LONG BEACH– People from 15 community-based organizations gathered Long Beach residents together for the fourth annual People’s State of the City on May 27, at Stephens Middle School in Long Beach. The free event attracted individuals from across the city to dialogue on issues affecting residents including jobs, housing, education, immigration, environmental justice and neighborhood safety.
The program promotes civic participation, voter engagement and community organizing among historically underrepresented communities.
Member organizations of Long Beach Rising! include Anakbayan Long Beach, Building Healthy Communities: Long Beach, California Faculty Association Long Beach Chapter, Clergy & Laity United for Economic Justice, EndOil, Filipino Migrant Center, Housing Long Beach, Khmer Girls in Action, Long Beach Area Peace Network, Long Beach Coalition for Good Jobs & a Healthy Community, Long Beach Latinos in Action, Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, The Long Beach Time Exchange, The LGBTQ Center of Long Beach and Unite Here Local 11.
“It is a special time where we can look to our neighbors and say, ‘We live in a great city, but there is work to be done to transform it into a great and equitable city,” said Ernesto Rocha, an organizer with the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy’s Clean and Safe Ports project.
This year’s event included musical performances, a theatrical skit titled, A Day in the Life of a Hotel Worker, a video featuring local residents and a presentation on the state of the city. Throughout the presentation, audience members were polled on issues such as their support for higher wages and protections for renters in Long Beach.
Nikole Cababa, an organizer with the Filipino Migrant Center called on audience members to get involved with local campaigns that promote equity in Long Beach and sign a “progressive pledge” to support living wages, election reform, environmental justice, and affordable housing.
“We can learn and accomplish so much more together through collective action, and this event is one example of the unity emerging from our neighborhoods,” Cababa said.