The public is invited to attend a free health insurance enrollment event on Thursday, November 7, from 4:00 to 8:00 pm at the Miller Family Health Education Center, 3820 Cherry Ave. Certified enrollment counselors will provide enrollment assistance with Medi-Cal and Covered California applications.


“Having access to quality care is one of the key ingredients to building a healthy community,” Mayor Bob Foster said. “I encourage individuals to take advantage of this enrollment event.”


The Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services (Health Department) is sponsoring the event. No appointment is required but interested individuals must bring the following documents in order to complete a health insurance application:


  • Birth certificate, U.S. passport or resident alien card (green card)
  • Proof of income such as recent paychecks and 2012 tax forms
  • Proof of Los Angeles County residency such as driver’s license, utility or phone bills, rental agreement
  • Social Security cards for everyone in the family applying for health insurance.


Health Department staff will provide answers to consumer questions about healthcare reform, Medi-Cal and Covered California eligibility, open enrollment periods, and health plan options. Staff will be available to provide language assistance in English, Spanish and Khmer (Cambodian).


“The Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services is a certified enrollment entity and we want our community members to know that we are available to help answer questions they may have about health reform and help them make informed decisions about the health plan options available to them,” said Kelly Colopy, Director of the Long Beach Health Department.


The Affordable Care Act (ACA) expands the number of individuals and families who qualify for Medi-Cal and through Covered California, many more individuals are eligible for tax subsidies to help purchase health insurance.


For more information or questions, call 562-570-7979.




Mayor Bob Foster Encourages Long Beach Business Owners to ‘Get Your Business Online’

Google initiative offers businesses a free website for a year


Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster announced today an initiative to get Long Beach’s businesses online through Google’s Get Your Business Online (GYBO) program. The Long Beach GYBO program is a partnership between the office of Mayor Foster and Google.


“Businesses have to be where their customers are. Today, that means you have to be online,” said Mayor Foster. “Although 97% of Internet users are now looking online to find local products and services, 62% of businesses in California still do not have a website.”


Get Your Business Online provides business owners with a custom domain name, customizable web pages, web hosting and access to educational resources free of charge for one year. Since its debut in July 2011, the program has helped more than 135,000 businesses across the country successfully get online.


Over the next three years, businesses that make use of the web can expect to grow 40% faster than those that don’t, and are twice as likely to create jobs.


Long Beach business operator and co-owner Cynthia Longbrake of Murphy’s Pub in Belmont Shore recently put together her business’ first website www.MurphysPubLongBeach.com through the GYBO program.


“Our website opens my business to a whole new batch of customers,” said Longbrake. “Although Belmont Shore residents know about Murphy’s, there are Long Beach visitors who aren’t familiar with our unique location. People today rely more on their smartphones to find a place to grab a bite to eat or drink. It was well worth the investment of my time to set up Murphy’s website.”


“The misconception that getting online is complex, costly, and time-consuming has prevented many small businesses from taking the first step,” said Scott Levitan, Director of Small Business Engagement at Google. “This program makes it fast, easy and free for businesses to get online.”


Interested business owners can visit www.LongBeachGYBO.com or call Mayor Foster’s office at (562) 570-6801 for further information on the program.


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Long Beach Get Your Business Online


ACR 32 (Lowenthal) was sponsored by the City of Long Beach, authored by Assemblymember Lowenthal, and signed by Governor Brown to urge all local governments in California to recognize building and safety codes that regulate illegal garage conversions as the “Aviles Law.”

“Illegal garage conversions will not be tolerated in the City of Long Beach,” says Mayor Bob Foster.  “This resolution serves as a reminder to all of us, that residential homes and businesses across California must follow established building and safety codes to protect the people who inhabit and work in these buildings.”

Aviles Press Conference

Mayor Foster stands in front of the garage where the Aviles sisters died in a December 2007 fire. The garage is now up to code.

Despite established building and safety codes, the City of Long Beach experienced a tragedy on December 14, 2007 with the loss of Jasmine Aviles, Jocelyn Aviles, and Stephanie Aviles to a fire inside an illegally converted garage.  Since that incident, Long Beach has aggressively pursued and required landlords to abate over 640 illegally converted garages in the City.

