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©2010 Bob Foster
Follow the Mayor: Pride Parade, Dirtbags and Kidical Mass

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mayor Foster with Redondo Beach Mayor Mike Gin, one of this year’s “Morris Knight” Political Grand Marshal.

 

 

 

 

Mayor with Interval House staff and Ron Sylvester, this year’s male Community Grand Marshal.

 

 

Mayor and Nancy Foster with Angel Mancias (center).

Mayor Foster speaks to one of the Long Beach State baseball players before he throws out the first pitch.

 

 

The Mayor gets ready to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Dirtbags game hosted by the Steel Magnolias.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mayor Foster joined the Knolls Ranger at Los Cerritos Park for Kidical Mass.

 

 

Mayor Foster lead the way for the inagural Kidical Mass through Bixby Knolls.

©2010 Bob Foster
Long Beach Ronald McDonald House: Walk for Kids!

As the saying goes, “When life gives you lemons make lemonade.”

Our cat Noah was pretty sick recently. Thankfully he is much better now. It’s because of Noah that I had to stay at home and did nothing but fundraise for the Long Beach Ronald McDonald House Walk. In fact, Noah and I became the top fundraisers for the walk!

Me and Bob at the 2012 Walk for Kids.

Bob and I are devoted to the Long Beach Ronald McDonald House. The Long Beach Ronald McDonald House serves as a “home-away-from-home” for families of children undergoing treatment for life-threatening illnesses at nearby hospitals and medical facilities, including Miller Children’s Hospital. The Ronald McDonald House provides inexpensive, and often free, lodging for families who often travel long distances (sometimes from out of state) to obtain specialized medical care for their children. The Long Beach Ronald McDonald House opened in December 2011. I currently serve as a board trustee, chair to the Advisory Board and I’m the assistant chair for the 2012 Walk for Kids.

 

The 2012 Walk for Kids benefiting the Long Beach Ronald McDonald House was a great success. We had a goal of raising $150,000 and to this day, we raised almost $200,000. There were more than 2,000 walkers in Shoreline Park! It was a great day for a wonderful cause. And the walk proved that Noah and I make a great fundraising team!

Me and Bob with Cheri Bazley, the executive director of the Long Beach Ronald McDonald House.

©2010 Bob Foster
Follow the Mayor: YMCA’s Good Friday Breakfast

Mayor Foster was the keynote speaker for the YMCA’s 44th annual Good Friday Breakfast. 

Special thanks to: Jason Hagensick, president and CEO of YMCA of Greater Long Beach; Sister Gerard Earls of St. Mary Medical Center; Long Beach Police Department Chief Jim McDonnell; Pamela Hale-Burns, Press-Telegram; Greg Buchanan, World-class Harpist; Arline Walter, YMCA Board of Directors; Jack Hinsche, YMCA Board of Directors Chair; Rabbi Steven Moskowitz, Temple Israel Long Beach; and Pastor Wayne Chaney, Jr., Antioch Church of Long Beach.  Thank you for your participation in today’s wonderful breakfast.

Mayor Foster receives a thank you gift from Jason Hagensick, president and CEO of YMCA of Greater Long Beach.

©2010 Bob Foster
Long Beach Awarded $5.3 Million for Park Improvements

The State of California recently awarded $5.3 million in grant funds to the City of Long Beach for park development activities at Armory Park, and Drake / Cesar Chavez Park.

“It is so gratifying to again add urban open space and grow our parks portfolio,” said Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster. “The Drake/Chavez Greenbelt increases active recreational opportunities and bicycle connectivity while Armory Park is an incredibly creative, community-driven idea that has been 5 years in the making. Our focus on park space is paying off — these are both huge wins for Long Beach residents and I can’t wait to see these finished projects.”

Long Beach faced fierce competition in this Statewide grant solicitation, as over 400 applicants submitted proposals that totaled $1.3 billion for a only $150 million of available Statewide Parks Program funding. Long Beach bested over 400 applicants, and will receive $5.3 million for park improvements at Armory Park, and Drake / Cesar Chavez Park.

