Ongoing housing crisis, racial inequity focus of next week’s People’s State of the City

Continuing its theme of highlighting challenges faced by marginalized communities in Long Beach, the eighth annual People’s State of the City is scheduled to address the ongoing housing crisis and racial inequities taking place in the city next Wednesday.

The event, organized by the Long Beach Rising coalition, is expected to feature art, performances and storytelling that focuses on the city’s working class.

Speakers include Noah Santiago and Mac Harris of the Invest in Youth campaign, Cynthia Macias of Housing Long Beach and Black Lives Matter LBC member Dawn Modkins.

Modkins said the event will continue to show how the community can come together across cultures to change “systems that harm our communities.”

“From grassroots community healing and building throughout black Long Beach, winning rent strikes like the Cedar Resistance to winning protections for immigrants against all odds, people in Long Beach are proving that we can heal our communities and thrive through fighting for justice,” Modkins stated.

Since first addressing the housing crisis at last year’s People’s State of the City, community groups have seen setbacks, including a failed rent control ballot initiative (and the unintended consequence of sharp rent increases by fearful landlords) as well as success, most recently with Tuesday’s passage by the City Council for an eventual ordinance on renter relocation assistance.

Community activists also enjoyed victories in protecting hotel workers with the passing of Measure WW last November and a boost in city funding last fall for language services, youth and arts programs and legal defense for undocumented immigrants.

The event will take place Wednesday, April 10 at First Congregational Church in Downtown and begin at 5 p.m. with an outdoor community fair, followed by an indoor program at 6:30 p.m.

The church is located at 241 Cedar Ave. For more information click here.

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Stephanie Rivera is the community engagement editor for the Long Beach Post. 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.