Logo

News

Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster performed the marriage ceremony for Long Beach residents Bob Crow and Tony Almeida at Harvey Milk Park.  Bob and Tony have been together for 18 years. This was the first gay marriage ceremony the Mayor has ever performed.

 

Bob Crow Tony Almeida wedding

Bob pins on Mayor Foster’s boutonniere. Bob is one of the co-founders of Long Beach Lesbian & Gay Pride Inc.

 

Bob Crow Tony Almeida wedding

Tony Almeida (far left) and Bob Crow (center) speak with Mayor Foster before their marriage ceremony.

 

 

Bob Crow Tony Almeida

Bob Crow Tony Almeida wedding

Bob Crow Tony Almeida

Bob Crow Tony Almeida wedding

Bob and Tony exchange rings.

 

Bob Crow Tony Almeida wedding

Bob Crow Tony Almeida wedding

 

Bob Crow Tony Almeida wedding

Bob Crow Tony Almeida wedding

Bob Crow Tony Almeida wedding

Mayor Foster fills out the marriage license for Bob and Tony after the ceremony.

 

 

 

Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster released the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s decision on Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

 

“Today is a monumental day that will change, for the better, the lives of friends and families throughout our great State and makes our Nation stronger.”

 

# # #

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 19, 2013

 

Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster was among a group of California’s “Big 10″ mayors meeting with the Governor in Sacramento today on a variety of topics. Among the items discussed were the state budget, implementation of the Affordable Care Act, Local Control Funding Formulas (LCFF) for schools, and the negative impacts on cities from public safety “realignment” and potential changes to Enterprise Zones.

 

The mayors also held a short press conference afterwards and took questions from the assembled Sacramento press on numerous topics. Mayor Foster issued the following statement in regards to the elimination of state funding for compliance with the California Public Records Act.

 

“I think it’s safe to say all of these cities here today are going to comply with the Public Records Act. Regardless of whether the Governor signs the budget or issues a veto, Long Beach will continue to process PRA requests as before. I don’t believe the City has ever even gotten reimbursement from the state on several of the provisions included in the trailer language anyways. As has been our practice, we will continue to cover PRA response costs in support of good government.”

 

Mayor Foster intends to introduce an item to allow the City Council to take specific public action to affirm the City of Long Beach policy on complying with PRAs at the next council meeting.

 

# # #

 

Mayor Bob Foster, Councilmember Patrick O’Donnell and the Departments of Parks, Recreation and Marine and Public Works held a groundbreaking event for Orizaba Park Community Center today. Orizaba Park is located at Orizaba Avenue and Spaulding Street.

 

“Orizaba Park just keeps on getting better and better,” Mayor Foster said. “Less than one year ago we expanded the size of this park, and today we’re starting to build a new Community Center.”

 

The 3,000-square-foot community center will provide space for after-school programs and community meetings and events. A digital training academy will provide workforce training in visual art and motion picture development skills; youth can learn how to create high-definition movies, design web pages and make fliers, banners, newsletters, magazines, T-shirts, billboards, and other visual projects.

 

“A tired kid is a good kid, and this new Community Center will keep our kids busy and out of trouble after school,” said Councilmember Patrick O’Donnell, who represents the 4th District. “The Community Center and its programs will also help bring the community together.”

 

To reflect the history of the location as a stop on the former Pacific Electric Right of Way, the Community Center will be reminiscent of a train depot with its long shape and architecture. The new building has been designed to achieve a LEED Gold certification and will reduce water and electricity consumption by more than 30 percent. The building will be constructed with $2.2 million in State of California Proposition 84 grant funds.

 

The new community center will complete the second phase of the park’s renovation. In November 2012, an expansion of the park opened. The former Long Beach Redevelopment Agency (RDA) invested $3.7 million to acquire four adjacent blighted industrial properties to add 1.1 acres to the park’s 2.62 acres, and create a total of 3.72 acres of open space to expand the park. The expansion included new open turf areas, landscaping, ball courts, a skate park, walking paths and picnic tables.

Mayor Foster speaks with Jan Ward, president West End Community Association (far left).

Mayor Foster speaks with Jan Ward, president West End Community Association (far left).

(Left to right): Long Beach City Manager Pat West, Jan Ward, Mayor Foster, Councilmember O'Donnell, Parks Recreation and Marine director George Chapjian, Deputy Chief Robert Luna, Community Improvement Project Officer Seyed Jalali, and Community and Park Development Officer Anna Mendiola.