In memory of the sisters, and to educate the public and reinforce the dangers of illegal garage conversions, the Long Beach City Council voted to rename the City’s municipal codes relating to the abatement of illegal garage conversion the “Aviles Law” in April 2011.  Compelled to prevent this tragedy from occurring again in any other city, the Long Beach City Council voted unanimously to sponsor a State resolution to bring awareness to the issue statewide.

“The tragedy of the Aviles sisters occurred in Long Beach, but it could have happened anywhere where there is an illegally converted garage,” said Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal, D-Long Beach.  “As a policy maker and as a mother, it was important to me to author this resolution and bring statewide attention to a growing public safety problem.”

ACR 32 supported by the California Metropolitan Fire Chiefs.


Aviles Press Conference

A photo of the Aviles sisters: Jasmine, Stephanie and Jocelyn.


Councilmember Dee Andrews and Mayor Foster unveil the State Resolution of the Aviles Law. Long Beach Fire Chief Mike DuRee, Fire Captain Pat Wills, the Aviles family, Assemblymember Lowenthal and State Senator Ricardo Lara.



Code for America Announces 2014 Government Partners & Fellows


Welcomes 31 Fellows and 10 governments:

Atlanta, Charlotte, Chattanooga, Denver; Lexington, Long Beach, Mesa, Rhode Island, San Antonio, San Juan


Blog post: http://codeforamerica.org/2014


October 15, 2013, San Francisco — Today Code for America (CfA) announced the ten governments and 31 Fellows that will be participating in its 2014 program. The official announcement is coming this morning at the Code for America Summit.


“We are thrilled to officially announce the Fellows and governments who will participate in our 2014 Fellowship. This seriously impressive class of Fellows will get to see first-hand what’s possible in government — and in the process help our cities work better.” said Code for America co-Executive Director Bob Sofman. “Each of these 10 governments has a remarkable commitment to innovation and is supported by forward-thinking and dedicated staff. This top-notch combination of Fellows and governments ensure a productive year and long-lasting partnerships.”


The Code for America Fellowship pairs innovative local governments with teams of civic-minded technologists for a year of service; together the governments and fellows build applications, engage the community, and collaborate with other local governments. Over the past three years, the Fellowship program has produced more than 75 web apps in collaboration with 20 municipal governments.


The 10 governments for the 2014 program were selected from a pool of 50 applicants. The 10 governments are: Atlanta; Charlotte, N.C.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; Denver; Lexington, Ken.; Long Beach, Calif.; Mesa, Ariz.; State of Rhode Island in partnership with the City of Warwick, R.I.; San Antonio, Texas; San Juan, Puerto Rico.


Each was selected for their dedication to civic innovation and openness. The diverse group of governments spans coast to coast. Details on each government project are available online at codeforamerica.org/2014-govs, and quotes from the cities Mayor’s about their participation in the program can be found below.


“I want to be a Code for America Fellow because I strongly believe that technology and the internet can change the world for the better. I also understand that technology must be humanized and accessible to the common citizen. It not only guides people to the future, but must meet them where they are today,” said 2014 Fellow Tiffany Chu, a designer, user researcher, and urbanist who is currently working at ZipCar.


The 2014 class of Fellows will be made up of 31 developers, designers, researchers, and project managers were selected from more than 650 applications and are leaving companies such as ZipCar, Intuit, and Lockheed Martin and government organizations such as Nasa, to participate in the program; read their bios here. They will begin their Fellowship in Code for America’s San Francisco offices starting January 2014.


Mayor Kasim Reed, City of Atlanta

“The City of Atlanta is excited to become a Code for America partner. Code for America offers our city an unparalleled opportunity to encourage collective problem-solving through civic collaboration, while creating a more open and transparent government.”


Mayor Patsy Kinsey, City of Charlotte

“Charlotte is proud to have been chosen as one of the ten innovative local governments from across the country to participate in the 2014 Code for America program. We look forward to using the partnership to strengthen our citizen engagement efforts and further Charlotte’s reputation as an emerging IT hub.”


