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BizBrief: Today’s News To Know

Councilmember Rex Richardson To Propose Freeze On No-Fault Evictions
Ninth District Councilmember Rex Richardson announced today that he is proposing a temporary freeze on “no-fault” evictions, meaning those without just cause, at next Tuesday’s November 5 city council meeting. Local residents have informed the council about being served with eviction notices ahead of the January 1, 2020 effective date for a new state law (AB 1482) that will cap rent increases, according to Richardson. The proposal is aimed at preventing a wave of evictions by landlords before the law goes into effect. “Without this protection, Long Beach families will face the stress associated with uncertainty and housing instability through the holidays, further jeopardizing the progress the city has made on housing and homelessness,” Richardson stated in a press release issued this afternoon. The council will consider drafting an ordinance that would temporarily halt no-fault evictions through December 31, 2019.

Second District Councilmember Jeannine Pearce Drops 2020 Re-election Bid
Second District Councilmember Jeannine Pearce announced in an op-ed published in the Press-Telegram today that she is no longer seeking re-election in 2020. “I love my community, the city of Long Beach, and the opportunity to serve. Still, I have made the hard decision not to run for a second term,” Pearce wrote, noting that she decided not to pursue a re-election campaign to focus on her role as a mother, her health and her work in the community. On the heels of her announcement, 2nd District candidate Cindy Allen announced that she had received the endorsements of Mayor Robert Garcia and Pearce’s former colleague on the council, State Sen. Lena Gonzalez. Pearce is currently under investigation by the Fair Political Practices Commission for a potential conflict of interest arising out of her work with Dan Zaharoni, chief development officer at Urban Commons, the company operating the Queen Mary. She failed to report income from her business dealings with Zaharoni on that year’s Form 700, through which elected officials are required to disclose income sources to allow public scrutiny of any potential conflicts of interest.

South Bay Economic Forecast Predicts Economic Growth Will Remain Stable
This year’s South Bay Economic Forecast, which was presented at a conference at California State University, Dominguez Hills this week, states that economic growth in the region will likely remain stable. The university partners with the University of California, Los Angeles’ Anderson Forecast to produce the report. “As the southern part of Silicon Beach, South Bay’s economy grew at a steady pace. With its high productivity and wages, tech jobs are the pillar of the South Bay economy,” UCLA Anderson Forecast economist William Yu said. “We predict that South Bay’s growth rate will slow down over the next year, mostly due to the slowing of the U.S. and global economies, while SpaceX and the aerospace industry will continue their pursuits of space expedition.” Researchers also expect continued defense spending and a new football stadium in Inglewood to contribute to the region’s economic growth, they noted in the report. With $1.48 billion in wages paid, manufacturing remains the greatest wage bill sector in the South Bay, particularly in the aerospace and defense sectors, according to the report.

Assistance League Raises $6 Million-Plus In Capital Campaign
The Assistance League of Long Beach has raised $6.1 million for the new Miller Children’s Center, which houses the organization’s philanthropic programs benefiting local youth. The news comes after the nonprofit received a $500,000 gift from the John Apostle and Helen Apostle Foundation in October, as well as six-figure gifts from the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation and the S. Mark Taper Foundation. The lead gift for the campaign was $1.25 million from the Earl B. and Loraine H. Miller Foundation. The Miller Children’s Center was completed in September, and houses Operation School Bell, a program that provides uniforms to as many as 12,000 Long Beach area students each school year, and the center’s orthodontic care program for low- and moderate-income children. Additionally, a $1 million gift from the Cherese Mari Laulhere Foundation is going towards the renovation of the organization’s Philanthropic Center, which is being renamed in honor of that gift. Capital Campaign Chair Cynthia Terry reflected, “To see such local and regional support for the work of Assistance League of Long Beach is very gratifying. Tens of thousands of Long Beach children are the true beneficiaries of these foundations’ gifts.”

LGB Report Shows Airline Passenger Traffic Increased In September
Long Beach Airport (LGB) airline passenger traffic increased by 1.5% this past September compared to the same month in 2018, according to officials. In September 2019, LGB served 289,502 passengers. Total air cargo carried by aircraft, both inbound and outbound, decreased 15.2% in September 2019 compared to the same time last year, according to the report. In September 2019, 1,563 tons passed through LGB compared to 1,844 tons during the same period in 2018.

Harbor Commission Appoints New Managing Director Of Planning/Environmental Affairs
The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners voted unanimously on October 28 to promote Heather Tomley to managing director of planning and environmental affairs of the Port of Long Beach. Tomley served as acting managing director for the past 12 months. In her new role, Tomley will lead the port’s environmental, transportation and master planning divisions. Tomley joined the Port of Long Beach in 2005 as an environmental planning associate. She was eventually promoted to serve as an environmental specialist and then as a senior environmental specialist in 2006, according to the port. She then occupied the roles of assistant director of environmental planning and director of environmental planning. “Heather has been a part of so many of our environmental planning successes, and I can’t think of anyone better suited than her to help us take that mission to the next level,” Harbor Commission President Bonnie Lowenthal stated.

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