By Ryan Craighead
The Coalition for Good Jobs and a Healthy Community is hosting the second-annual People’s State of the City conference April 11 in response to the mayor’s state of Long Beach address.
The goal of the conference is to offer an alternate narrative of the happenings in Long Beach and to discuss solutions to the problems raised. Last year’s conference included discussions about housing, the environment, safety, health, education and immigration.
The primarily volunteer-run conference will be at Grace United Methodist Church, 2325 E. 3rd St., Long Beach, 90814.
Sign-in starts at 5:30 p.m. and includes a meet-and-greet and comment cards, followed by a slide show and video presentation. Topics will be discussed in separate breakout sessions from around 6-8 p.m.
Last year’s slide show included slides on poverty, violent crimes, foreclosures and voter turn-out.
The conference is the by-product of a report entitled The Tale of Two Cities by the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, which focused on the poverty-stricken areas of Long Beach.
Social science professor and community activist Janét Hund gave details about this year’s and last year’s event at a press conference at LBCC in the English lounge, P115, on March 18.
Hund was the leader of the education discussion last year and said the huge draw was overwhelming. She did not expect around 300 people to attend, but expects that number for this year.
Co-sponsors for the conference are LBCC Community Studies, Long Beach Area Peace Network, Long Beach Time Exchange, Immigrant Rights ,the Center of Long Beach and the LBCC civic engagement club.
LBCC student trustee Jason Troia, speaking on behalf of the civic engagement club, said the club has agreed to do two or three presentations, but was not guaranteed a time slot. He said the conference is a way to inform the community about topics affecting LBCC, such as program discontinuances and the Long Beach college promise.
“The conference is an opportunity to get our voice out to the community,” Troia said, “a way to give an unfiltered perspective.”
All Long Beach residents are invited and the event is free. The indoor event includes food and a free child-watch program for parents to leave their children supervised while they attend the conference.
A community organizer for the Coalition, Nikole Cababa, may be reached at email@example.com for questions regarding the event.