Mayor Andy Berke, City of Chattanooga

“This designation validates Chattanooga’s ever-growing place in the world of technology. But, more importantly, being a Code for America city will ultimately make local government more open, accessible, and innovative for our citizens.”


Mayor Jim Gray, City of Lexington

“In Lexington we set the bar high…continuous improvement. And we know the citizens of our university city demand a high quality of life. Code for America will help us meet their expectations with innovation and technology designed to make government more engaging through improved customer service.”


Mayor Bob Foster, City of Long Beach

“The Code for America fellowship is an incredible opportunity for Long Beach to elevate how we engage the community through technology. Our City’s skilled workforce and active tech community are going to find new reasons to be energized as the Fellowship rolls out over the next several months. We can’t wait to get started.”


Mayor Scott Smith, City of Mesa

“Cities are the new centers of innovation and Mesa is a leader in developing programs that engage our community through the use of technology. We are excited to take this next step and partner with Code for America and Arizona State University to develop ideas and applications that better serve our residents.”


Chief Digital Officer Thom Guertin, Rhode Island

“We are looking forward to a strong partnership with Code for America in 2014. Rhode Island is poised for positive change, with an active community of citizens ready to embrace new ideas. The Rhode Island Office of Digital Excellence seeks to deploy a number of the established CfA apps, as well as develop a solution to increase access to technology in education and improve digital literacy.”


Mayor Julián Castro, City of San Antonio

“We are excited to partner with Code for America and welcome the Fellows to San Antonio. I look forward to the work that the fellows will produce to improve on the quality of services the City provides. This partnership will strengthen the City’s competitiveness as a technology and innovation hub.”



Contact: Lauren Reid, Code for America, 415-200-9468 or lr@codeforamerica.org


Founded in 2009, Code for America (CfA) is a nonprofit collaborating with local governments to foster and facilitate innovation. CfA is known for its fellowship program, which embeds tech and design professionals in local governments explore new approaches to resolving local challenges. Through the Accelerator, Brigade, and Peer Network programs, CfA is connecting cities with startups and volunteers, as well as each other. For more information, watch Founder Jennifer Pahlka’s TED talk: http://codeforamerica.org/TED or go to http://codeforamerica.org.


Code for America receives general support from Omidyar Network, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Google.org, and many other individual and corporate donors.


Each Fellowship project is funded through a combination of local government resources and community matching grants and donations from a number of foundations, companies, and individuals.


Mayor Bob Foster, Councilmember Steven Neal, Long Beach Development Services, and the Long Beach Fire Department hosted the Grand Opening and Dedication of newly constructed Fire Station 12 today.


“The opening of Fire Station 12 demonstrates the City’s commitment to improving public safety for Long Beach residents and businesses,” Mayor Bob Foster said. “This new state-of-the-art facility also showcases our commitment to find a way to overcome challenging economical times and continue to improve our communities – creating a more healthier, stable environment where families can thrive.”


Funded by the former Long Beach Redevelopment Agency (RDA), new Fire Station 12 and the Emergency Resource Center is located at 1199 E. Artesia Blvd., on a 1.2 acre site covering the entire northwest corner of Artesia Boulevard and Orange Avenue.


“I am proud to unveil our new Fire Station 12; the first new residential fire station in Long Beach in decades,” said Councilmember Steven Neal, who represents the 9th District.


“In addition to servicing the North Long Beach area in cases of emergencies, this cornerstone facility will also serve residents as a new venue to hold community meetings. This is but one of many exciting projects to move forward as part of the ‘Uptown Renaissance.’ Investments like this bring vitality to the neighborhood, synergy to the Artesia corridor, and renewed civic pride in our community.”


The 11,296 square-foot Fire Station has gender-neutral dorms and a 100-foot-tall communication tower that will greatly enhance radio coverage throughout the city. The Station has been built on a highly visible major traffic corridor; which provides noise and traffic-safety benefits. The current Station 12 is much smaller, and is located in a nearby residential neighborhood at 6509 Gundry Ave. The building was built in 1929, and converted into a fire station nine years later.


