Can East 7th Street be improved? We think it can! What do you think?

The first of three “7th Street Visioning” workshops is this coming Saturday, June 14th, from 1:30p to 3:30p


Councilmember Suja Lowenthal, RPNA, our neighboring neighborhood associations, and local business owners invite you to participate in three visioning workshops for 7th Street, which puts focus of the future of this most important street, between Redondo and Alamitos Avenues (though the planning process need not necessarily be restricted to these boundaries). The first of these workshops is this Saturday, June 14th, at Our Savior Lutheran Church, 370 Junipero Ave (near 4th St and Junipero Ave), from 1:30p to 3:30p. The two others, whose location is yet to be determined, will happen on Saturday, July 26th and Saturday, September 20th—so mark your calendars now for those two as well. The second and third workshops build on those that came before, so it’s best if you can attend all three. The culmination of these meetings will be a practical plan to:

  • Inform city staff of the community’s priorities for projects and funding in the future
  • Enable community groups to focus on long-term goals
  • Provide the basis for grant applications to MTA and other major funders for infrastructure and other improvements

There is also expected to be a modest implementation of some aspect of the vision that’s laid out in the final plan (that is, a pilot project of some kind), which will help demonstrate the value of the overall plan’s long-term vision, usefulness, and value not only to those of us who live, work, and travel on the street, but to agencies whose funding will be critical to bringing the needed resources to execute the plan.  Community input is, of course, essential in making the street work for everyone—residents of the area especially, we believe—so this is a golden opportunity to shape one of the central features of our neighborhood—the one that cuts right through the heart of it, and thus affects us all. So plan to attend, if you can. The more, the better.

Councilmember Lowenthal’s office has engaged Roger Sherman, architect and urban planner, and UTILE, a leading urban planning firm, to lead us in these three sessions. As you may have heard or read, a similar planning process is happening for the Broadway Avenue and 4th Street corridors. What’s exiting to us and other neighborhood associations and community groups along 7th Street is the opportunity and level of readiness for the each of these projects to seriously consider the needs, opinions, and visions of all persons concerned with these three important corridors in our community—not just traffic planners. While all principals in the project recognize that there exist some competing needs and wants along these streets, everyone is also cognizant that there are plenty of shared priorities—and it is these that we also want to focus on in order to help reconcile what differences there might be. And how are we to know what are the different and shared needs and wants? By hearing from you! So we’re asking as many people as possible come with their DREAM BIG, THINK CREATIVELY, and WORK COOPERATIVELY hats on.

In the event that you cannot attend the planning sessions, the project will have a means to gather you opinion via an online survey, whose web address we will share with you when it’s up and running.

We look forward to seeing everyone next Saturday morning!

Idea Fest: Long Beach will take place this Saturday, June 7th


RPNA is happy to let our readers know of this Saturday’s inaugural Idea Fest: Long Beach, a one-day festival presented by members of the 25th class of Leadership Long Beach, which will take place this Saturday, June 7th, from 11:00a until 7:00p. The event will be held in Orizaba Park (14th St at Orizaba Ave) and in several nearby locations—Alex’s Bar, Joe Jost’s, Gladys Urban Farm, and the Artist Co-Op (1330 Gladys Ave). Idea Fest is designed to transform and inspire the Long Beach community through classes, music, art, food, and fun. Stop by, exchange ideas, enjoy live music, sample wonderful food, and celebrate the diversity of our city.

More than 20 classes, lectures, and idea exchanges (all an hour long) will be held throughout the day either at the park, which features a wonderful new LEED-certified community center, or at the four other locations. Topics will include urban gardening, the sounds of Long Beach, the history of the Zaferia District, an overview of the oil islands of Long Beach, and many others. In the park, on the main stage, entertainment will be offered, including performances by the Long Beach Community Band, Riot Stage, Peacemakers, Evin Shegina, and other local Long Beach musicians.

You can review details about the courses and other offerings at the event’s website, Seating is limited for classes and lectures and can be reserved on the event site. Classes costs $3.00 plus a very small service fee when purchased via the web site; they can be purchased for $4.00 in cash on the day of the event at the door of any class that has remaining seats available.

In addition to the event’s classes, entertainment, and food—which, by the way, will be prepared by local restaurants and some terrific food trucks—organizers are hosting several IF:LABS, which are topically oriented discussions for atendees that will be facilitated by local thinkers, creators, and community builders. All IF:LABs are free. The graphic below, which shows the day’s events arranged into its hour-long tracks (11:00a, 12:00p, 1:00p, and so on) will give you a means to know how to plan your day so that you won’t miss any of the classes, lectures, or labs that look interesting to you. Clicking on that graphic will permit you to view it as a downloadable/printable PDF document.

Everyone is invited to attend. It looks to be a great day of food, music, and fun, where participants can greet, meet, and network with neighbors and other lovers of Long beach, and engage in some constructive dialog about the future of our city.