GETTING TO KNOW…
MANHATTAN BEACH CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES 2020
TOPICS: BRUCE’S BEACH, POLICING, SMALL BUSINESSES, SCHOLARSHIP
1. What is your full position on Bruce’s Beach and the Change.Org online petition (currently signed by over 12,500 people) regarding Bruce’s Beach? Please feel free to share with me anything you would like to in regards to Bruce’s Beach.
I am the only candidate to publicly state my position on the Petition to “Address the full history of Bruce’s Beach”. (See TBR, 8/6/20 Edition; I previously provided you copies of my several LTEs) From day one, I fully supported the Petition’s request for our Council to publicly address the full history of Bruce’s Beach and change the plaque to conform to those facts.
Additionally, I’ve urged the Council to place the Petition on the agenda as soon as possible. I also support the history of Bruce’s Beach be taught in MBUSD schools.
I've signed this petition but I'm going farther and doing the work in understanding and teaching the issues surrounding Bruce's Beach. I'm currently working with the Bruces' family representative who is expressing the families wants and needs. I'm looking forward to what the current council will provide with means of information and the topic of compensation. Here we are in a time in California where the State Assembly has passed an Assembly Bill to give reparations to victims such as the Bruce Family, and I'm proud of the CA Assembly Black Caucus for providing the thought with the action. Now it's waiting for the Governor's signature to become law.
Now it's time for the Manhattan Beach City Council to follow suit as the cards are turning.
First I want to commend you for your work in naming Bruce’s Beach. I know that was not an easy task, but it was an important step only made possible because of your commitment and tireless leadership. As a Latina, I have very personal experience with racism. I wish I could say my experiences were all in the rearview mirror, that in 2020 we are not still dealing with prejudice and injustice. But of course, the road toward true inclusion and equality is long and we take steps along the way. It is obvious another step forward must be taken in Manhattan Beach. What happened to the Bruce Family was hateful and wrong. The harassment that they and other black families, including the Clintons, endured was unconscionable. The racism our young people feel today in our schools and on our streets must be addressed and course corrected. And a petition that gathers 12,500 signatures on any topic deserves to be considered. As a Councilmember I will do all I can to ensure residents of all backgrounds feel welcome and safe in Manhattan Beach. At this point, that means listening and learning more about the experiences of residents. I am actively meeting with leaders and residents to discuss these issues and possible solutions. And I am eager to hear from Mayor Montgomery’s task force which I know will carefully study all recommendations. I participated in the marches this Spring and I commend the Council, Police Chief Abell, and Superintendent Matthews for holding a town hall meeting with residents to discuss the issues of racism in our community. I do hope these discussions with residents and leaders continue. Information builds understanding and understanding leads to truth and thoughtful solutions.
There is no doubt that what happened to the Bruce Family was grossly unfair. We need to acknowledge the racist acts of the past so we learn from it and make sure it is never forgotten nor repeated.
Restitution, Restoration and Reparations
Over the course of 100 years the Bruce family presumably had access to legal recourse to pursue any apparent or provable legal basis to a claim. The two dozen other families, Black and white, reinvested their payments into other land and properties within the boundaries of Manhattan Beach. Another complicating factor is the city’s limitation on gifting public funds. Also, there is no way to know if the Bruce’s enterprise would have survived the challenges of Prohibition (1920-1933) and the Great Depression (1929-1941) which ravaged many businesses and family fortunes.
As such, my position is that there can be no restitution, restoration or reparations of funds or assets to the Bruce Family from the City of Manhattan Beach.
Honor the Past with a new Memorial
The full history should be displayed in an unvarnished and frank manner. Let’s not perpetrate the sin of omission. Bring the entire story to light as was attempted in 2006. I am in favor of recommissioning a more appropriate memorial to the Bruce Family in the immediate area of the existing park or on the Strand by the County Lifeguard Station.
