Long Beach City Council might rename sports center after outgoing councilman and dog park after activist

Vice Mayor Dee Andrews, who lost his bid for a fourth term for District 6 in this year’s election, will be leaving his 13-year reign next year, but his legacy might live on if the City Council moves ahead  with the decision of placing his name on a sports complex this upcoming Tuesday.

Andrews recently secured $9.9 million to remodel the 19-acre Chittick Field Sports Complex.

Four council members brought forward the recommendation to honor Andrews by renaming the complex after him for his years of public service, according to a city council memo. The council members supporting this decision include Al Austin, Mary Zendejas, Suzie Price and Daryl Supernaw.

Naming the sports complex after Andrews also aligns with his legacy as Poly High School athletic legend, having received an All-American High School Football and Track Award.

The sports complex at Chittick Field is on Walnut Avenue and Pacific Coast Highway on the eastern edges of District 6, which covers mostly Central Long Beach. The complex, opened in 2014, has a football field, three soccer fields, and a 400-meter all-weather track, and the remodeling will add new parking, lighting, restrooms, a bike path and a new pump station and stormwater accommodations, according to the memo.

In addition to renaming the sports complex, the three council members would like to rename the Bixby Park Dog Park after the late Myrna “Mickey” Donahoe, a local lifelong city rights activist, according to the memo. One of her most notable works was helping fund the Southwest Labor Association in the 1980s and, more recently, marching for Black Lives Matter movements, rebuking current immigration policies. Donahoe was also involved in community groups including serving as the president of the Friends of Bixby Dog Park and volunteering for District 2.

If approved, the two recommendations will be sent to the Parks and Recreation Committee for consideration. Additionally, the Housing and Neighborhood Committee, of which Andrews serves as chair, would review the renaming of the sports complex.

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Crystal Niebla is the West Long Beach reporter through the Report for America program. Philanthropic organizations pledged to cover the local donor portion of her grant-funded position with the Post. If you want to support Crystal's work, you can donate to her Report For America position at lbpost.com/support.
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