The Queen Mary, the city’s most iconic tourist attraction, has been closed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ocean liner, first launched in 1934, played a key role in World War II. Once world-famous for its speed and beauty, today the ship requires tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars for repair and refurbishment.
We asked the six candidates running for mayor how they would manage the ship. You can find their full answers on our Compare Your Candidate tool.
Four of the six mayoral candidates want the Queen Mary to remain part of Long Beach, and they offered a wide variety of proposals to keep the ship afloat.
Noting that the ship will likely require hundreds of millions of dollars in repairs, Councilmember Suzie Price said that she first wants to hear what residents want, before committing to any plan, though she does say that whatever happens to the ship, “it needs to be taken out of the water, because remaining in the water is contributing to its rapid deterioration.”
Councilmember Rex Richardson sees the ship and the area around it as offering a “rare opportunity” to develop 40 acres of Downtown waterfront, which will “create a major economic benefit to our city that will help ensure a stronger long-term budget and quality city services for residents.”
Deb Mozer wants the ship “restored and returned to full operation immediately” because of the need for the city to recover economically from the pandemic.
Raul Cedillo not only agrees that the ship is historic and should be a national monument but added that he would do what he could to get the federal government to take over the ship entirely.
The remaining two candidates oppose spending any more public money on the Queen Mary.
Franklin Sims said it is “immoral and unethical to spend tens of millions of dollars on the Queen Mary when so many Long Beach residents are suffering because our assets don’t help pay the bills.”
And Joshua Rodriguez said because of the city’s current budget deficit, the city “should shy away from any larger repair, modernization or projects” with the ship and instead seek ways to make the ship “self-sustainable.” If that fails, then the city should find a way of “repurposing it to benefit our city.”