Candidates Enter Race For 1st District Seat
Days after 1st District Councilmember Lena Gonzalez won the special election for the state’s 33rd District senate seat (although the election results aren’t yet certified, initial estimates show she won about 69% of the vote), two 1st District residents have announced they are running to take her place on the council.

Mary Zendejas, who serves as boardmember for the Long Beach Transit Board of Directors and the nonprofit Disabled Resources Center, announced her candidacy this morning. “I have worked to improve our public transit systems, advocated for more affordable housing and tenant protections, and helped ensure that people in wheelchairs have equal access in the workplace,” she stated in a press release. “I am excited to bring a new and unique set of perspectives with me to City Hall.” Zendejas works as the director of regional accounts for GNS Medical Supplies and holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from California State University, Long Beach.

Elliot Gonzales, a former member of the Long Beach Sustainable City Commission, today sent out a media advisory that he will announce his candidacy in an event at Harvey Milk Promenade Park tomorrow morning. According to the advisory, Gonzales is a progressive whose platform includes “calling for a land trust to build public housing and affordable housing” and creating a Green New Deal and a public bank to back it. He served on the Sustainable City Commission from 2010 to 2018.

A special election to fill the 1st District vacancy on the city council must be held by early November, according to City Clerk Monique De La Garza.

Al Austin Announces Re-Election Campaign For 8th District
Eighth District Councilmember Al Austin announced this afternoon that he is running for re-election. He also announced several endorsements, including Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell, L.A. County Supervisor Janice Hahn, fellow Councilmembers Suzie Price and Daryl Supernaw, and Long Beach Unified School District Boardmember Megan Kerr. Austin was elected to the council in 2012 and re-elected in 2016. “I have worked diligently to address the needs of my community by improving economic development and housing, increasing park space, supporting families, and making art and culture a part of the community fabric,” Austin stated. “Creating jobs and building more livable communities in our city will continue to be my priority. I look forward to continuing our progress in the Great Eighth for another term.” Austin faces an opponent, Tunua Thrash-Ntuk, who announced her candidacy earlier this year. Thrash-Ntuk is the executive director of the nonprofit Los Angeles Local Initiatives Support Coalition.

Cannabis Chain MedMen Announces
$13 Million Purchase Of Long Beach Dispensary
One of Long Beach’s longest-operating cannabis dispensaries, One Love Beach Club, is on track for acquisition by MedMen Enterprises Inc., which boasts flagship stores in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and New York. According to a press release, MedMen Enterprises has signed an agreement to acquire MattnJeremy, Inc. LLC, the company behind One Love Beach Club. The Abrams family, who founded the dispensary in 2009, will receive $10 million in shares, $1 million in cash at sale and $2 million in deferred payments. According to the press release, One Love Beach Club currently produces $6 million in gross annual revenue, per information provided to MedMen by the dispensary’s owners. “We’re excited to welcome Long Beach to the MedMen family and continue our growth in the most important cannabis market in the world,” MedMen CEO Adam Bierman said.

Port Of Los Angeles Budget Outlines Significant Increase In Capital Spending
The Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners approved a $1.6 billion budget for the Port of Los Angeles’s 2019-2020 fiscal year, according to a statement released by the port today. The budget forecasts a slight decrease in cargo volumes, as well as in operating revenues and expenses, compared to the prior fiscal year. Operating revenues are expected to decrease 1.9%. The budget allocates $144.4 million for capital improvement projects, a 58.8% increase compared to the 2018-2019 fiscal year. The largest chunk of these funds – $64 million – is dedicated to terminal improvements, according to the port.

Virgin Orbit Signs Contract With Major Japanese Firm
Virgin Orbit has signed a contract with ANA Holdings, the parent company of Japan’s largest airline, to bring its small satellite launch service, LauncherOne, to Japan. The system, which is under development at Virgin Orbit’s Long Beach headquarters, uses a 747 airplane as a flying launch pad for a satellite rocket launcher. ANA and Virgin Orbit will work together with Space Port Japan to identify a launch site. “Japan has long been a global source of innovation and a leader in space, and with the small satellite market growing so impressively, we are seeing countless new satellite applications and businesses emerge in the region,” Virgin Orbit CEO Dan Hart said in a press release. “With this new partnership, we’re excited to bring LauncherOne’s unique responsiveness and flexibility to Asia for the first time.”

State Grants Extension To Seismic
Compliance Mandate For Community Hospital
According to a memo sent to the mayor and city council by City Manager Pat West, the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) has granted Community Hospital with a seismic compliance extension through January 1, 2025. The extension was made possible by a state law, Assembly Bill 2190, that became effective on the first of this year. Had this extension not been approved, the hospital would have had to be in compliance by January 1, 2020. The later date allows the hospital’s new operator, Molina, Wu, Network LLC, and the City of Long Beach to reopen the hospital and develop a plan to bring the facility into seismic compliance. Construction plans must be submitted to the state by July 1, 2020, per the city’s correspondence with OSHPD.