Timeline of Events: The Downtown Community Plan

Phone Banking and Outreach Efforts

HLB leaders led ongoing phone banking and outreach efforts that enabled us to keep new and existing HLB members involved and updated on all campaign activities.  HLB held ongoing one-on-one’s, small to mid-size community meetings and outreach efforts to community and faith based organizations to expand the support for the campaign.

 

Springboard Community Meeting

July 13, 2010; Over 100 community members gathered at First Congregational Church for our Downtown Community Plan Springboard Meeting to “spring” the community into action on the DTCP campaign.  Community members talked about and prioritized potential community benefits they would like included in the DTCP.  This meeting followed months of smaller meetings with community members and institutional partners where they shared with us their ideas for potential DTCP community benefits.

 

Power Analysis Community Meeting

September 28, 2010; HLB held a Power Analysis community meeting at which over 250 community members attended an in-depth discussion about the DTCP campaign and identified key decision makers, potential allies, unlikely allies and other groups that would help build a broad coalition for the campaign.

 

City Council Hearing—Public Comments re. DTCP 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010; Nearly 50 HLB leaders and institutional members attended the City Council meeting and arrived early to take up all 10 public speaker cards (the cards are given out on a first come first serve basis and each person is given 3 minutes to speak).  All of our speakers discussed the DTCP – why it was important and why the Council needed to direct staff to “pause” the process so that  the David Rosen and Associates (DRA) economic study could be completed and considered.   A lengthy discussion took place and many Councilmembers were shocked to learn that City Staff had not informed them of the DRA study.  Other Councilmembers tried to lend support to Staff’s actions.  Three Councilmembers moved to agendize for further discussion at the following meeting.

 

HLB 3rd Annual Walk-A-Thon

October 16, 2010; HLB held its 3rd Annual Walk-A-Thon and press conference regarding the need for a pause in the campaign to have adequate time to include our comments for the Environmental Impact Report (EIR). HLB held a press conference and marched through the streets of Downtown Long Beach – in the DTCP area – with over 100 community members.

 

City Council Hearing re. DTCP Study Session

October 19, 2010; As a result of our efforts at the 10/12/10 council meeting, three Councilmembers agenized the DTCP for discussion. We had over 100 community leaders and institutional partners with us at the Council meeting and were successful in our efforts, as the Council voted unanimously to direct staff not to release any documents until staff held a Special City Council meeting dedicated to discussing the DTCP and the timing of its release.

 

Robert Garcia Accountability Meeting

November 4, 2010; HLB held an accountability meeting (community discussion with an elected official) with District 1 Councilmember Robert Garcia to request his support for a pause on the DTCP.  HLB brought the Councilmember together with 100 of his HLB member constituents so that he could hear what they had to say about the DTCP and their desire for a pause. CM Garcia would not commit his support for a pause that night, and said he was still making his decision.

 

City Council Study Session re. DTCP

November 9, 2010; The Special City Council meeting re: the DTCP was held.  We turned out over 200 community members and institutional partners to attend this hearing and had over 20 folks who provided testimony that night.  We won by a unanimous vote to extend the EIR comment period from 30 days to 115 days to allow time for completion and inclusion of the David Rosen and Associates economic study in our EIR comments.  This long extension of the EIR comment period achieved the same thing as a “pause.”  It was just another way to ensure that the DRA study was completed and included in the EIR public comment period.

 

ABC 7 News Event

February 2, 2011; ABC 7 News held a Town Hall Meeting as part of their community outreach efforts to identify local stories for the ABC 7 news.  HLB organized over 100 people to attend and speak at this Town Hall meeting and held a pre-rally at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.  The ABC 7 News team was receptive to Housing Long Beach and partner LAFLA’s comments re: including community benefits in the DTCP and our desire for TV news coverage of the issue.  HLB folks appeared on ABC 7 news that night, with short excerpts from the Town Hall meeting.

 

Planning Commission Study Session

March 17, 2011; Over 150 people participated at the Planning Commission’s Study Session re: the DTCP and HLB had nearly 20 speakers comment on the importance of community benefits.  HLB held a pre-council rally outside City Hall.  We had many print media news stories both before and after the hearing.

 

Release of Economic Study

March 31, 2011; The DRA study was completed and found that the DTCP’s development incentives resulted in substantial economic benefits to developers.  The study also found that it is economically feasible to include the following community benefits in the DTCP: Mixed Income Affordable Housing, Commercial Linkage Fee, Right of First RefusalLocal Hiring for DTCP Construction Jobsand Permanent (commercial/retail) Jobs.

 

DTCP Public Comments Deadline

April 4, 2011; LAFLA submitted extensive comments (nearly 300 pages) on behalf of HLB members and partners into the administrative record regarding the EIR for the DTCP. Our comments included: 70 pages of legal analysis re: deficiencies with the EIR; the DRA economic study; a traffic consultant study re: the EIR; and a Health Impact Assessment study.

 

HLB & LAFLA Press Conference re: DRA Study

April 8, 2011; Over 100 people – with media reporters and photographers in attendance – participated at LAFLA and HLB’s press conference unveiling the results of the DRA Study, including DRA’s community benefit recommendations.  The press conference included speeches from community members, Legal Aid Foundation of LA (LAFLA), The California Endowment, and East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice (re. Health Impact Assessment).

 

Prayer Vigil and Solidarity March

July 14th, 2011; HLB and local faith community supporters held a Prayer Vigil and Solidarity March.  Over 200 HLB leaders and supporters marched through Downtown Long Beach, from The Neighborhood United Methodist Church to the home of Councilman Robert Garcia, and held a prayer vigil there. HLB called on the Councilman to include the important community benefits, such as affordable housing and local jobs in the Downtown Community Plan (DTCP).  Garcia represents the City’s 1st District, which contains much of the area covered by the Plan.

 

Planning Commission Hearing re. Final DTCP and EIR

November 10th, 2011; HLB organized over 350 people to attend a planning commission hearing regarding the Downtown Community Plan (DTCP). We had over 60 speakers, who commented on the shocking fact that the City failed to include the David Rosen & Associates (DRA) Study in the Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Downtown Plan. Moreover, the City also did not substantively reply to the DRA Study or include any of our recommended affordable housing and local hiring community benefit mitigation measures in the Final EIR.
The Planning Commission, after hearing our testimonies, unanimously voted to have another hearing, after they have had time to review the DRA Study, which City Staff said it would add to the Final EIR.

 

Planning Commission Final Vote re. DRA study on DTCP

December 1st, 2011; The Planning Commission voted against including the Community Benefits recommended by the DRA study in the Downtown Community Plan. HLB and LAFLA appealed the decision to City Council, forcing the final City Council vote.

 

Final City Council Vote re. DTCP

January 10th, 2012; Over 450 HLB members and allies turned out to show the City Council that the community overwhelmingly supported Community Benefits in the Downtown Plan. After hours of deliberation, the City Council voted against the community’s desire for community benefits. Only Councilmembers Neal and Gabelich voted in favor of our proposed benefits. Instead, a motion passed that night to have staff come back in 30 to 45 days with recommendations that would address two of the community benefits on a citywide level: the project labor agreements/local jobs provisions, and the right of first refusal for displaced households.