“Since 1938, the Long Beach Fire Department has provided excellent service to the residents, businesses and visitors of North Long Beach,” Fire Chief Michael DuRee said. “With the completion of new Fire Station 12, our ability to respond to the needs of the community will be greatly enhanced. Not only does this new facility provide a much better working environment for the Firefighters that will call it home, but it does so in a very economical and efficient way. This new facility will greatly enhance our ability to respond, at a moments notice, to incidents throughout the City and provide a number of enhancements that the community will benefit from.”


The project will receive a minimum of a Gold rating from the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) as it was built with several green technology elements, including:

  •  Rain water retention system
  • Designated parking for Low Emissions Vehicles
  • 90 percent of the fire station has natural light and operable windows
  • Materials used in the buildings were regionally sourced and from recycled products
  • Low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) products promote healthy air
  • High efficiency mechanical systems lower energy usage
  • Water saving plumbing fixtures include dual flush toilet fixtures
  • 15 percent of the project’s energy usage is fueled by solar power
  • The landscape design uses native vegetation with water-saving irrigation systems
  • 90 percent of construction debris was diverted from landfills and recycled


In addition, the facility will also serve as home to a 5,294 square-foot Emergency Resource Center (ERC) that will serve as an important supply and distribution facility in North Long Beach. With the ERC in place, Station 12 will allow the City to create a regional disaster supply depot with enough materials to handle the northern half of the City in case of a major disaster.


The project cost for Station 12 was $10,033,000.



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Fire Station 12


Mayor Foster with Councilmember Al Austin (left) and Councilmember Neal (right).

Mayor Foster with Councilmember Al Austin (left) and Councilmember Neal (right).


Fire Station 12


Chief Mike Duree, Mayor, Councilmember Neal and Fire Station 12 crew get ready to push the rig into the new station.

Chief Mike Duree, Mayor, Councilmember Neal and Fire Station 12 crew get ready to push the rig into the new station.


It's a tradition to dedicate a new fire by backing in a fire engine truck into the station.

It’s a tradition to dedicate a new fire by backing in a fire engine truck into the station.

Chief Duree, Mayor and Deputy Chief Rich Brandt in front of Fire Station 12.

Chief Duree, Mayor and Deputy Chief Rich Brandt in front of Fire Station 12.

Statement from Mayor Bob Foster on Boeing’s announcement to end C-17 line


“While not unexpected, today’s announcement closes the chapter on production of a remarkable aircraft. As work slowed over the last several years, we worked side by side with Boeing to extend the C-17 line for a seven additional years. There’s a sense of sadness to see the end of an institution, but Boeing has grown its commercial aircraft work and announced an engineering design center over the past few years that solidifies the Company’s commitment in Long Beach.”


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Mayor Foster joined Long Beach Fire Department Chief Mike Duree, Long Beach Police Department Deputy Chief Robert Luna, and members of LBPD and LBFD for a ceremony at the Civic Center Police/Fire Memorial to commemorate the anniversary of the tragic events of September 11, 2001 and honored those who lost their lives that day.





9/11 9/11




‘Journey for Health’ bike ride to End in New York in 45 Days to Inspire Youths to Live Healthy Lifestyle

Mayor Bob Foster joined Anthem Blue Cross and Gary Earl Health to help kick off the 2013 Journey for Health cross country bike ride in Long Beach on Thursday.


The trip, designed to educate and inspire America’s youth to live healthier lifestyles, will traverse more than 3,200 miles over 45 days, and will end in New York City. Along the way, Gary Earl and the team of riders will stop at local Boys & Girls Clubs to spread the message. The first stop was the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tustin on Thursday afternoon.


Journey for Health Tour

Mayor Foster spoke with cross country bike rider & noted health advocate Gary Earl before the kickoff.


Gary Earl presented the Mayor with a Journey for Health Tour shirt and hat.

Gary Earl presented the Mayor with a Journey for Health Tour shirt and hat. (In the background left to right) Boys & Girls Club Senior Director Wayne Moss, Iron Man and Anthem Blue Cross Vice President Steve Scott.


