Like most Long Beach voters, I received my May 1st special election sample ballot in the mail over the weekend…it was quite a read. If you live in the 6th District you also received additional information about the candidates running in the special election. Those residents get the pleasure of voting for a representative, a bunch of proposed Charter Amendments and a new tax.
The first mail piece either in favor or against the Charter Amendments should be arriving in mail boxes any day now. Mayor Foster has been raising dollars to put together a campaign that will support all of the Charter Amendments and I am sure that we will see support pieces from him and the Chamber of Commerce, who in a surprise to many, endorsed all of the proposed Amendments.
The Long Beach Business Journal and it’s publisher George Economides have already come out blasting the Amendments and the Chamber of Commerce for supporting them. We can expect that the LBBJ will continue to rail against the amendments in the coming weeks.
Like most special elections, turn-out will most likely be very low. That’s too bad. These are big issues with big ramifications for our city’s future.
Below is a letter the City Clerk sent to the City Council about what the city intends to do to promote the election.
Dear Mayor and Council,
As you know, it is the City’s intent to maximize voter participation for all of our City elections. In accordance with this goal, and keeping in mind the resource constraints that our Department faces, we have made a series of efforts to publicize the upcoming May 1 Special Election. ”As you know, it is the City’s intent to maximize voter participation for all of our City elections. In accordance with this goal, and keeping in mind the resource constraints that our Department faces, we have made a series of efforts to publicize the upcoming May 1 Special Election. The City has an existing agreement with CBS Outdoors reserving eighteen bus shelter spaces for City use. We will be printing posters for those eighteen spaces, which should be filled in early April. There is no cost to the City for this advertising space or the installation of the posters. - Additionally, Long Beach Transit has been gracious enough to allow us to put “car carts” on their buses to publicize the election to their ridership. We will be placing one car cart on each of 230 buses throughout the City. There is no charge for this advertising space, although we do have to pay a nominal charge for the installation of the car carts. - The City Manager’s Office has helped by designing electronic images to be displayed on two signs that the City has space on (the Coast Cadillac sign and the Cal Worthington sign). These electronic signs will start displaying after the Long Beach Grand Prix. - We will be printing flyers for distribution to City employees, and for limited distribution to the community. Some of these flyers be made available to Council offices in early April. - Dean Smits is producing a short video about the new election system (and announcing the May 1 Election), which will be shown on Channel 8. - Margaret Madden has agreed to send out an e-mail blast about the Election, which everybody should feel free to forward to other interested parties. Pdfs of some of our publicity materials are attached to this e-mail. It should be noted that much of the printing cost for the aforementioned materials is included in the contract that we have with Hart Intercivic for our new election system, and does not represent any new expenditure. Additional publicity efforts are being considered, and I look forward to announcing other ways in which the City can increase civic participation. Please feel free to forward any suggestions you may have to me. As Election Day is 40 days away, I would like to thank City Manager, City Attorney, Technology Services, Planning and Building, Police Department, Public Works, and City Clerk Staff for getting us to our current state of readiness. There is much work yet to be completed, but the cooperation from all has been excellent. As I mentioned in an earlier email, Sample Ballots will begin arriving in the homes of Long Beach voters the early part of next week. Thank you for your continued support in making our elections systems stronger.