Nima J. Novin

What should the city do when confronted with homeless individuals who refuse to go into a shelter or temporary housing? 

The people of Long Beach are incredibly compassionate, and I do not believe it is compassionate to let our unhoused community live on the streets. With street homelessness on the rise throughout our city, region, and state we must act quickly to reverse this trend. I recommend a three-prong approach to be most effective: available shelter, impactful social services and effective law enforcement. 

The city should prioritize the rapid procurement and availability of shelter beds for those experiencing homelessness. If mental health and/or drug abuse are underlying issues, we need to ensure that we can provide the services needed to effectively help those individuals towards treatment and recovery. With proper shelter and services available, our law enforcement community will be empowered to enforce public camping laws and respond to quality-of-life crimes.

We deserve to feel safe and secure in our city and rightfully enjoy our taxpayer funded public assets such as our beautiful parks and beaches. Elected officials should be working hard to deliver on this promise while also helping those people struggling most in our community.

How would you address crime in the city?

Prior to the recession of 2008, the Long Beach Police Department served our city with approximately 1,000 sworn officers. Since then, our city has grown in both size and complexity, yet we’ve simultaneously experienced a drop of 200-300 officers. If we consider the additional contracts with Metro, Long Beach City College and the Long Beach Airport, headcount reductions are even more significant. This reduction in our police force has had devastating impacts to city-wide public safety and has also placed an unfair strain on our officers who work tirelessly to keep our community safe. We need to support our police officers so that they can in turn support our residents and businesses through effective community policing.

I’ve helped leaders of Fortune 500 companies structure budgets that reflect their top priorities and I’ll do the same for the city of Long Beach as your councilman. Keeping our community safe will be my top priority and I’ll ensure that our city budgets reflect this promise. Prioritizing funding through effective financial management will help us recruit, train, and retain a best-in-the-nation public safety force. 

Addressing crime in Long Beach also requires solutions that go beyond our city borders and will require support from our elected representatives in Sacramento, as well as possible statewide ballot initiatives. For example, Proposition 47 was sold to voters as common-sense criminal justice reform. Instead, it has enabled criminals to repeatedly steal up to $950 worth of goods and be back on the streets before police officers even finish filing their reports. We need real solutions that will address these loopholes and create actual deterrents to criminal activity. As your councilman, I will fight for common-sense reform on both the local and state level.

The state is requiring Long Beach to make room for 26,502 new housing units by 2029. How should the 3rd District be a part of that plan?

Long Beach is an incredible place to live, and word is spreading fast as more people are learning about our great city. This is driving a demand for housing that each district will need to work together to address. I will advocate for decisions impacting local zoning in Long Beach to be made in the city and not by politicians in Sacramento. I believe in the preservation of our local neighborhoods and have heard from many residents and neighbors the desire to maintain current neighborhood density. However, the reality is that the 3rd District must also contribute to the overall goals of the city and our 10% share of the 26,502-unit requirement. 

To maintain our local neighborhoods, I believe our most feasible option to deliver on our housing requirement will be along the Pacific Coast Highway corridor in the area known as SEASP. As your councilmember, I will work with a diverse group of neighborhood stakeholders to ensure any submitted plans for these projects incorporate community input, generate local jobs that contribute to our Long Beach economy, and include safeguards to protect our local environment including our wetlands and waterways.

What would you do about the high cost of housing in Long Beach? 

The high cost of housing is primarily a supply and demand issue. Long Beach is an amazing place to live—rich in culture and diversity, and conveniently located between Los Angeles and Orange County. It is no surprise that more and more people want to live in our great city and housing supply is not keeping up with housing demand. High hurdles to development, excessive red tape, and long permitting lead times incentivize investments in new housing to go elsewhere in the region. I plan on working with other councilmembers to streamline government processes and activate some of our underutilized properties across the city.

I also plan to focus on economic development. With high housing costs, we must do all that we can to safeguard existing jobs and attract new well-paying jobs to our city. I have experience working with large organizations looking to expand their operations and I will be the loudest voice advocating to bring new companies and jobs to Long Beach. I will also work to champion workforce housing programs for new developments that support the working middle class who are often left out of government programs aimed at addressing the high cost of housing.

Do you believe the city is doing enough to alleviate climate change and the effect it’s having on the city? If not, what additional actions should be taken? 

I believe we as individuals, cities and nations can always be improving and doing more to tackle key challenges, including climate change. Education is an incredibly important component. As a graduate, former board member and supporter of Leadership Long Beach, I am incredibly proud of the Youth Environmental Leadership Program being offered to local high school students that focuses on environmental stewardship. Once elected, I would advocate to scale programs such as this so that we help individuals learn to be more thoughtful and impactful in addressing climate change. 

As an innovation strategist, I work with Fortune 500 companies who look to tackle climate change through new products, technologies, and approaches. I would work on behalf of the city of Long Beach in partnership with the Port of Long Beach, and our educational institutions such as LBCC and CSULB to play an even greater role in this innovation economy; working on the technologies of the future that will not only mitigate the effects of climate change, but also put us on the path toward environmental restoration. 

Parking is a huge quality of life issue in the 3rd District. What, if anything, would you do about parking?

I love the 3rd District and will work hard to keep it the best area to live, work and play. Residents want safe and convenient parking options near their homes and our business community requires the same to bring customers to their storefronts. Any changes implemented to neighborhood and business corridor parking options will need to both start and end with input from impacted local stakeholders.  

I’ll partner with urban design experts to see what immediate changes can be implemented to get the most value out of our existing areas. I will continue to find ways to encourage residents to utilize their driveways and garages to help free up street parking like supporting permitting and charging support for residents leveraging their driveways and garages for EV charging. I will also work with residents, business owners, and city staff to source long-term and overnight parking in city-owned garages with available capacity.