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Communiqué from Rae

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rae2.jpgBy Rae Gabelich, Long Beach 8th District Council Member

I was thankful to be able to spend this recent Thanksgiving holiday with my family in Palm Desert. Unfortunately, I missed the council meeting where the decision was made to change the allotted time that the public is allowed to address any number of items on the consent calendar.
The action taken by the Council no longer allows an individual to pull items from the consent calendar. If the mayor or a council member does not remove the item from the consent calendar, an individual will only have three minutes total to speak about any and all items on the consent calendar.
Having been a frequent participant at the podium, challenging many items that appeared to be buried within the consent calendar, I find this to be on the wrong side of democracy. I also believe this could lead to incredible confusion in attempting to respond to multiple agenda concerns.
I do agree that there are times when the right and privilege of speech appear to be abused by the overuse of this public communication tool. But, for the most part, people are respectful of the need for efficiency in their government’s work. I and others will watch this change closely to determine if a correction is necessary.
I’m interested in hearing your opinions on this particular subject. Do you feel that you have appropriate access to your local government? Are there changes that you would like to see?
On to merrier topics! We are now in the Christmas and Hanukkah holiday season. It is the season that so many of us connect with giving and sharing.
I’d like to once again ask your participation in our 4th Annual Shop For Mom event on Sunday, December 16th. At Grisham Housing Community (an 8th district housing development) there are 100 children under the age of 12 that will have the opportunity to choose a gift for their mothers to put under their Christmas tree or share according to their holiday rituals.
The success of this event is dependent on the community’s generosity, so please check your gift closets or pick up an extra gift card on your next shopping spree. Your gift items can be dropped off at our field office, located at 3837 Atlantic Avenue or call (562) 570-1326 to arrange for a pick-up.
You will be helping a young child learn the art and joy of giving.
We are also looking for individuals or companies that would like to donate toys for the annual Carmelitos Holiday Party. There are hundreds of children that benefit from this organized event, but this year, participation is appearing to be much leaner than years past.
For many of these children, the gift they receive on this day may be their only one. Our commitment is to encourage as many folks as possible to join us in this worthwhile program, so that every child does receive at least one present.
If you would like to volunteer at either of these events, please call Veronica Servin at our field office for further details.
In closing, there are parades, decorating, shopping, wrapping, festive parties, church activities and hopefully the time to enjoy them all along with our friends and family. Whatever your path is, I wish for you and your family a season filled with a warm glow of love, tenderness and joyous celebrations!
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and blessings to all!

Rae Gabelich

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Serving Bixby Knolls, California Heights, Los Cerritos, Wrigley and Signal Hill
Communiqué from Rae