February 18, 2021 – Meeting Minutes

DeForest Park Neighborhood Association


Thursday, February 18, 2021 via Zoom Meeting (recorded)

Executive Board Present: Dan Pressburg (President); Joni Ricks-Oddie (Vice President); Keith Oddie (Treasurer); Ryan Blazer; Darlene Broom; Corazon Lomeli.

Executive Board Absent:  None.

Meeting was called to order by Dan Pressburg at 7:00 PM.           

Before beginning the meeting, Dan read the new photo / video disclaimer posted at the bottom of the slide presentation.

Dan then moved on to the Pledge of Allegiance.

LBPD North updates (Deputy Chief of Michael Lewis): Chief Lewis oversees patrol division of North, South, East, West along with the S.W.A.T, & K-9 units.  North Long Beach Crime Stats were also presented.  Chief Lewis covered the appointment of the new North Division Commander, which they hope to have in place in the next few weeks.  The previous Cmdr. Lopez retired at the end of the year.  Lt. Megan Zabel was most recent acting chief, but she made detective as a promotion and moved on in her career.  For the next 2-3 weeks, Lt. Ryan Watson is the acting commander until permanent commander is assigned.  A press release will be sent out once a new, permanent commander is named.  Long Beach Police Department has a crime mapping software open and available for the public to use (http://www.longbeach.gov/police/crime-info/crime-incidents/) for crime stats. Chief Lewis said to not get discouraged when first opening the software because it pulls all reports – even minor infractions like parking tickets.  Once the user filters the reports down, it is more manageable.  If someone has a question, they can reach out to the North Division for help on navigating the software.  Chief Lewis then asked for people to follow the police on their social media channels.  They are heavily engaged on Twitter, Instagram, & Facebook.  It helps one stay connected with the police department.  Add name & email to North Division email list to get updates on things going on in area and events.  Just email [email protected] to be added, and also use this email to report ongoing issues or events that need police assistance.  If it is an emergency, call 9-1-1.  Please call police if you see something suspicious in neighborhood.  9-1-1 Call Center is not staffed by police but disaster response team.  They will help to vet where the call needs to be routed.  Using “anonymous” makes it more difficult to get more information for the police.  Demand prosecution to seek justice.  Police cannot be a “victim of the crime.” Demand contact from responding officer.  If not happy with the service provide and/or have questions/concerns, ask to speak to a supervisor.

Council District 9 updates (Matthew Hamlett for Councilmember Richardson): Matt acknowledged that the Council Office is going through staff transition at this time.  They are working on better continuity to help process casework.  Regarding the lots at South & Atlantic, Shaheen Sadeghi (LAB Holdings) will participate in next month’s meeting to discuss what is happening at the lot next to the Michelle Obama Neighborhood Library.  Coffee Popups have been discussed as an idea.  Long Beach Parks & Rec is aware of horses riding outside of the dedicated equestrian zone and making proper signage to post for those riding horses.  The City has seen a 71% decrease in positivity rate in last 18 days, which is a great sign.  Long Beach has administered over 80,000 vaccines as of this time.  The City is aware of equity issues as it relates to becoming vaccinated.  If there are issues in getting vaccine appointments, general vaccine questions, one can email [email protected].  On Tuesday, the City Council passed three measures: 1) Food Security – dealing with food access across the City; 2) Youth Fund – after passage of Measure US (2020), City has a specific fund that goes towards the youth, i.e.  access to team uniforms, access to after school programing, etc.; and 3) Accelerate Violence Prevention Efforts – address gun violence and other forms of violence.  The City is moving quickly on economic recovery strategy.  City Council in March will address extra resources for businesses, community groups, non-profits, etc. that come from Federal and State Levels.  Vice Mayor Richardson announced “Thrive 90805” which is a imitative that recognizes the progress made in the 90805 community.  There are a few demonstration projects available along with open space plans in the next few months.  They will also have a series of webinars on education access, health access, open space, etc. 

