The Campaign Trail | March 23, 2018

Ninth District Long Beach council candidate Mineo Gonzalez has stated his intention to continue his campaign. In a phone interview with the Signal Tribune, Gonzalez said that, despite a bogus website announcing his resignation from the campaign, he is still moving forward to seek election to the seat.

Seventh District Long Beach council candidate Kevin Shin has garnered the endorsement of the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters, according to an email from the candidate’s campaign.

Seventh District Long Beach council incumbent Roberto Uranga has received the endorsements of Congressmembers Alan Lowenthal and Nanette Barragán, according to his campaign.

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia has endorsed 5th District Long Beach City Councilmember Stacy Mungo for reelection, according to her campaign.

Long Beach Community College Board Candidate Uduak-Joe Ntuk has announced that his campaign has received the endorsement of Long Beach Unified School District Board Member Felton Williams and 6th District Long Beach Councilmember Dee Andrews.

Ricardo Lara, current senator for California’s 33rd District, has received the endorsement of the California Democratic Party in his bid to become insurance commissioner.

Incumbent Robert Garcia has announced the following endorsements in his campaign for re-election as mayor of Long Beach: U.S. Senator Kamala Harris; California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom; Attorney General Xavier Becerra; Secretary of State Alex Padilla; Controller Betty Yee; Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon; California Senate Leader Kevin de León; Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti; Congressmembers Alan Lowenthal and Nanette Barragán; Long Beach Firefighters Association; Long Beach Police Officers Association; Long Beach Lifeguards Association; Los Angeles County Federation of Labor; Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council; Long Beach Teachers Association; IBEW Local 11; Ironworkers Local 433; Laborers, Local 1309; Long Beach IAM; Operating Engineers Local 12; Painters and Allied Trades Local Union 256; Service Employees International Union (SEIU)–United Health Care Workers-West; Southern California Pipe Trades; Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters; Teamsters Local 848; and UFCW Local 324.

Animal advocacy group No Kill Long Beach (NKLB, formerly Stayin’ Alive Long Beach) has published its third electoral Animal Welfare Voter Information Guide ranking the candidates according to their views on reforms needed at the Long Beach animal shelter, operated by Long Beach Animal Care Services (ACS).
Candidates were asked to respond to a nine-question survey about their views on program changes at the Long Beach animal shelter the group says will save lives. No Kill Long Beach received 14 responses to the survey– a return rate of 88 percent.
District 7 candidate Jared Milrad and District 3 candidate Gordana Kajer received the group’s highest rankings of “4 PAWS” and “3 PAWS,” respectively.
“Jared Milrad is a public-interest lawyer with impressive personal and professional experience in animal advocacy,” said Patricia Turner, Ph.D., spokesperson for No Kill Long Beach. “We believe he has the know-how and the commitment to turn Long Beach into a no-kill city.”
Kajer has expressed a commitment to shelter animals, according to NKLB, since she recently volunteered with an international organization in Cuba that does spay/neuter surgeries.
“We believe she will advocate for our shelter animals and has the ability to bring about the changes we need to become no-kill,” Turner said.
The election comes after a review of ACS by the city auditor revealed problems at ACS that should be of concern to the people of Long Beach.
“The city auditor’s review of Long Beach Animal Care Services released this past December revealed multiple problems at the city shelter, ranging from poor practices of animal care, to personnel issues, to problems with veterinary protocols,” Turner said. “Now, more than ever, it’s clear that we need people in office who will take these problems seriously and enact much-needed change at the Long Beach animal shelter.”
The auditor’s review will be released in two phases. The first phase, released in December, made 173 recommendations for improvements at ACS, many of them targeting basic shelter operations that are currently below-standard. It also commented on the City’s lack of an effective adoption program.
“The City still doesn’t have a strong adoption program in place, in spite of Mayor Garcia’s promise back in 2014 to substantially increase local adoptions,” Turner said.
Garcia received the group’s highest “4 PAWS” rating in 2014 and won the run-off election by just over 2,000 votes, but he has made little effort to change problematic policies and programs at the shelter since he took office, Turner said.
“Long Beach now has a chance to become a national leader in animal sheltering,” Turner said. “We are asking the public to vote for those candidates who will seize that opportunity and make us the truly animal-friendly city we know we can be.”
NKLB’s rankings of candidates are based on interviews, responses to a candidate survey and the records of past action, in the case of current office holders, Turner said. Its guide and candidates’ responses can be found at goo.gl/BaMsnw.

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