Mobile History Exhibit
Along with this step, I propose a mobile historical exhibit be created so residents across the city can view and learn the Bruce’s story. The 2012 Centennial Committee, of which I was a member, created a mobile exhibit of Manhattan Beach’s 100 year history. Throughout the Centennial Year it was taken to all parts of the city including the Pier, Manhattan Village Mall, the Creative Arts Center and Polliwog Park. Thousands of residents and visitors were able to view it. The mobile historical exhibit could reside in the County Library, Joslyn Center, City Hall or rotate among the schools when it is not traveling.
Teach the Bruce Family history in Manhattan Beach Schools
Along with this I would suggest that our school system develop the necessary curriculum to teach the story of the Bruces in all our schools. This is an opportunity to bring to life, and provide perspective on, issues of civil rights, discrimination, and peaceful protest. This curriculum could take shape like the Mission Project in the fourth grade where students study the material and take a field trip to see the subject matter firsthand.
I’m in favor of developing each of the above items with a Task Force dedicated to Bruce's Beach.
Moving forward, I ask only that Manhattan Beach residents are judged, not for the racist acts perpetrated by past generations, but for how our residents react to any such acts in the present.
In an effort to increase transparency in our local government and out of respect to the Bruce family, we need to view and examine the facts of the case before coming to a conclusion, as with any issue that comes before the MB City Council. While eminent domain has its place in city planning, it appears that in this case the provision was not used appropriately. Should the facts indicate that the Bruces were undercompensated for the land, Manhattan Beach has the opportunity to set historic precedent for addressing inequities such as these.
In 2006 the plaque at the park did not originate at the City level, it was advocated for by Leadership Manhattan Beach, a private organization. Two councilmembers, including fellow candidate and current mayor Richard Montgomery, voted against the renaming of the park in 2006. I fully support the call for the City to make the full history known, on the plaque, in our schools, in community conversations. I expect the report by Staff at the 8/18 Council Meeting to provide a basis for further investigation and analysis.
I have signed the petition and I support it as a means of illuminating the issue. It is shedding light on this incident that the City Council should have addressed long ago. We should not need a petition to tell us the right thing to do. Should I be elected, I will be a leader in addressing Bruce’s Beach.
I was pleased with our staff’s thorough presentation on Bruce’s Beach on August 18. I am hopeful that with all the facts now before us, we can have thoughtful discussions with the community.
I have asked for a task force to be set up to discuss our next steps. I know that we need to address the plaque and I also like the idea of an art piece that describes the details of the history so that anyone visiting the park will know what happened in the 1920’s. I am also happy to hear that the school district will be looking at curriculum to be sure Bruce’s Beach is included in the discussions regarding the City. With regard to restitution, I need to hear from our community to understand what people want us to do.
Clearly the land belongs to the County, so that is not an option to discuss. But I’m open to hearing discussions about Parks & Rec programming to bring young African American students into MB to learn about the ocean, environmental issues, etc. I would also like to look at scholarships, if we can do that, similar to what you had done during your tenure. My preference is to provide programs or contribute to nonprofits helping young African Americans looking forward and changing their future paths, rather than looking backwards. With regard to the petition, I am concerned that so many of the signatures are from people across the country, rather than our own citizens. While all voices are important, my priority is to listen to our residents to determine next steps.
Bruce’s Beach represents many things. It represents a specific act of racism by the City of Manhattan Beach against Charles and Willa Bruce and the other African American families whose property was wrongfully condemned under false pretenses in the 1920’s. It represents the general racism and Jim Crow laws of that time that were used against all African Americans to deny them their civil rights through intimidation and wrongful acts. And it’s a reminder of how much farther we have to go as a community to properly recognize, understand, and learn from it so that we can better identify, address and prevent racist acts going forward. We need to reconcile our past with our present to have a better, more inclusive future. Bruce’s Beach is a stain on our history. It’s not a stain to be covered over or ignored, we need to own it.
