Housing crisis, census and the election focus of this year’s People’s State of the City

The ninth annual People’s State of the City is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, Feb. 12 at First Congregational Church in Downtown Long Beach, highlighting such issues as affordable housing, immigrant rights and ensuring an accurate count for the upcoming census.

Organized by the Long Beach Rising Coalition, the event will include a range of speakers representing various organizations as well as art, performances and storytelling—all focusing on working-class people by working-class people.

“We hope to see people moved into collective action with one another, whether that be through the big opportunities that lie ahead in the coming months or just by building relationships with others in the community,” said James Suazo, associate director of Long Beach Forward and one of the organizers of the event.

Attendees should expect announcements on new campaigns and community efforts as well.

The following people will speak or perform during the event: Amber Va of Invest in Youth Long Beach, Audrena Redmond of Black Lives Matter LBC, Leanna Noble of Long Beach Residents Empowered, and Mayra Garcia of Housing Long Beach.

“We hope the city leaders that attend will listen to how working people are being impacted by social and economic challenges in the city and be responsive to the collective solutions that people want to see happen,” Suazo said.

The free event will begin with an outdoor community fair at 5 p.m. and the main program at 6:30 p.m. First Congregational Church is located 241 Cedar Ave.

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Stephanie Rivera is the immigration and diversity reporter for the Long Beach Post. Growing up as one of six kids in the working-class immigrant suburb of South Gate, she was taught the importance of civic engagement and to show compassion for others. After graduating from CSULB with a degree in journalism, Stephanie worked for Patch Latino and City News Service before coming to the Long Beach Post in 2015. An avid Harry Potter fan, Stephanie now lives in Bixby Knolls with her boyfriend and their bearded dragon, Austin.
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