The Long Beach City Council is revamping the structure of its committees by combining some of the existing bodies and creating a new one that will focus on arts, culture and the city’s tourism industry.

Committee appointments won’t be finalized until next week, after the council approves the proposed memberships from Mayor Rex Richardson’s office.

Council committees don’t set policy, but their meetings serve as an early opportunity for committee members to discuss potential policy changes before the full council weighs in on them or to learn about things like how new state and federal laws could affect the city.

Those hearings also give community members additional opportunities to learn about the issues and voice their stance on upcoming policy decisions.

The new Arts, Culture and Tourism Committee will focus on developing public policy and giving feedback to the full council on how it can strengthen the city’s arts, culture and tourism sectors. The proposed membership of this new committee includes Councilmembers Mary Zendejas, Cindy Allen and Suely Saro.

Allen previously represented part of the city’s Downtown before recent redistricting, and Zendejas, who is in line to chair the committee, currently represents Downtown, which includes the city’s Convention Center and Downtown waterfront.

Richardson’s proposal includes nine standing committees, with each council member being the chair of one body, the vice chair of another and a member of a third committee.

Some of the more prominent committees saw some big changes.

The council’s Budget Oversight Committee, which helps direct how some of the city’s discretionary funding will be spent year-to-year, has a new chair in Councilmember Joni Ricks-Oddie. Ricks-Oddie is believed to be the first 9th District Council member to ever serve on the committee.

The former State Legislative Committee and Federal Legislative Committee, which allowed council members to be briefed on new laws, will be renamed the Intergovernmental Affairs Committee. Richardson’s proposal calls for Councilmember Roberto Uranga to chair the committee and for Councilmembers Megan Kerr and Allen to be the other members.

The Public Safety Committee, which is briefed quarterly on issues the city’s Police and Fire departments are working through, would be chaired by Councilmember Al Austin with Councilmembers Daryl Supernaw and Kristina Duggan also serving on the body.

The committee assignments are not finalized and will require a vote by the City Council at its Feb. 21 meeting to approve the new structure and the membership of each committee.

Here’s a full list of the proposed committee memberships:

  • Arts, Culture and Tourism Committee
    • Chair: Councilmember Mary Zendejas
    • Vice Chair: Councilmember Suely Saro
    • Member: Councilmember Cindy Allen
  • Intergovernmental Affairs Committee
    • Chair: Councilmember Roberto Uranga
    • Vice Chair: Councilmember Cindy Allen
    • Member: Councilmember Megan Kerr
  • Budget Oversight Committee
    • Chair: Councilmember Joni Ricks-Oddie
    • Vice Chair: Councilmember Roberto Uranga
    • Member: Councilmember Kristina Duggan
  • Mobility, Ports and Infrastructure Committee
    • Chair: Councilmember Suely Saro
    • Vice Chair: Councilmember Megan Kerr
    • Member: Councilmember Al Austin
  • Economic Development and Opportunity Committee
    • Chair: Councilmember Cindy Allen
    • Vice Chair: Councilmember Mary Zendejas
    • Member: Councilmember Suely Saro
  • Public Safety Committee
    • Chair: Councilmember Al Austin
    • Vice Chair: Councilmember Kristina Duggan
    • Member: Councilmember Daryl Supernaw
  • Climate, Environment and Coastal Protection Committee
    • Chair: Councilmember Kristina Duggan
    • Vice Chair: Councilmember Daryl Supernaw
    • Member: Councilmember Roberto Uranga
  • Housing and Public Health Committee
    • Chair: Councilmember Megan Kerr
    • Vice Chair: Councilmember Al Austin
    • Member: Councilmember Joni Ricks-Oddie
  • Government Operations and Efficiency Committee
    • Chair: Councilmember Daryl Supernaw
    • Vice Chair: Councilmember Joni Ricks-Oddie
    • Member: Councilmember Mary Zendejas
  • Educational Partnerships Committee
    • Chair: Councilmember Megan Kerr
    • Vice Chair: Councilmember Cindy Allen
    • Member: Councilmember Suely Saro
  • I-710 Oversight Committee
    • Chair: Councilmember Roberto Uranga
    • Vice Chair: Councilmember Al Austin
    • Member: Councilmember Joni Ricks-Oddie

Jason Ruiz covers City Hall and politics for the Long Beach Post. Reach him at [email protected] or @JasonRuiz_LB on Twitter.