(Left to right): Long Beach City Manager Pat West, Jan Ward, Mayor Foster, Councilmember O’Donnell, Parks Recreation and Marine director George Chapjian, Deputy Chief Robert Luna, Community Improvement Project Officer Seyed Jalali, and Community and Park Development Officer Anna Mendiola.

Orizaba Park Community Center

 

Mayor Foster joined the opening ceremony of the Special Olympics.  Long Beach is this year’s host city.

 

Mayor Foster with Special Olympics Southern California Board of Directors chair Tim Redmond.

Mayor Foster with Special Olympics Southern California Board of Directors chair Tim Redmond.

 

Special Olympics

Mayor Foster speaks with Tim Redmond (far right) and Special Olympics Southern California President/CEO Bill Shumard (center). Special Olympics Southern California co-founder and Olympic Gold Medalist Rafer Johnson (second from left) stands nearby.

 

 

“These are precisely the high-skilled, high-wage jobs that are needed for building strong economies of the future. We work hard cultivating an environment of research and innovation here, and this solidifies Boeing’s rich tradition and long history in Long Beach.”

# # #

Mayor Foster and Councilmember Suja Lowenthal joined Franklin Middle School students and teachers to wrap up National Bike Month with a Bike to School ride.  The Bike to School event is to encourage students to safely use their bicycles for means of transportation.  Safe Moves, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to saving children through traffic safety education, organized this ride. Through Safe Moves, Bike Long Beach is providing Safe Routes to School programs to every elementary and middle school student in Long Beach. A federal Safe Routes To School grant supporting this program in Long Beach was recently extended two years through 2014. For more information, please visit www.safemoves.org and www.bikelongbeach.org.

Councilmember Lowenthal and the Mayor wait for other Franklin Middle School students for the Bike to School ride.

Councilmember Lowenthal and the Mayor wait for other Franklin Middle School students for the Bike to School ride.

 

Glenda told Mayor Foster that she wants to become a marine biologist.

Glenda told Mayor Foster that she wants to become a marine biologist.

 

Mayor Foster and Javier.

Mayor Foster and Javier.

 

Robert asked the Mayor to autograph his notebook.

Robert asked the Mayor to autograph his notebook.

 

Bike to School

 

Bike to School

 

 

 Bike to School

Mayor Foster joined John Friel, President of Catalina Hospital and Tom Salerno, President of St. Mary Medical Center to welcome the new Europcopter BK117, which will replace the Bell 222 helicopter that is currently being used at St. Mary Medical Center.

 

As a Level II Trauma Center, St. Mary Medical Center maintains a helipad for helicopter patient transports, and works with Mercy Air to ensure training of St. Mary nurses and physicians on the latest technology. Mercy Air has been providing air medical transport to St. Mary Medical Center since 1989.

 

The larger BK117 is a $5 million helicopter that allows for easier loading through the rear clam-shell doors. It also has room to take an isolette for NICU transports.  It is operated and owned by Air Methods, the largest air medical provider in the country.  Mercy air flies with all crew members on full Night Vision goggles and can operate in IFR (Instrument flight rules) conditions.  Mercy Air always operate with a flight nurse and paramedic or two flight nurses.

 

Top photo (from left): Dr. James Murray, St. Mary Medical Center Medical Director for Trauma Surgery; Mayor Bob Foster; Thomas Salerno, St. Mary Medical Center President & CEO; John Friel, Catalina Island Medical Center CEO; and Dr. Stephen Shea, St. Mary Medical Center Emergency Department Director.

St. Mary Helicopter

Mayor Foster presented a certificate to St. Mary Medical Center for their 90 years of healing ministry. Left to right: Tom Salerno, Sister Gerard, Mayor Foster and Dr. Shea.

 

 

St. Mary Helicopter

 

St. Mary Helicopter

 

St. Mary Helicopter

Mayor Foster speaks to Mercy Air staff.

 

Mayor Foster visited Mrs. Stine’s 3rd grade class at Los Cerritos Elementary School.  Mrs. Stine’s class wrote to Mayor Foster’s office about careers in government and wanted to ask Mayor more questions about his job.  Rather than writing back to the class, Mayor Foster offered to visit Los Cerritos Elementary to answer the students directly.

Los Cerritos Elementary School

Nikki and Selah escorted the Mayor to the library.

 

 

Los Cerritos Elementary School

 

Los Cerritos Elementary School

 

Los Cerritos Elementary School

 

Los Cerritos Elementary School

 

Los Cerritos Elementary School

Kirsten asked the Mayor if he liked to talk to lots of people.

