications

  • The National Development Council (NDC) is now officially a PPP lender. 
  • The City of Long Beach has a longstanding partnership with NDC. This partnership enables Long Beach small businesses to submit PPP applications through NDC's application portal.
  • Funds are limited and we encourage Long Beach small businesses that may benefit from this program to apply as soon as possible.
  • Following is a link to the NDC's PPP application portal:  https://ndconline.org/ppp/

 UpliftLB: Giving Tuesday Virtual Art Experience

  • UpliftLB is a coordinated effort between the Long Beach Post/Long Beach Business Journal, Arts Council for Long Beach, and the Nonprofit Partnership to create a fundraiser for local artists and businesses affected by COVID-19.
  • UpliftLB is a 2-hour livestreamed event on the Post's Facebook and Twitter on Tuesday, May 5th starting at 5:00pm.
  • Small businesses may apply to receive a portion of the funds collected during the fundraiser.
  • To apply, click on the following url: UpliftLB.
  • The deadline to apply is Monday, May 4th
Red B ackpack Fund

  • Spanx and The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation is making $5,000 grants available to small businesses.
  • This grant is available to women-owned businesses.
  • Round 2 applications open on May 4, 2020.
  • To learn more and apply, click on the following url: https://www.globalgiving.org/redbackpackfund/
-Lisa West
3rd District, Director of Business 
Relations, Programming, and Outreach
Happy Mother's Day!

Mom is the one person almost anyone can count on. She's the one who's there to support her family and who reminds people that no matter what, they are loved.

Mother's Day is the one day of the year when she can sit back and relax. It's when the people she supported and the ones she's loved can remind her that she is loved, too. 

And with Mother's Day coming up on Sunday, May 10, we want to let you know that although florists and retail are not considered "essential" businesses yet, some still have an online presence and can deliver flowers or gifts to your loved ones so take a moment to look them up!   

In honor of Mother's Day, I'd like to highlight Sweet Peas florist in Naples located at 5918 E. Naples Plaza.  They are closed to people coming into their store, but you can order on www.sweetpeasflowerslb.com or by calling (562) 433-1342.

-Lisa West
3rd District, Director of Business
Relations, Programming, and Outreach

City Council Meetings are held every Tuesday evening, with the exception of the last Tuesday of the month when council is "dark."  Meetings are held in City Hall - Council Chambers (411 W. Ocean Blvd.) at approximately 5pm.  Times do change, so please check with our office or website for exact times. City Council meetings are open to the public and we encourage your attendance, especially if there is an important topic up for discussion.
Charter (channel 3) and FIOS Verizon (channel 21) subscribers can view the City Council Meetings on their televisions or you can live stream the video through LBTV.com,  View City Council Meeting.  
Agenda items change on a weekly basis so please check the city website for the most current agenda.  The City Clerk is required to post the City Council Agenda the Monday, a week prior, to the Tuesday of City Council Meeting.   View agenda items  

-Jack Cunningham
3rd District, Chief of Staff

Delivering Food to First Responders and Healthcare Workers  
3rd District Neighborhood and Association Meetings

Alamitos Heights Improvement Association - AHIA
Meetings calendared Quarterly. Please visit their website for more information.

Belmont Heights Community Association
2nd Wednesday of each month
7:00 - 8:30 PM
Belmont Heights United Methodist Church

Belmont Shore Residents Association
2nd Thursday of each month
6:00 - 8:00 PM
Bay Shore Library

Bluff Park Community Meeting
Bixby Park Recreation Center

Friends of Belmont Shore
First Thursday of each month, 6:30 - 8:00 PM
Bay Shore Community Congregational Church - 5100 The Toledo

Friends of Bixby Park
Please check their website

Greenbelt Heights Neighborhood Association
All neighbors welcome
Regular meeting:  3rd Tuesday at 8pm - 9pm
917 Bennett Ave., LB
2nd Sunday neighborhood clean-up at 9am

NW Belmont Park Community Watch
Approximately every 3 months as determined
Third District Field Office
Email Carleton Carlson for meeting confirmation at CarletonCarlson@aol.com 
Peninsula Neighborhood Association
Alamitos Bay Yacht  Club

Stoneybrook Villas Association Meeting
3rd Wednesday of each month
7:00 PM - Clubhouse at 500 Bellflower Blvd

Do you have a community or  neighborhood meeting that you  would like to add to the 3rd  District calendar? Email:   District3@longbeach.gov  
Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter  View on Instagram

Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.
Think about the purpose of your email: You want readers to respond in a certain way, so make sure to spell it out for them. Use specific calls-to-action such as visit our website, shop the sale now, or sign up for specials.

Call-to-Action Link