District 70 Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell, representing Long Beach and the Los Angeles Harbor region, was appointed Tuesday as Chairman to the Select Committee on Ports.

“My district is home to the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach. These two ports are the nation’s busiest cargo hubs that together handle almost half of U.S. imports, and generate over one million regional jobs,” O’Donnell said in a statement. “The creation of a Select Committee on Ports has been a specific priority of mine and is a direct acknowledgement of their importance to not only my region, but California as a whole.”

He noted that the reputation and seamless operation of California’s ports have never been a more important issue due to fierce competition worldwide. O’Donnell also relayed that he will focus on waterfront development, goods movement, air quality and economic activity among all other port related activity.

On the current state of congestion at the ports, O’Donnel told the Long Beach Post, “I look forward to being a partner with the ports on solving the congestion issue, right now my ears are bigger than my mouth. What I’m doing is I’m getting educated and then activated on the issues associated with the port congestion. I also want to underline that the ports have been working on this issue for months now, I just want to be their partner. The state will be a partner in their efforts to address the congestion issue.” 

“Ports significantly contribute to the state’s economy and our local communities. I am honored to have been selected to Chair this committee, and will continue to ensure that the ports remain competitive in California,” he concluded in his statement.

Asia Morris is a Long Beach native covering arts and culture for the Long Beach Post. You can reach her @hugelandmass on Twitter and Instagram and at [email protected].