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Commentary: Write letters to demand protection from child predators

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Submitted by Dan Pressburg, Long Beach resident
If city hall hasn’t learned the definition of partisan politics, the issue of predators in the neighborhoods should raise a watchful eye.
Unfortunately, Councilwoman Suja Lowenthal in an election year did not rally enough of the troops to make SB 913 or AB 370 a force for her father-in-law, Senator Alan Lowenthal, to build another platform for protecting our neighborhoods.
The petition-signing event last Saturday by Councilman [Patrick] O’Donnell shows that the honorable senator is more in favor of recalling the bill and giving the city more power over their land use than previously indicated when both bills were stonewalled and left the city of Long Beach high and dry. Fifteen predators in one building defy reason when it comes to our most vulnerable population, our children.
The thing is almost a mockery when we can fill town hall meetings with council members who have little experience in dealing with six packs.
In north Long Beach, we dealt swiftly and appropriately when in 2003 we had similar problems. Both councilmembers Rae Gabelich and Val Lerch were on hand to apply the appropriate pressure for a move of 14 predators on Dairy Avenue on school routes and near parks.
This takes a certain type of collaboration to deal with these types of problems. In the 9th district we were also proactive in our business program, Project “B” (business), which allowed us to visit some of these six packs on the main corridors and in neighborhoods. Although we were not monitoring these residences, the level of awareness gave us first-hand information.
Six packs can and will continue to be located throughout the community. Having lawmakers who remember where they are from and less concerned with playing partisan politics would also bring them back to their roots and remember neighborhoods first. Carrying that message throughout our legislature and local areas would protect our residents even though most six packs go unnoticed in most neighborhoods.
This is not the witch hunt that legislators often have us believe. It is reasonable to ask and require representation. That is why former Assemblywoman and now Congresswoman Richardson voted in favor of the AB 370. Her experience in the central area gave her first-hand experience and knowledge.
Election time is right around the corner and many of these offices in the assembly and state senate are up for election. Changing state law is the right thing to do.
Candidates who remember why they were elected, challenge the status quo and deal honestly with the issues in their constituency win. Revival of these two bills is a must to protect our neighborhoods and our children.
My suggestion is to start a letter-writing campaign immediately demanding protections for our neighborhoods and let our elected representatives carry that message.
Please send your representative a post card or letter regarding the re-instating of these two bills SB 913 and AB 370. The phone numbers are listed locally and send a simple postcard asking for local control of six-packs and locating Megan’s List Offenders.
Please contact me at Iben [email protected] if you have questions. I will be developing a petition which should be ready by Mar. 1.

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Serving Bixby Knolls, California Heights, Los Cerritos, Wrigley and Signal Hill
Commentary: Write letters to demand protection from child predators