 

 

Los Cerritos Elementary School

Chloe, Diego and Kirsten all said that they wanted to become mayors.

 

 

Los Cerritos Elementary School

Mayor Foster with Mrs. Stine and her 3rd grade class.

 

 

Los Cerritos Elementary School

After the Q&A session, some of the students took the Mayor on a tour of their community garden.

 

 

Los Cerritos Elementary School

Mayor Bob Foster and Vice Mayor Robert Garcia celebrated the grand opening of the Harvey Milk Promenade Park and dedication of Equality Plaza.

 

“The Harvey Milk Promenade Park is an example of how a small, well designed open space can transform its surroundings and provide a profound purpose, “ said Mayor Bob Foster. “The park also serves as a place where visitors can learn about Harvey Milk and our very own Long Beach leaders who battled incredible odds for the rights of the LGBT community.”

 

Named after the late Harvey Milk, a San Francisco Supervisor and celebrated LGBT civil rights leader who was fatally shot while in office, the park features new signage, landscaping and enhanced paving, special lighting, seating and community chess tables.

 

“I’m proud that we are opening the first park in Long Beach named after an openly gay person, and the first park in the nation named after civil rights leader Harvey Milk,” said Vice Mayor Garcia. “The focal point of the park is Equality Plaza, an area dedicated to recognizing local area LGBT leaders and their contributions to Long Beach and the gay civil rights movement.”

 

The plaza includes a concrete replica of the soapbox on which Milk stood to inspire crowds when he spoke, and a 20-foot flagpole to fly the gay pride flag.

 

Harvey Milk became the first openly gay person to be elected to office in California, and the first gay male elected official in American history. He brought mainstream attention and support to the LGBT movement with his courage and commitment to social justice.

 

In 1978 Supervisor Milk came to Long Beach where he passionately encouraged people to campaign against a California initiative that sought to bar gays and lesbians from working in public schools. Shortly thereafter, on November 27, 1978, Supervisor Milk and Mayor George Moscone were shot to death by a former supervisor who had recently resigned from the Board of Supervisors.

 

The Park also brings new prominence to “Long Beach Recreation,” a historic Works Progress Administration (WPA) mosaic mural, located at the northern terminus of The Promenade in Harvey Milk Promenade Park. The monumental mosaic illustrates many local activities and pays homage to its original location at the former Municipal Auditorium (now home to the Convention & Entertainment Center). Originally installed in 1938, the mosaic was saved from demolition and installed at CityPlace in 1982.

 

Funded by the former Long Beach Redevelopment Agency (RDA), the Park is part of the third and final phase of The Promenade Master Plan, which incorporated pedestrian-oriented improvements on the three blocks of The Promenade from Ocean Boulevard to the north side of 3rd Street, transforming a stark, underutilized, concrete pedestrian walkway and performance venue into a safe, friendly, and beautiful space for residents, visitors and business people in the Downtown to enjoy.

 

The Promenade Master Plan included upgraded storm drains, new landscaping, lighting and traffic signals, gateway signage, community chess tables, a dog rest area, bike racks and public art. Three new residential projects have been developed and multiple businesses have opened along The Promenade, along with a new and expanded Bikestation Long Beach.

 

The Promenade Master Plan Improvements has succeeded at improving the pedestrian experience along these three blocks – providing safety, increasing aesthetic appeal and supporting a vibrant Downtown.

 

# # #

Equality Plaza – Honorees

Robert Crow – Co-Founder and Current Co-President, Long Beach PRIDE

Ray Lowen – Founding member of The Center; Activist and Artist

Patty Moore – Former Chair and Assistant Director, The Center; Longtime Activist

Michael Noll – First openly gay Signal Hill Councilmember; The Center Board

Frank Rubio – Former President, Current Vice-President, Long Beach PRIDE

Ellen Ward – Signal Hill Councilmember, Former Executive Director AIDS WALK

 

Posthumous

Pastor Michael Cole – Founder, Christ’s Chapel Long Beach;

Founder, AIDS Food Store

Ellen “Mary” Martinez – 25-year member of Long Beach PRIDE;

Board Member, The Center

Jean Harris – Former Executive Director,

California Alliance for Pride and Equality; Political Leader

 

 

 

Harvey Milk Park

 

05-21-13 Harvey Milk Park (4)

Mayor and Vice Mayor stand on a replica of the soapbox that Harvey Milk was known for.

Harvey Milk Park

 

Harvey Milk Park

 

Harvey Milk Park