Bisnow Holds Long Beach Investment Event; Residents Protest

9 Jun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More than 20 Long Beach residents, on Thursday, June 8, outside the World Trade Center Long Beach, on the corners of Maine Ave. and West Broadway, to protest the Bisnow Boom event as a means to voice their concern regarding the lack of affordable housing, no local rent control or renter protections from unfair evictions.

The intent of the Bisnow Boom event was to encourage local real estate investment.

The protesters stood on the two southern street corners with their signs and chanted.  One chant was “Gay, straight, black, white, housing is a human right.”  A second chant was “Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho, these gentrifiers have got to go.” A third chant was “What do we want?  Affordable housing, when do we want it? Now.”  A fourth chant was “We will not give up the fight.  Housing is a human right.”

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Longtime activist and Long Beach resident, John Kindred, protests while holding his sign, June 8, outside the World Trade Center; Photo by Barry Saks

While the Long Beach Chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America organized the protest, activists from the Gray Panthers, Long Beach Residents Empowered and the Service Employees International Union Local 2015, which is a statewide local representing home-care and nursing-home workers in California, participated.

Before the event by way of email, Josh Butler, the Executive Director of Housing Long Beach, said, “Housing Long Beach fully supports the demonstration. The Mayor and City Council are doing a lot to recruit new people to Long Beach, but doing nothing to mitigate the negative impacts on our current residents. Seniors, people with disabilities and communities of color are being pushed out.”

One of the protesters was Elizabeth Garcia.  Garcia, who lives and works downtown, said, “I’m here because we need to stop the gentrification of Long Beach.  It is becoming less and less affordable for the working-class community that has lived here for generations.  We are seeing developers come in and invest millions of dollars but not for the community but for their own profit and we’re here to try to stop that or at least bring light to the issue, to bring attention to the issue…It is easy for our politicians and representatives to ignore us when no one is paying attention to the issue.  So getting our community to be organized, to come together and to demand action from the people who represent us in our city council is a good way to do that.”

The Bisnow Boom investment event website said, “With many exciting developments on the horizon – including the $250M (million) proposed Queen Mary Island entertainment complex – along with over $2.6B (billion) invested in Downtown Long Beach over the past four years, come hear from all the major players in the region on the new capital coming into Long Beach, the evolving tenants, residential updates and more! All the major asset classes will be covered – mixed-use, retail, residential, office, and civic and adaptive reuse projects across downtown, Douglas Park, and the Long Beach airport.”

A flyer, which announced the protest, in part, said, “Developers and landlords have bought off the mayor and the city council and are replacing affordable housing with luxury condos.  A lack of rent control and eviction protections allows the wealthy to kick families out of their homes, replacing the diverse working class communities…with newcomers who are richer and whiter.”

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Backside of a protester, on June 8, wearing her union tee shirt; Photo by Barry Saks

Bisnow, according to one of its webpages, is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and is an “educational platform for America’s $11 trillion commercial real estate industry” and publishes in “25 major metros coast-to-coast.”

Neither the Mayor, nor any of the City Councilmembers were available for comment.  Also Bisnews and Joani Weir from Better Housing Long Beach were not available for comment.

 

 

 

 

One Response to “Bisnow Holds Long Beach Investment Event; Residents Protest”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 172-1 DSA in the News – New Ground - Wednesday, June 21, 2017

    […] DSA’s Andrew Guy and a photo filled with DSA signs. (You can find an account plus video at Barry Saks’ […]

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