Garcia And Lara Endorse Gonzalez For State Senate Before Other Candidates Step Forward
Mayor Robert Garcia yesterday announced his endorsement of 1st District Councilmember Lena Gonzalez to replace State Senator Ricardo Lara, who was recently elected to the position of state insurance commissioner. Lara has also endorsed Gonzalez, who announced her run to replace him last week. The politicians made their endorsements before any other candidates announced a run for the seat.

Water Department Plans To Raise Rates
The Long Beach Water Department is proposing a 6% increase in water rates to be implemented in mid-2019. If approved, the rate change will go into effect on April 1, and sewer rates will remain unchanged. The board of water commissioners is holding a public meeting and vote on the item this Thursday, December 20, at 8:30 a.m., after which the change would go to the city council for a final vote. The rate increase comes at a time of significant investments for the water authority, which is expecting to spend $27.4 million on a lease-purchase program to automate its metering system, a change the agency hopes will save $1.5 million in labor costs each year.

CalChamber Report: U.S. And California Economy Growing At Steady Pace
The U.S. economy is expected to grow just under 3% in the final quarter, with total growth for 2018 estimated at 3.2%, according to a recent report by the California Chamber of Commerce Economic Advisory Council. Despite a tight labor market and the housing affordability crisis, California’s economy is set to prosper, the report stated, due to a combination of federal tax cuts, expanding industries, and increases in incomes and wages. In October, California saw the second largest increase in year-to-year job gains among the 50 states. The report predicted further increases in employment for California’s population-serving industries in the coming quarters, but indicated that the state “must look to its external industries” such as technology and manufacturing to fuel greater economic growth.

Home Sales Continue To Decline In California
Home sales in California decreased for the seventh consecutive month in November, according to a press release from the California Association of Realtors (CAR). Single-family home sales totaled 381,400 in November, down 13.4% compared to last November. Home sales in Los Angeles County decreased 11.2% year-over-year. Statewide, the median home price fell 3% from October to $554,760. The number of active listings statewide rose for the eighth consecutive month. “Now that interest rates have pulled back, home prices have tapered, and inventory has improved, home buyers’ prospects of getting into a home are more positive,” CAR President Jared Martin stated.

Archstone Foundation Board Announces Appointment Of New President And CEO
The Archstone Foundation Board of Directors announced the organization’s new president and chief executive officer, Christopher A. Langston. He is succeeding longtime CEO Joseph Prevratil, who is retiring at the start of 2019. Langston formerly served as a program director at the John A. Hartford Foundation, as programme executive in the U.S. Ageing Programme at the Atlantic Philanthropies, and as vice president of health care services at the Aging in New York Fund. He holds a doctorate in psychology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Archstone Foundation is a local nonprofit serving the needs of the aging population.