To that end, I supported having a full discussion of the history of Bruce’s Beach at our Council meeting of August 18, 2020. After hearing that presentation, I put forward a number of recommendations, including (1) removing the current plaque and replacing it with a significant public art project that incorporates the true history of Bruce’s Beach to serve as a landmark for education and understanding, (2) issuing an apology by the city to the Bruce family and all victims of racist acts past and present, (3) considering the renaming of Peck Avenue, which is named after George Peck, who directly and indirectly played a part in the harassment of African Americans using Bruce’s Beach, (4) consider a possible scholarship fund for disadvantaged African American students, and (5), the formation of a City task force to consider these recommendations and make others as appropriate. I don’t pretend to have all the answers, not even close, so I look forward to working with a good cross section of the community to come up with more.
I appreciate that the change.org petition demands action immediately, but government is a deliberative, inclusive process which takes some time. Not a lot of time, not an endless amount of time, but after nearly 100 years of getting it wrong, I’d rather get it done right than get it done fast. That includes a discussion regarding the demand for restitution and the legalities involved.
I’ve heard from a lot of folks on this issue with a multitude of viewpoints. I have no illusions that we’ll be able to make everyone happy. But no matter what, we’re going to do the best we can to make it as right as we can so that we finally and rightfully own our past, create opportunities to learn from it, and move forward with better understanding and tolerance for all.
2. What will you do to alter the perceived or real notion that Manhattan Beach is not a city welcoming to Black and Brown people? What policy proposals will you recommend to be implemented by Manhattan Beach City Council which would ensure that people of color know that they are always fairly and equally treated when they encounter our police officers?
Manhattan Beach is a welcoming city to Black and Brown people. More so today, than any time in our history. We are a destination city for all, including residents from adjacent cities such as Inglewood, Lawndale, Lennox and other South Bay cities.
MBPD is required to have, and does have, a citizen complaint process. Regular, periodic reviews of these complaints will reveal if there is any pattern and practice of, or instances of, unconstitutional policing by MBPD. To date, I understand MBPD has an outstanding culture of constitutional policing.
I'm a black man running for Manhattan Beach City Council showing we can have "Manhattan Beach For All!". I want to represent the change in which Manhattan Beach will hopefully carry on. We have to work together and individually on policy changes to better our community. When it comes to our City's Risk Management Team, we need to be strong in implementing implicit bias training along with our Police Department being verse in modern day Sex Trafficking Prevention & Training even having stronger training dealing with sex crimes and prevention. We have leaders in the middle of our Government (MBPD) who are being held responsible to lead/make the changes in the community but we need it to happen at the TOP!(City Council) Our excuses are the reasons why we must succeed...
The issue is not simply one of changes to police policies. We need to start with ourselves. Too many times residents call the police because they see someone “suspicious” and it was the Postmates delivery person who was Black. I have lived in Manhattan Beach for nearly 30 years, raising my 4 kids and volunteering throughout all of the PTAs and this experience has shown me how good this community can be when we pull together. With my strong ties to the MBUSD community (serving on several PTA executive boards and committees and the wife of a former MBUSD School Board Member), I will commit to working with MBUSD to increase awareness and diversify the curriculum in our school communities. In terms of ensuring that people of color will always be fairly and equally treated when they encounter our police officers, this type of non-welcoming behaviors is sometimes innate and difficult to change. Yet, change it must. City Council can require police procedures ensure equal treatment of all persons. The Police Department would then review its current “encounter” procedure and update this procedure as needed. There are many reforms occurring nationwide, and police policy is complex, but the bottom line is that Council should be open to dialogue and our City should always want to improve what we do to serve all.
All are welcome in Manhattan Beach. I don’t share the idea that Manhattan Beach is not a welcoming city. My children were active in sports and played many games with opposing teams made up of people of color while their team was predominately white. I never witnessed (nor would have tolerated) any bad language or bad behavior on any side of the field. And, I never witnessed such behavior when we were the visiting team at other venues. That’s not to say it never happened but I would not characterize Manhattan Beach as an unwelcoming city.
We elected a two term Black Mayor. We have a Black Police Chief who, for thirty years, worked his way up the ranks. We came together as a community to comfort and support the Clinton family when they were the victim of a hate crime. I don’t see Black residents wanting to leave Manhattan Beach, which would be the case if they felt unwelcome. I see our stores and restaurants welcoming people of color and I see them enjoying the beaches and pier, all without incident.