Old Business / New Business (Joni Ricks-Oddie):  Joni took over for Dan due to technical difficulties.  There is no old business for this meeting.  Joni discussed the use of DPNA’s name, image, and likeness referencing the policy that Dan read at the beginning of the meeting.  If someone is interested in using any of our photos / videos, they will have to email [email protected] to make that request.  DPNA will used closed sessions during its Executive Board Meetings to address sensitive and pertinent information as it relates to the neighborhood association.  These will be denoted in future minutes as they are approved and posted for the public.  Another policy change is about future speakers at DPNA meetings.  Future speakers not affiliated with DPNA must reach out to [email protected] and request to speak at a Board Meeting making their presentation that they would make at the monthly meeting prior to making that presentation in front of the entire community. 

Guest Speaker (The Honorable Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragán):  The Congresswoman thanked DPNA and Dan Pressburg, and acknowledged the naming of Pressburg Parkway.  In DC, they are focused on COVID-19 relief, which prioritizes vaccine distribution, $1,400 stimulus checks, etc.  The is extension of Federal Unemployment benefits.  The bill also helps offset annual childcare costs, which is set at $8,000.  The bill also provides aid to local and state governments – about $350B in aid.  The Congresswoman said she would try to get back to us with actual figures.  Congress will be back in session in next week to get this legislation passed.  Congress is looking at infrastructure as the next big piece of legislation to come through.  There is a lot of talks about earmarks coming back with specific projects.  Congress wants a website dedicated for earmarks to see where every dollar is going and spent for transparency.  Climate Smarts Ports Bill to help get zero emissions at the ports by cleaning up air around the ports, which is endorsed by the ports and unions.  The House passed it last year, but it did not go anywhere last year in the Senate.  Microgrids Bill that allows supply of power to the grid when main grids go down to help keep critical infrastructure on line.  Working to also get dental coverage covered in MediCare, which is currently an out-of-pocket cost for those on MediCare.  The Congresswoman expects that the stimulus bill will be passed before the middle of March.  H.R. 1 is a priority bill on voting rights.  Any bill that is numbered 1-10 is considered a priority bill.  The Congresswoman has been on top of equitable access to the vaccine via mobile units, community health centers, etc.  FEMA is deploying people to help at vaccine sites.  Two sites have been announced – CSULA and another up in the northern part of the State.  An online system just does not work because of internet equity access.  COVID has shined a light on inequities. 

Guest Speaker (Long Beach City Prosecutor Doug Haubert):

City Prosecutor doesn’t prosecute felonies, but only adult misdemeanors, i.e. DUI, vandalism, vehicular manslaughter, battery, petty theft, etc.  For the last 8-10 years, Long Beach has become national leader in court diversion.  The City Prosecutor is working hard to divert cases from spiraling into further criminal behavior.  Long Beach is known for CSW (Community Service Worker) program – non-violent offenders to volunteer time for community service to avoid cases from being filed into court.  CSW options are before cases are filed in court.  Another program is PATH (Promising Adults Tomorrow’s Hope) program, which is geared towards 18-24 year olds, who show promise to help them find a job.  Third diversion program is PAD (Priority Access Diversion) program and the newest, which is specific to intensive need such as mental health, drug addiction, homelessness.  To qualify for PAD, someone has to have been in jail for at least 18 months.  83% who commit to PAD are connected to some form of live in treatment.  60 days live in treatment is better than 2-3 days in jail with no services and just released back into community.  Court is in mode to release sooner than later and trying to release faster with COVID for those with misdemeanor offenses.  The City Prosecutor works with police to reconnect people to services.  LA County has had early program for years.  The City Prosecutor can be reached at [email protected] (general) / [email protected] (direct).

Public Comment Time: Megan Kerr (Board Member LBUSD): LBUSD dropped news about school re-openings.  LBUSD scheduled March 29 for K-5 for a 4 day week to get students used to being back on campus, April 12 will be when learning will resume for K-5.  Middle and high school students require that LA County be in the red tier for some time before returning.

Announcements (Dan Pressburg):

Board Meeting Tuesday, February 23, 2021 at 6:30 PM on Zoom.

Upon motion made, seconded, and unanimously carried, the February meeting was adjourned at 8:35 PM.

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