“Building Armory Park has been a passion of mine since first coming into office, and I am delighted that the East Village will finally get its park,” said First District Councilman Robert Garcia. “In addition, these grants will also fund phase one of the Drake/Chavez expansion that will include two new soccer fields and play areas.”

Funding will assist with the development of Armory Park, a new 0.84 acre park at the intersection of Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue, Alamitos Avenue and Sixth Street. Armory Park will host a new playground, half-court basketball court, exercise equipment and skate elements – all features that have been popular at various parks through the City. Long Beach’s newest park will also feature an art garden and sustainable landscaping around a brand new multi-use plaza and amphitheater. These facilities will be available for community use, free of charge.

Improvements that are planned at Drake / Chavez Park feature a Greenbelt that will connect the two parks, and a parkway trail leading to Anaheim Street. These accessibility components, coupled with two new soccer fields that will be constructed in the future, will provide ample green space for positive recreation.

The City’s Parks, Recreation and Marine Department is a leader in the industry. Recognized for providing outstanding facilities, programs, and management that reflect the needs and interests of a diverse community, the National Parks and Recreation Society awarded Long Beach the prestigious Gold Medal Award. The City has held this recognition for the past three years, and will continue to uphold these values as new parks are developed in areas of need through the City.

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©2010 Bob Foster
Mayor joins the Donate for Life flag raising ceremony

Mayor Foster joined Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal for the annual Donate for Life flag raising ceremony at City Hall today.  The event was to bring awareness to the importance of becoming a registered organ donor.

About Donate Life:

Donate Life California is a nonprofit Organ and Tissue Donor Registry dedicated to saving the lives of thousands of Californians awaiting life-saving transplants. Officially formed in 2004 after being authorized by the state, California’s four federally designated non profit organ procurement organizations (facilitating the donation process across California), are committed to giving every person waiting for a transplant – a second chance at life. Right now over 21,000 Californians wait for an organ transplant. That’s 21 percent of the more than 100,000 people waiting across our country. Tragically, one third of them will die – waiting. Since July 1st of 2006, individuals who renew or apply for a driver’s license or ID with the DMV, now have the opportunity to also register their decision to be a donor in the Donate Life California Registry, and the pink “DONOR” dot symbol is pre-printed on the applicant’s driver license or ID card.  For more information, please visit www.donatelifecalifornia.org.

Mayor Foster and Vice Mayor (far right) with Stacy Kelly, a Long Beach resident and Living Kidney Donor.

 

Mayor and Vice Mayor with Patricia Van (center), a Long Beach City employee and Living Kidney Donor.

(Left to right) Bryan Stewart, Donate Life California Registry; Harold Carman, Long Beach DMV Manager; Mayor Foster; Vice Mayor Lowenthal; Stacy Kelly; Patricia Van; Patricia's sister and Georgia Will, another City employee and Living Organ Donor.

©2010 Bob Foster
Palace Apartments: Grand Opening For Former Foster Youth

Life just got better for 13 former foster youth. Today, Mayor Bob Foster, Councilmember Patrick O’Donnell, 4th District, The Long Beach Housing Development Company (LBHDC), LINC Housing, and United Friends of the Children (UFC) celebrated the grand opening of The Palace, a renovated building that includes 13 apartments for young adults who have aged out of the foster care system.

“The Palace will provide a stable home to hundreds of young adults working toward gaining employment, finding their own apartment, and completing their education,” Mayor Bob Foster said. “Today is a day for celebration as we empower these young adults on their journey to become successful and independent adults.”

In Los Angeles County, more than 22,000 children are in foster care, and every year 1,400 emancipate. Without meaningful intervention, many of these young people will become homeless or chronically unemployed within two to four years of leaving foster care. In California, 36 percent of foster youth become homeless within 18 months of emancipation. These alarming statistics were the backdrop for LINC, UFC and Long Beach’s partnership to create a better future for these young adults.

