Seeing green

Last week, Long Beach took bold steps, leading the way to a better future for our residents while showing how our city can set an example statewide.
We approved a taxi franchise for the city that includes a “green fleet” program that has been transitioning our taxis from conventional gasoline engines to hybrids. City management reported that we will soon have the greenest taxi fleet in all of Southern California due to this program; an outside analysis of the program shows that the green fleet will improve air quality for our residents by reducing nitrogen oxide particulates [emitted by taxis] by nearly 80 percent and carbon monoxide particulates by 50 percent.  
I also voted for the mayor and the city council to be the first group to begin paying our full employee share toward the CalPERS pension system. As we work with our employees toward a sustainable pension system that is fair for both employees and taxpayers, we, as elected officials, must lead by example. We also achieved new pension reforms for some of our employee groups that will help lead us to that sustainable future. While all cities today face challenges, I know that if Long Beach tackles these challenges head on, we will continue to have a bright future.  
James Johnson
Long Beach Councilmember
7th District

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