Addressing Bruce’s Beach is paramount. The issue has already received widespread attention and taking action to take responsibility for and redress the mistakes of the past will be widely recognized as a meaningful step.
Following the county’s example, the City should concur with the determination that racism is a matter of public health and commit to addressing it as such. We should also support the county-level proposal of an antiracist policy framework where all policies are examined with the intent to combat inequity.
I will advocate for supplemental training for Manhattan Beach Police Officers that specifically addresses implicit bias, conflict de-escalation, peer intervention, and other methods designed to prevent an encounter from becoming violent or dangerous for the citizen and the officer. We should make police policy, standards, and statistics available for viewing on the city website, including weekly reports on Calls for Service, arrests, non-emergency calls. Hermosa Beach has already taken similar significant steps toward police transparency and we should as well.
As I mentioned above, I would like to see programming in our City to bring in kids from predominantly Black communities to help educate them about the ocean and the environment. These are important issues for our future and we need to be sure all kids - not just kids who live by the ocean - understand the impacts we are having on our planet. With regard to policies, we are working with our police department to be sure all officers treat everyone fairly and with dignity, and we will be sure that our officers take training to understand their role. I believe our Chief works with his officers to understand this and we need to continue to make sure the officers know what is required. If they make mistakes, they need to be reprimanded and held accountable accordingly and perhaps given further training. If their actions continue to show bias, however, our Chief needs to consider removing that officer from the department. I want all residents, visitors and anyone coming into our City to be treated equally and fairly.
The Manhattan Beach of today is not the Manhattan Beach of the 1920s. We are a very welcoming city and that can be seen everyday in the faces of the people all of us encounter as we go about our daily routines in this city.
In the wake of George Floyd’s murder and resulting civil unrest in cities across our nation, I asked our Police Chief for a report back on the 8 Can’t Wait reform measures and how we can incorporate such reforms in the Manhattan Beach Police Department’s practices and procedures. The Chief has incorporated most of the 8 Can’t Wait reforms to date and we continue to look at others. I also agree we should look at our data for traffic stops and arrests to better understand what the numbers are and what they mean. I support a review of all of our Police Department’s police and practices to make sure they aren’t discriminatory in word or deed.
I would also support a review of City programs to make sure they’re diverse and inviting for all to participate.
Again, I’m not claiming to have all the answers and that’s why I supported the creation of a City task force, to review not only Bruce’s Beach remedies, but also to discuss ways Manhattan Beach can be more diverse and equitable. I look forward to starting those discussions and hearing from others.
3. How do you feel about staff, other than police, being available and on-call to handle quality of life issues (construction, noise, etc.) on holidays, weekends, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays? Will you commit to reviewing all weekend construction ordinances and strengthen protections for residents against such noises where need be?
Yes, I commit to reviewing all weekend construction ordinances and strengthen protections for residents against such noises where need be. Our Community Development Department employees and code enforcement officers should be available for weekend deployment. City should bargain for such in a meet and confer process.
We have a responsibility and necessity to modernize our City Code Enforcement. This includes Housing. Our City Community Development is committed to getting with the times but the need a little push and guidance but also support. I'm an enforcer who believes we need to protect all residents (owning and leasing) from unnecessary pollution (i.e. Noise, Water, Environmental, and Even Political)
I would absolutely consider a proposal to make individuals available on weekends and holidays to address the needs of residents, if economically feasible. With the Pandemic we have learned that there are different models of work and surely there is a way to accomplish this. Additionally the protocol for residents to understand when and how to engage this staff needs to be easy to find and clearly communicated. As a professional I worked with businesses large and small to determine how to make their systems more efficient and effective for customers. As a Councilmember, my customers are the residents and I am committed to ensuring our City properly serves our residents. I am definitely open to reviewing all weekend construction ordinances to ensure that they make sense, are clearly spelled out, and enforced. This includes strengthening protection for residents against such noises (construction), as needed.
Enforcement is something I will take very seriously. We have banned cigarette smoking outside, yet I have never seen a citation issued. Same for failure to pick up after pets, and citations for pets on the pier.