“When I first learned about this crisis from a PBS documentary I saw 15 years ago, I knew we needed to be part of a solution,” said Long Beach City Councilman Patrick O’Donnell. “The Palace is a result of public and private sectors working together to be part of the solution – providing the resources and services to support foster youth at the crucial transitional moments in their lives.”

The renovation of the historic 1920s hotel began in summer 2010. In addition to the 13 studio apartments, the building includes a manager’s unit, common areas and offices for program services. Ground floor retail space will be occupied by iCracked, an iPhone and iPad repair service that will hire residents from The Palace. The renovation includes a variety of sustainability features including Energy Star appliances, recycled materials, a high efficiency HVAC system, and dual-flush toilets. Photovoltaic solar panels and ClearEdge5 fuel cell technology are also incorporated to help reduce utility costs. The building is registered with the U.S. Green Building Council and is expected to achieve LEED Gold certification.

“The Long Beach Housing Development Company recognizes that there is a tremendous need to provide affordable housing opportunities to young adults aging out of the foster care system,” said Patrick Brown, Chair of The LBHDC. “Through a coordinated and committed approach with our partners, we were able to deliver the first project of its kind into the City of Long Beach – helping to ensure the success of emancipated foster youth.”

“Housing is a vital foundation for everyone,” said Hunter L. Johnson, LINC’s president and CEO. “It’s been incredibly rewarding to watch the transformation of this historic building, and it will be even more rewarding to see these young adults successfully transition from foster care to independence. LINC is proud to help create this place of hope.”

Barry, a new resident at The Palace, summed it up when he said, “I come from a life of struggle and a heart of hope, the Palace is my hope.”

Mayor Foster with Barry, one of the Palace's new residents.

As residents enjoy their own apartments, they’ll also take part in UFC’s innovative Pathways Transitional Living program. The program, now offered at six housing facilities throughout Los Angeles County serves more than 100 youth annually, creating enduring relationships and challenging program participants to better themselves in a safe and secure environment.

“UFC’s prides itself on delivering quality programs that achieve life changing results for LA’s foster youth,” adds Polly Williams, President of UFC. “Our College Readiness Program has achieved a staggering 95% high-school graduation rate, our College Sponsorship program sees 70% of all participants earn their bachelors degree, and our Pathways program has helped enable 86% of its active alumni to find stable housing and 74% secure employment.”

A portion of the $6.2 million in funding for The Palace came from the federal stimulus package included in The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and created many local construction jobs. Additional funds came from the LBHDC, The Federal Home Loan Bank, U.S. Bank, and Preservation Partners Development. Funds supporting the fuel cells and photovoltaic solar panels were provided by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation through the National Trust Loan Fund, and a grant from The Ahmanson Foundation paid for the apartment and common area furnishings as well as the rooftop furniture. Financial support from the Long Beach Navy Memorial Heritage Association helped fund the historic restoration of the neon hotel sign and brick repainting, and a grant from The Home Depot Foundation helped support the sustainable design and LEED certification.

About LINC Housing Corporation
LINC Housing, one of California’s most productive nonprofit developers of affordable housing, has helped create more than 7,000 homes in 60 communities throughout the state. The organization’s properties are known for excellent design, outstanding management and life-enhancing services for its residents. LINC has 27 years of service to families, seniors, and local governments helping to create sustainable communities via new construction, acquisition and rehabilitation, and historic preservation. Visit www.linchousing.org for more information.

About The Long Beach Housing Development Company
The Long Beach Housing Development Company was established by the City of Long Beach in 1989 to assist in the creation and development of affordable housing. The LBHDC’s mission is to provide safe and livable neighborhoods in Long Beach by promoting, developing, and preserving decent, safe and affordable housing for the very low-, low- and moderate-income residents of Long Beach. The LBHDC offers a range of low cost financing, subsidies and other forms of financial assistance to encourage the development of affordable housing that improves the quality of life of the residents it serves. Visit www.lbhdc.org for more information.

