Gerrie Schipske has consistently stood up to the political machine in Long Beach.
From the beginning of her public service, she has demanded that public officials be open, transparent, and accountable.
- Before entering elective office, Gerrie challenged the City on the manner in which it handled sexual assault and domestic violence cases. Her work resulted in a Sexual Assault Response Team, and the formation of a Women's Advisory Committee to the Long Beach Police Chief.
- As President of the Long Beach Community College Board of Trustees, Gerrie spearheaded establishing district elections years before being required, which saved the District costly litigation.
- Gerrie was the lone vote on the City Council that stopped a parcel tax from being placed on the ballot that would have been passed by a simple majority. Instead, the ballot measure required 66-1/3% of the voters and was defeated.
- Gerrie was the lone vote on the City Council that questioned the proposal to tear down City Hall (instead of refurbishing it) and which now places the City in considerable debt for 40 years.
- Gerrie launched "Open Up Long Beach" to inform taxpayers of how the City government operates. She was honored by the White House in 2013 as one of only seven "Champions of Change for Open Government."
- Gerrie authored a City ordinance that makes it illegal to destroy the records of an elected official for 10 years following their leaving office.
- Gerrie was the lone councilmember who with her staff and residents. walked the 5th Council District and inventoried streets, sidewalks, and alleys needing repair, and then involved residents in prioritizing repairs.
- Her fight for taxpayers continued after she left City Council when she noticed that the City was steadily increasing pipeline fees on City-owned water pipes and then passing along the assessment to water ratepayers. Gerrie assisted residents in successfully asking the court to stop the assessment.
- Most recently, Gerrie encouraged legal counsel to take on the City for placing an illegal tax on water department revenues and then passing the tax onto water ratepayers. Ratepayers have won at the trial and appellate levels with the courts ruling that the 12% transfer of revenues is an illegal tax on water services.
Help Gerrie Schipske take on the political machine that wants to control Long Beach!
Gerrie Schipske Discusses Why She is Running for City Attorney of Long Beach
For the past several months I have been listening to voters tell me they want reform. They want a city government that is open, transparent, and accountable. They want a city government that protects them, makes their neighborhoods safer and reduces--not creates--barriers for owning and operating a business.
Residents are angry about being used as ‘piggybanks’ to fund project after project that doesn’t work. They are sick of elected officials who place political ideology or their relationships with lobbyists ahead of the residents.
Voters ask, who will protect their interests and tax dollars? I will.
My record on the City Council speaks for itself. I fought for an open, transparent, and accountable government. I stood up against those politicians who wanted to raise parcel taxes and water utility rates. I worked to make neighborhoods safer and reached out to assist small businesses. As a City Council Member, I did everything I could to protect the peoples’ interests and hard-earned dollars.
As City Attorney, I will focus on rooting out corruption; neighborhood protection; aggressive, proactive risk management; fiscal responsibility and accountability.
The retirement of the current City Attorney offers the opportunity for change. However, special interests and City Hall insiders are trying to engineer the selection of the next City Attorney so that nothing changes for them. They were betting that no one would challenge their hand-picked successor to the current City Attorney. Easy-peasy. No questions asked.
The people deserve better. Democracy demands that voters have a choice of candidates and public debates of the issues in every election. Otherwise, elected officials are not accountable.
I caution that special interests will spend a lot of money to stop my election because of the reforms I am proposing. The Long Beach Police Officers Association (LBPOA) is at the top of that list of those special interests.
The LBPOA is the certified bargaining unit representing police officers. LBPOA has sued the City of Long Beach several times attempting to block the public release of the names of officers in officer-involved shootings, despite a court order to release them. The City Attorney defends the City against these lawsuits.
The City Attorney counsels the City Council on the details of labor agreements between the City and LBPOA. The City Attorney also provides legal advice to the Citizens Police Complaint Commission.
I believe that police unions are unique from other labor unions and special interests. No other group carries a badge and a gun and faces situations in which they may have to use force, the legality of which will ultimately be defended by the City Attorney. The same cannot be said of firefighters and other public employees.
As a City Councilmember, I fought for funding and higher staffing levels for the Long Beach Police Department. I know their job is difficult and necessary, especially in these times of increasing crime. I also know we need to restore public trust and confidence in our system.
The City Attorney’s ethical and legal duty should wholly and without reservation be to the City. It appears to be a conflict of interest for City Attorney candidates to seek the endorsement of or accept campaign contributions from a powerful, well-funded police union that has sued the City of Long Beach!
The men and women who serve in our Police Department deserve the trust of the public. That is only possible if there is a political firewall between the LBPOA and the City Attorney’s office.
I challenge my opponent to stop the political influence of the police union on the Office of City Attorney by not seeking their endorsement or campaign money. I also challenge her to disavow any personal attack funded by the LBPOA and special interests promoting her campaign. How her campaign is run will demonstrate her independence as City Attorney.
The voters know and trust me. I look forward to continuing my pursuit of transparent, fiscally responsible, more accountable government in Long Beach as City Attorney. The voters deserve no less.