I suggest we prioritize violations by the degree to which they are a public nuisance and start dedicating our limited code enforcement resources to these high-nuisance violations. If it makes sense to use police officers, since they are available 24/7, then they should be used before authorizing staff with possible overtime implications or raising the full-time employee count, both of which have a negative impact on budgets.
Enhancing quality of life for residents is one of the most important issues for the City
Council. Enforcement of local ordinances is a large issue and has not been properly prioritized in the past. I myself have had experiences with dismissive responses from the city to complaints about leaf blowers and noise near my home. There should be a non-police staff member available at any time to field calls about code violations and those violations should be promptly handled. As part of my larger effort to give teeth to our quality of life ordinances, I will certainly review these ordinances, their enforcement, and how they affect residents.
We do have several staff on call for emergencies on holidays and weekends. We’ve had sink holes that needed to be repaired on weekends and they are there to take care of these issues. With regard to quality of life issues, we have Code Enforcement, although not always available. If someone is having a party that is very noisy, neighbors should call the police to get them to turn down the noise. With regard to construction noise, we have worked hard to make sure our Code Enforcement team handles these issues. At the beginning of the pandemic, we originally stopped construction because we knew people would be working from home and kids would be trying to take classes online. However, the state considered them essential workers and we had to lift the ban. As a result of the Pandemic and the States rules, I plan on asking for additional funds to restart our Construction Officer Position we started in 2006. That would add another layer of protection for our residents.
Our council is also looking at the noise attributed to gas powered landscaping equipment. While leaf blowers have been banned, we are considering banning all gas powered equipment. This is for environmental reasons but also for the noise generated in our neighbors.
I support the use of Community Service Officers and other staff to handle quality of life issues and I have already discussed the addition of more code enforcement officers in our budget sessions. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has been a budget challenge that necessitated cuts rather than additions, so we’re going to bring this back at the mid-year budget review. I will make the addition of more code enforcement officers a top priority. And yes, I’ve already committed to review the weekend construction hours and noise issues. In fact, I supported a council action to agendize this item with a staff report earlier this year, which has been delayed due to staff working on many COVID-19 related items, but it will be back on the agenda very soon.
4. What will you do to ensure all small businesses in Manhattan Beach, including those on the Sepulveda Blvd, Rosecrans Ave, Aviation Blvd, Artesia Blvd and other corridors are afforded equal consideration when it comes to our city’s local subsidies that have not traditionally been aimed at assisting and promoting these businesses outside the downtown corridor?
Our Downtown and North Manhattan businesses receive a great benefit by having Business Improvement Districts (BID). I would assist the Sepulveda Corridor businesses and the Rosecrans Corridor businesses in forming BIDs. I would also enlist the help of the MB Chamber’s President Kelly Stroman in assisting these business in this effort for form BIDs.
I support Small & Micro Businesses. We are in a new type of economy regarding how we handle business in our City. The City of Manhattan Beach represents so many different types of new businesses. The Gig Economy makes up a new branch of Micro Business owners in the city from independent contractors to travel nurses and they need our support. We cannot discount that Manhattan Beach is majorly Micro Businesses including Landlords. We have a City Council Member and Incumbent Steve Napolitano who said he'll take the 'Short-Term Rental' Ban all the way in his words "all the way to the Supreme Court". We can not stifle or forget about the true heart of Manhattan Beach which are the residents and businesses that we should be representing indefatigably as City Council Members, and i know i will be staunch in that representation.
I have always believed that local government is at its best when residents/businesses/ partners alike have input, are heard and acknowledged, and work together for the well-being of their community, and in this case their business corridor. It is important to understand that different business corridors have very different specific needs and each business corridor should be afforded equal consideration and equitable representation when it comes to subsidies. The City can do a better job here. I will advocate for a policy and/or task force which would handle the submission and promotion of ideas which cultivate a thriving business community (in each corridor) and strengthens our local economy.