About United Friends of the Children
United Friends of the Children (UFC) was founded by Nancy M. Daly to respond to the unmet needs of Los Angeles’ most vulnerable and underserved population – foster youth. Since 1979, UFC has been at the forefront of identifying gaps in services to foster youth and creating programs to fill them. UFC’s primary goal is to aid foster youth in becoming self sufficient adults. This is accomplished through UFC’s housing and education programs, which use a uniquely intensive relational model to develop strong and lasting bonds with the youth served. UFC’s Pathways Transitional Living Program provides quality housing and a broad range of supportive services in a program model that demands increasing levels of personal responsibility and initiative, helping foster youth to avoid homelessness upon their emancipation from care. UFC’s Education Programs follow foster youth from middle through high school graduation, preparing them to become competitive applicants to four-year universities. Upon entering college UFC provides foster youth with financial support and guidance, helping them to earn bachelor’s degrees at a rate much higher than the general population. UFC serves 1,400 LA County foster youth annually and receives 80% of its funding through private donations from individuals, foundations and corporations. Visit www.unitedfriends.org for more information.

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©2010 Bob Foster
Tickets for 2012 State of the City “Sold Out”

TICKETS FOR 2012 STATE OF THE CITY “SOLD OUT”

All tickets were reserved within one week.

December 28, 2011 - As of last week, all 825 tickets made available since December 15 have been allocated for the 2012 State of the City. Mayor Bob Foster will deliver the State of the City at the Center Theater on January 9.

People who are interested in attending the 2012 State of the City can sign up for the wait list if tickets become available by calling 562-570-5089 or visiting www.MayorBobFoster.com.

The State of the City tickets will be mailed out this week. Attendees for the 2012 State of the City event are encouraged to arrive early. Doors will open at 6:30 pm, with community nonprofit booths in the Center Theater lobby. This event is free to the public, but you must have a ticket to attend.

The State of the City can also be watched live on www.StateofLB.com or www.MayorBobFoster.com January 9 at 7:30pm.

WHEN:

7:30 p.m. – State of the City

Monday, January 9, 2012

WHERE:

Center Theater/Long Beach Performing Arts Center

300 East Ocean Boulevard, Long Beach, CA 90802

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©2010 Bob Foster
Long Beach Students Visit Mayor Foster at City Hall

Mayor Foster invited students from several Long Beach elementary schools visited City Hall Dec. 12 – Dec. 14.  Students were able to take a tour of City Council Chambers, see the holiday decorations in the City Hall lobby, the City Council offices and speak with Mayor Foster. 

Want your elementary school to take part of the annual Holiday Visit?  Email mayor@longbeach.gov for more information for next year.

Below are photos of Westerly School of Long Beach’s visit.

Westerly students asked Mayor Foster many questions including what his favority book was, what was his favorite part of being mayor and how does he practice for speeches?

©2010 Bob Foster
Follow the Mayor: Daisy Avenue Christmas Tree Lane Parade

 

Mayor Foster joined Councilmember James Johnson at the 58th Annual Daisy Avenue Christmas Tree Lane Parade on Saturday, Dec. 10.  Many thanks to the Daisy Avenue Christmas Tree Lane Parade Committee, Councilmember Johnson and Special Events for organizing another great holiday parade in Long Beach!

Above photo: Maria Norvell with Mayor Foster.

Nancy and Mayor Foster

Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal talks with Mayor Foster before the parade begins.

Mayor Foster speaks with LA City Attorney Carmen Trutanich.

Mayor Foster with the group from the Price Transfer Company.

©2010 Bob Foster
Follow the Mayor: Belmont Shore Christmas Parade

Mayor Foster and Nancy Foster joined the Belmont Shore Business Association‘s 29th Annual Belmont Shore Christmas Parade on December 3. 

Mayor Foster and Nancy waiting for the start of the Belmont Shore Christmas Parade. Deshe (front seat) interns with Mayor Foster's office.

Nancy, Mayor Foster, Deshe and Salvador (far right). Salvador is a Committee of 300 member and volunteered to drive Mayor Foster in the parade route.

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