Supporting a Long Beach Equity Commission

January 19, 2021


Mayor Robert Garcia & Long Beach City Council

411 W. Ocean Blvd., 11th Floor

Long Beach, CA 90802


RE: Agenda Item 17, Long Beach Equity Commission


Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Council:


Long Beach Forward submits this letter of support for agenda item 17 and asks for your affirmative vote to expand the purview and scope of the Human Relations Commission (HRC) and continue working towards equity for all residents who call Long Beach home.


Whether we are Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Cambodian, Filipino, LGBTQ, young people, or seniors, it is vital that we all see the diversity and culture of Long Beach prioritized within our local government. Moving equity from pages in a report to tangible policy recommendations and decision making is the next bold step the City of Long Beach must take to build on the foundational work that has come from community-driven activism, the Office of Equity, and the Framework for Racial Equity and Reconciliation.


The HRC has consistently played a strong role within our local government for a more just and equitable Long Beach, uplifting the experiences and needs of marginalized communities and translating this into tangible change for people’s lives. Expanding the official purview of the Commission will aid the commission in fulfilling its mission to inspire and implement equity in the City of Long Beach and foster a mutual understanding and respect for all. It is critical that an independent, citizen commission has the ability to advise City Staff, City Managers, and City Council on best practices, and be on hand to provide accountability and thought-partnership throughout the process.


Working towards equity is not an easy process. Equity “requires that we understand the past, without being trapped in it; embrace the present, without being constrained by it; and look to the future, guided by the hopes and courage of those who have fought before and beside us.” As City leadership continues to work towards advancing Long Beach into the new decade, we must also plan for “just and fair inclusion into a society where all can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential.” Committing to an Equity Commission is a solid step in that direction.


Long Beach Forward is proud to support this important first step to provide citizen oversight and accountability in our equity-driven efforts. We ask for your support in transforming the HRC into an Equity Commission. Thank you for your commitment to advancing racial equity.


Sincerely,


James Suazo

Executive Director

Long Beach Forward


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