Group Calls Off Signature Gathering For Rent Control Initiative

The #RentControlNow Coalition suspended signature gathering efforts to place a rent control initiative on the 2020 ballot, the group announced in a Facebook post this afternoon. “At this point, the coalition faces some insurmountable obstacles and the number of signatures required is too great to continue to ask volunteers to carry on in the face of some absurd opposition,” the announcement on the Facebook page of nonprofit Housing Long Beach stated. The group is developing plans to push for a similar initiative for the 2020 ballot using different strategies, according to the post. Originally, the coalition intended to place rent control on the November ballot in Long Beach, but it missed the signature submission deadline.


Council Expected To Confirm Female-Majority Commission Seats

The Long Beach City Council is expected to approve a round of mayoral appointments to city commissions at tonight’s meeting that would bring the total number of women in such roles to 114 – more than half of all city commission seats. The council is also considering an ordinance that would clarify the role and procedures of city boards, commissions and committees by altering the city charter. Some specifications of the ordinance include disallowing advisory bodies from directing city staff to “initiate programs or major studies,” and specifying that advisory bodies do not have control over city officers or employees. The council meets at 5 p.m., City Hall.


Port Of Long Beach To Test New Zero-Emission Technology

Next year, the Port of Long Beach plans to test hydrogen- and electric-powered cargo-handling equipment at two of its terminals thanks to a $5.3 million grant from the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Technology demonstrations will include three never before tested battery-electric top handlers and a fuel-cell operated yard tractor. Participating terminals include SSA Marine’s Pacific Container Terminal at Pier J and Long Beach Container Terminal at Pier E. “Our partnerships with the California Air Resources Board and other agencies provide crucial funding for these vital demonstration projects as we work to create a zero-emissions seaport,” Mario Cordero, executive director of the Port of Long Beach, said. The CARB grant is funded by cap-and-trade dollars through the California Climate Investments Initiative.


Regional Transportation Improvement Plan Released For Public Comment

The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) Executive/Administration Committee voted today to release updated transportation plans for public review and comment through August 8. The Draft 2019 Federal Transportation Improvement Program includes a comprehensive list of transportation investment priorities. SCAG concurrently developed a draft of its Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy Amendment. Public hearings on the documents are scheduled on July 17 and 26, at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., respectively. The hearings will be held at SCAG’s Los Angeles office, 900 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1700. Click here for more information or to view the documents.


Consumer Loan And Bank Card Delinquencies Increasing

Consumer loan and bank card delinquencies are slowly returning to average levels after falling in the fourth quarter of 2017, the American Bankers Association (ABA) announced today. “The composite ratio, which tracks delinquencies in eight closed-end installment loan categories, rose nine basis points to 1.73% of all accounts [during the first quarter],” according to the ABA. This rate is still below the 15-year average of 2.14%. Delinquencies in credit cards provided by banks rose to 3.06% after reaching the lowest quarter-end level in three years at the end of 2017. Home equity loan and property improvement loan delinquencies increased to 2.31% and 1.16%, respectively. Home equity line of credit delinquencies fell to 1.14%. For auto loans arranged through banks, delinquencies rose to 1.1%, while delinquencies on loans through a third party, such as the dealership, rose to 1.93%.