Thursday’s event was the first day of the trip, where riders kicked off the ride by “dipping” their back tires in the Pacific Ocean. When they conclude their ride, they plan on dipping their front tires in the Atlantic Ocean.

The Journey for Health riders "dipped" their tires in the Pacific Ocean (with the help of a bucket).

The Journey for Health riders “dipped” their tires in the Pacific Ocean (with the help of a bucket).


About the Journey for Health Tour

The Journey for Health Tour represents the personal and professional passions and experience of its creator, Earl, a nationally recognized health and well-being professional who for more than three decades of health and wellness leadership has helped companies, communities and individuals to experience the value of positive health. This national tour represents a collaborative effort between two organizations dedicated to improving the health of individuals and our communities; and in this case educate, inspire and motivate Americans to commit to better health.  Throughout the tour, Earl and the riders will share the message of good health through their blogs, daily health tips and most importantly, meeting with people in the communities across the country including cities such as Los Angles, Las Vegas, Denver, St Louis, Indianapolis, Columbus, Philadelphia and New York City.

Follow along with the tour on Twitter, @j4htour, or at journeyforhealthtour.com.


About Anthem Blue Cross

Anthem Blue Cross is the trade name of Blue Cross of California. Anthem Blue Cross and Anthem Blue Cross Life and Health Insurance Company are independent licensees of the Blue Cross Association. ® ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross name and symbol are registered marks of the Blue Cross Association. Additional information about Anthem Blue Cross and Anthem Blue Cross Life and Health Insurance Company is available at www.anthem.com. Also, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/healthjoinin, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HealthJoinIn, or visit our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/healthjoinin.


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Journey for Health Tour

Today, Mayor Bob Foster and Councilmember James Johnson, 7th District, topped off the 600-foot-long Great Wall of Mulch, which is believed to be the only Mulch Wall constructed in the United States. The Great Wall of Mulch extends the length of Hudson Park on the West Side, serving as an environmentally friendly buffer to reduce noise and eliminate the visual pollution of trucks along the heavily traveled Terminal Island (103) freeway.


“The Great Wall of Mulch demonstrates how the City of Long Beach continues to strive for more innovative and unique solutions for environmental issues, including reducing the level of noise from the freeway,” said Mayor Bob Foster.


The Great Wall of Mulch is 12 feet high and 3 feet wide, and made completely out of mulch, which is an organic material composed of green waste generated from routine tree trimming of Long Beach’s urban forest.


Great Wall of Mulch

The Great Wall of Mulch is 600 feet long.



“Today, an injustice has ended,” Councilmember Johnson said. “The people of West Long Beach finally have an innovative ‘Green Wall’ along Hudson Park that will block the noise from the freeway, eliminate the visual blight, and improve air quality with trees and other plantings. I look forward to further improvements along the freeway as we protect the students, veterans, and residents who have lived next to this free without protection for far too long.”


In February 2012, the City’s Office of Sustainability constructed a smaller version of the Mulch Wall to demonstrate feasibility, and in February 2013 the Port of Long Beach partnered with the City to fund this larger demonstration project. The total project cost is $150,000, which is proving to be a cost efficient solution to eliminating the sight of trucks along the freeway as well as reducing the noise level of traffic. The funding also includes further exploration on effectiveness of the mulch wall, including whether it can absorb air pollution such as diesel particulates.


In addition to reducing freeway noise and blocking visual pollution, mulch provides multiple environmental benefits.


Great Wall of Mulch

Mayor Foster and Councilmember Johnson drop a ceremonial bucket of mulch to top off the wall.



The City of Long Beach produces about 12,000 tons of mulch from tree trimming each year, and over the last four years has covered dozens of vacant lots with mulch to suppress the growth of weeds and reduce maintenance costs.


In addition, the City’s Green Team performs about 600 free mulch deliveries to residents a year.


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Great Wall of Mulch

August 1, 2013 – Long Beach City Manager Pat West Mayor presented the City’s FY 2014 budget during a press conference and Mayor Bob Foster announced his recommendations at the Miller Family Health Education Center today.


Please click on the link below for the Mayor’s FY14 Budget Recommendations.


Mayor’s FY14 Budget Recommendations