The best approach to ensure small businesses are well-represented is to form formal or informal business associations to better represent the collective needs of the group. The Downtown Professional and Business Association is a good example. Ad Hoc committees can be formed for special mutual areas of interest like grants, or special development funds available from the city or state. Sharing these resources saves time and provides a wider awareness of available resources and solutions.
Another good example was when there was a measure in 2019 to raise the hotel Transient Occupancy Tax. The hotels in Manhattan Beach formed an association to collectively give them a bigger voice with the city in the crafting the measure and use of the funds.
It’s clear that the Downtown area and more recently North Manhattan have been prioritized for business development while Sepulveda and other areas are largely overlooked except for large projects. All Manhattan Beach businesses should be equally afforded support from the City and the Chamber of Commerce.
Especially during this difficult economic time we need to support our local businesses wherever they are located in the City. The City should do everything possible to ensure that Manhattan Beach businesses are able to survive this substantial economic hit.
As Mayor during this pandemic, I have strongly supported all businesses in MB. Every time discussions have turned to the downtown or El Porto businesses, I reiterate that all businesses - Sepulveda, Rosecrans and the rest - are to be included in our policies.
Living on the east side of MB, I am well aware of the feeling of being “left out” of the discussions and I have worked very hard to include all residents and all businesses in our consideration of policies.
I recognize each of our business corridors as unique and have supported giving them equal consideration, as each plays an important role in the overall health of our city. After other councils cut funding some years back, I supported the restoration of a yearly investment in our Chamber of Commerce, which advocates and assists businesses city-wide. We have done studies and improvements not only in the Downtown but also in the North End and Sepulveda. Rosecrans, Artesia and Aviation are streets that are jointly owned and controlled by several agencies, including our adjacent cities and in some instances, Cal-Trans. On the Manhattan Beach side, we make infrastructure improvements to improve the flow and look of these areas. Just recently, we joined the Beach Cities Health District and Redondo Beach in reimagining making Aviation Blvd into as a “livable street” that incorporates more pedestrian and environmentally friendly improvements. When COVID-19 hit, we relaxed parking standards city-wide so that all restaurants and retailers outside of the Downtown could also have outdoor dining and retail if they desired. The same goes for the 3 month extension of our business license due date, and the elimination of any late penalties for anyone who pays late but does so by September 1. We also don’t charge a utility-user’s tax, which is imposed by nearly all the cities around us, so that the cost of doing business city-wide is more affordable and friendly. The Downtown is undoubtedly the heart and soul of business in Manhattan Beach and needs a lot of upgrades since its last streetscape improvements in the 80’s, but I also understand that the majority of our sales tax dollars are generated by our other business districts outside of the Downtown.
What I hope to do over the next four years is to help establish business improvement districts along Rosecrans and Sepulveda to create even more investment in these areas. We hear about the Downtown so much because they have a very active Business Improvement District (BID) to advocate for their needs. Same for the North End. If we can establish BIDs in our other commercial areas, we’ll be able to better identify and act on their needs on a regular basis.
5. If you are financially supported by an organization or a Political Action Committee (PAC) will you fully disclose these groups on your printed political literature where possible and always on your political website? Feel free to provide your web link URL of this disclosure with your answer.
My campaign website is not up and running at this time. Not applicable. Website update 9/12/2020: burtonforcouncil.com
No Pac Money or Organizations are funding Chaz Flemmings For Manhattan Beach City Council. The only special interest I have are the people of Manhattan Beach.
I am currently not supported by an organization or PAC and would disclose if I was. This disclosure would be included on my website and printed material. My website is grettelfournell.com
I am not funded by any PAC. I am funded by personal contributions to my campaign and by contributions from individuals, all duly disclosed and reported, as required by law.
I am not currently financially supported by any organization or PAC and I am not seeking financial support from any such organization.
I am not financially supported by any organization or PAC. My website is Montgomery4council.org
I’ve received the endorsement of the BizFed PAC. BizFed is a large grassroots alliance of L.A. based businesses that advocates for business friendly practices. I’ve posted their support on my endorsement page on my website at stevenapolitano.com. I’ve worked with BizFed since my days at LA County to streamline regulations and reduce government fees. They’re the only group or PAC that has endorsed me and they’ve given me no financial assistance.
