Takeaways from 2nd District Candidates Forum
Six candidates contending for Long Beach's second district met at The Reef Tuesday night to discuss the noise ordinance and public safety to name a few.
On the Noise Ordinance:
Cindy Allen, the establishment favorite, wants the police to enforce already established noise ordinances and would like "noise meters to be placed in our homes,"
Nigel Lifsey said "law enforcement and sound enforcement has to be a little bit more diligent" when enforcing the noise ordinance and would like "all that stakeholders" to work together in "shutting down the noise at the appropriate time".
Robert Fox criticized the city's handling of the issue and said the solution is "common sense" in having Long Beach "conform" to state health laws, and would like sound engineers for medium-size public events.
Jeanette Barrera brought up the overall health affects saying there are is "correlation" too loud noises and the overall "quality of life".
Edward Lara would like to "consolidate" both the non-emergency phone number and the special events noise hotlines into one.
Jesus Cisneros said "Ocean blvd has been here for hundreds of years" and suggested that the city should create a "separate power of government" that would handle noise complaints.
On Housing and Parking:
Fox would like the city to construct parking structures and have "preferential parking in Alamitos Beach" and that there needs to be a "balance in the city where we start not running ourselves by the bribe of developers".
Jesus Cisneros would like Long Beach to provide "free parking" and would like to abolish paid parking altogether. Cisneros also said, "I do want more construction of parking lots".
Allen said the city " needs to stop dragging its feet when it comes to parking" and suggested new technology could help like "underground robotic parking" to alleviate the lack of parking. Allen also would like to see more collaboration with public-private partnerships.
Lara said he would like the city to adopt new tech and talk about an app that would show the user available parking and for a long-term approach Lara wants to bring in "good-paying local jobs".
Lifsey said the city should be "leveraging existing spaces" by opening up parking space at local businesses to "residents only" and attract more businesses to Long Beach, plus work with developers to build affordable housing.
Barrera said the "last parking study shows that residents are driving around at least a minimum of 20 minutes in Alamitos Beach".
On Why There Running:
Jeanette Barrera said the reason she is running is to tackle the homeless crisis in Long Beach saying "I'm running to make things better for people without housing".
Jesus Cisneros said he would focus on bringing jobs to Long Beach saying how he wants to "get with the unions" to build adult schools, plus push a mandate for those who have construction projects to focus more on hiring people from Long Beach.
Allen, a former LBPD officer, said there is a "strain" relationship in our community" and would like to bring back community policing.
Lara said he wants to focus on solving the homeless crisis
Fox said he would focus more on transparency saying he would "answer every phone call" and would like to audit the entire city, in addition to, create a line-item budget.
On Public Saftey
Fox said he would like to bring back community policing and have the public partner with the police saying "we are the eyes and ears of the police department".
Cisneros largely didn't differentiate himself on the public safety issue saying he wanted community policing and programs for children.
Lara said he would bring a "holistic lense" to public safety by improving mental health services, provide "proper funding from youth development programs, and community policing.
Lifsey centered his answer on pedestrian safety, mentioning e-scooters as a "nuisance" and those traffic enforcement officers "should be more proactive" in issuing citations.
Barrera said "crime is down but petty theft is up" and there is a "direct correlation with people without housing".
Allen said she was a big supporter of Measure A and would if elected to the council is to "continue to hire diversity" and "hire people that look like the communities that they serve".
On their political party preference:
Cindy Allen said, "Democrat"
Jeanette Barrera said, "Democrat"
Jesus Cisneros said "Republican"
Robert Fox said "old Democrat"
Eduardo Lara Said "Democrat"
Nigel Lifsey said "Democrat"
On the Homeless Crisis:
Barrera said she is a supporter of inclusionary housing and would go to mention that as a social worker to pay "$1,700 a month on rent and not having the opportunity to purchase property, which the prior generation had, is just ridiculous,".
Allen said, "we need more affordable housing".
Cisneros said he would take an "aggressive stance" on homelessness and he would let the "Sheriffs Department take care of them". Cisneros would later blame former President Kennedy for the homeless crisis because "Kennedy took away the mental health system of our country".
Fox suggested the city "rehab the old port building" and use the facility for "transitional housing for the homeless".
Lara said "I refuse to criminalize the homeless', in what was a shot at Cisnoeros hard line on the homeless population.
Lifsey said he would want to "increase funding" by going "line by line" on the cities budget to find areas to reallocate funds into programs to alleviate the homeless and create a "classroom to job pipeline" program for Long Beach students