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We Need You to Help Pass the Single Use Bag Ordinance!

UPDATED (5/21/2011): Be there for the Bag Ban Ordinance, Second Reading on May 24, 6pm at the Long Beach City Hall!
Thank you for showing the overwhelming support for the bag ban ordinanace at last Tuesday’s City Council meeting. Your comments were very helpful in reaching the necessary five votes for passage of the ordinance. This Tuesday, May 24, the ordinance will come back to City Hall for a second and final reading. This is a normal proceedure for establishing an ordinanace. Usually on the second reading, councilmembers vote to pass the ordinance without much discussion. However, since 4 councilmembers were absent from the first vote (DeLong, O’Donnell, Schipske, Gabelich) and some negative comments were submitted to the editorial reports (LBReport.com, LB Post.com), we need to turn out even more support at this Tuesday’s meeting to send a clear message that residents want Long Beach to take this important step forward. Bring a reusable bag to show your support!
The ordinance is Item #17 on the agenda, so predicting an accurate time to show up is difficult. However, there are no recognitions or hearings at the beginning of the meeting and the rest of the agenda is relatively straightforward, so we recommend you show up at 6:00 pm at council chambers (ground floor) City Hall, 333 W. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach.  Free parking at the City Hall.
If you are unable to attend the meeting, please call your city councilmember and tell him or her to support the Bag Ban Ordinance.  We’re almost there!  We just need one more push.

(Published May 10, 2011) The Long Beach Single Use Bag Ordinance is scheduled to come before City Council next week Tuesday, May 17 5:00 pm and we need your help!

1. Can you help spread the word by calling our local members? If so contact Bill Hickman (bhickman@surfrider.org)

2. Attend the Meeting Tuesday, May 17 5:00 pm and show your support.

3. Contact your district Representative – More Details after the jump.

The City of Long Beach spends millions of dollars every year and countless staff and volunteer hours, cleaning up marine debris that includes a great deal of plastic bags. Not to mention the lost revenue associated with some people’s perception of the City’s beaches and shoreline, which affects our economic development, recreation and tourism. This is local funding and hard work that could be better used.

There is also an untold environmental cost. Plastic bags are a drain on our fossil fuels and threaten our marine environment in Long Beaches harbor and the Catalina Channel. Our reliance on plastics is changing our natural environment in profound ways, eliminating important creatures in our food chain and polluting a major life-sustaining source for generations to come.

Given the challenges facing statewide legislation, LA County’s EIR and model ordinance provide Long Beach with an opportunity to distinguish itself once again, as a leader in the effort to eliminate marine debris, divert trash from our landfills and be a responsible custodian of our own watershed. To view the proposed ordinance and for more information click here.

How You Can Help:

1. Email and/or call your local Long Beach City Council Member with the following message, or better yet, personalize your own:

“Hello Councilmember ___________
I support the single-use bag ordinance for Long Beach as proposed. The ordinance is well written and very similar to the one adopted by the County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors late last year. LA County has set the standard for the best single-use bag ordinance in California and I am confident that when you review all of the information you will agree this is good for Long Beach.

Plastic pollution and marine debris are global issues that we need to address locally and this ordinance is a great step in the right direction. Plastic bags are a drain on our fossil fuels and threaten our marine environment in Long Beach’s harbor and the Catalina Channel.

In addition to helping protect coastal and marine environments this ordinance can help save money for the City of Long Beach with decreased maintenance costs and capital projects that try to catch litter before it becomes marine debris. Business can save money or pass the savings on to customers since they won’t need to purchase plastic bags and paper bags will have a 10 cent fee. It’s an equal playing field for businesses and consumers win when we bring our reusable bags.

Thank you,

Name and address”

To find your Long Beach City Councilmember and their contact info please look at the map

2. Attend the City Council Meeting on Tuesday May 17th , starts at 5pm. Council Chambers are located at 333 West Ocean Boulevard in Long Beach.
It looks like this will be the first agenda item, you can check on the final status as it gets closer:
http://longbeach.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx
There is typically a public comment period where you can take up to 3 minutes to speak about reasons you support this ordinance.

3. Spread the word to your family and friends about contacting their Councilmember and attending the City Council meeting on May 17th.

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