6. I began the Manhattan Beach Youth Recognition Award scholarship in the early 2000s. It was given out annually to one Manhattan Beach student and a Los Angeles County inner city student who possessed academic excellence and who needed financial assistance to achieve their dream to attend higher education after high school. Will you commit to start your own program similar to the MBYRA while on city council or encourage your council colleagues to fund one similar to the MBYRA that will assist young minority students of need annually?
As First Vice President of the El Camino College Foundation and a member of the Manhattan Beach Rotary Club, we provide hundreds of thousands of dollars for scholarships to inner city children to attend a higher education. Further, while serving as President of the Manhattan Beach Rotary Club, my theme was service to children in need and we donated funds for scholarships and educational opportunities for inner city children. Finally, as a Board member for the Roundhouse Aquarium, we have proud of our educational equity policy and program of providing free bus transportation and classes for kids from Title I schools.
I'm committed to creating and continuing in liberating youth who deserve to be recognized for their strides in our community including those from neighboring communities. We have one of the Best High Schools in the Country in our neighborhood but in our neighboring communities they're aren't quite the same opportunities or benefits. I want the opportunity to be able to open more Youth Programs especially to our youth who are making other choices and need support in life. We have to have a City entity that gives all Youth a chance to succeed and be able to be recognized because Love Liberates and Manhattan Beach has waves of LOVE!
Thank you for your tremendous leadership on this issue that is near and dear to my heart! For 20 years I have served Sandpipers, a local non-profit organization which has granted scholarships to local students since 1941. Last year Sandpipers granted $300,000 to 58 students. I served on the Sandpipers Scholarship Committee for several years and have seen first-hand how these well-deserved scholarships can change the life of a young person. Recognition of academic excellence is unquestionably of great importance. The boost in confidence it gives these students cannot be measured. It is also vital to provide financial assistance to those students in need so they may continue their education and achieve their dreams. Yes, I would commit to starting a scholarship program similar to the MBYRA which you began and to encourage my city council colleagues to participate in the funding of such a scholarship.
Yes. I have two initiatives I’d like to pursue to provide assistance for academic excellence and to assist and mentor high- risk, or at-risk students. I cannot provide details of the first one as it requires coordinating with an existing scholarship program which I could help to expand.
The other program is the Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization. I was a Big Brother and it was a valuable and fulfilling experience for my Little Brother and me. We have an amazing reservoir of talent amongst our public and private high school students who, with as little as one hour per week, could participate in the Big Brother High School Mentoring program or the College Preparation program to support mentees with their successful transition to college. We could involve our robust Older Adults Program for mentoring, as well. There are several city resources we can reasonably bring forth to make a positive, long term impact with inner city youth within these two programs.
Higher education is a proven means of social and economic mobility and it is paramount that the opportunity is not exclusive to certain groups. I am strongly in favor of funds such as these and will encourage the City to take action in support of minority students seeking education.
This City-directed fund should be targeted to Manhattan Beach residents; however, I am supportive of private funds supporting county-wide programs such as this. It is important that anyone who wants to better themselves through education be able to.
Yes, i was on the council that continued this award in 2005 when i joined. I was even a judge of the applicants one year. I will not start my own program but would rather propose a "Restart" of this successful program. Monetary donations came from many sponsors with the city acting as a facilitator.
I’ve worked with countless nonprofits and I don’t think I could or should come up with my own program when so many of our current nonprofits are hurting because of COVID-19, especially when they’re already doing incredible work in this area. Rather than reinvent the wheel or take up City staff time, I would rather work to provide direct grants and/or fundraise for nonprofits that assist young minority students. As a former President of the El Camino College Foundation, I would like us to consider providing scholarships in the City’s name for deserving minority students to continue with their education that El Camino would administer. We could also provide further assistance to the Roundhouse Aquarium to subsidize field trips for schools in underprivileged areas (where many of the kids haven’t even been to the ocean) who otherwise couldn’t afford to make the trip. These are the efforts I’d like to focus on over the next four years.