Schipske Demands Answers About Tesla Deal

One day after reports that Tesla will build electric cars in Downey, Councilmember Gerrie Schipske wants to know why greater efforts weren't made by the City of Long Beach to woo the automaker.

Reports on Tuesday from The District Weekly and other sources indicate that a deal between Downey and Tesla is imminent. The automaker was said to be choosing between a former NASA site in Downey and a former Boeing site in Long Beach to build their upcoming Model S electric sedan.

"The taxpayers of Long Beach deserve a full explanation about who or what killed the deal to bring Tesla to Long Beach," reads a statement from Schipske that was sent to the and several other media outlets.

"How did we lose this revenue producing opportunity to Downey? Long Beach has so much more to offer to a business than most southern California locations -- we have manufacturing space at the Boeing site, nearness to freeways, an airport, a port, railroad, convention center, training programs at our local community college and most importantly a workforce ready and willing to work. We also have an enterprise zone that provides tax credits for employers. And just recently the City announced it won the 'Most Business Friendly City Award' in Los Angeles County.”

Responding to follow-up questions from the, Schipske said that Downey mayor Mario Guerra personally called her to relay the news that the Downey City Council would today call a special session to approve a deal with Tesla. She said that Guerra called her because Schipske was the only Long Beach official to make contact with the Downey mayor.

She also referenced exhaustive efforts that the City of Long Beach has made to lobby on behalf of the Boeing C-17 program, which supports more than 5,000 local jobs and has been in danger of being eliminated. Long Beach officials have been heavily involved in supporting the program, and Schipske expressed that she wishes to know why the same efforts have not been made to court Tesla.

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