I was struck by a 2010 Knight Foundation story that surveyed the factors that make a resident love their city -- what makes the soul of a city. The story showed in 25 cities -- including Long Beach -- that residents who love their city help make the economy grow. What residents want are places to gather, clean and green spaces and openness -- acceptance by others.
The cuts being proposed go to the soul of Long Beach. Our residents need and depend upon our libraries and our parks and recreation programs. Our families count on after school opportunities and a place for their children to study and to read. Our kids want to play sports and stay busy. Those with disabilities need adaptive recreation and safe swimming pools so they have the chance to interact with their peers. Our seniors want to attend programs that enable them to keep active and out of nursing homes.
We should not be pitting these quality of life services against police and fire for funding. It should not be an either or especially when the city has a surplus.