Alejandro “Alex” Cortez

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

Utilizing services from the mental and social health department will be crucial in confronting homelessness. We need to educate these individuals who refuse to go into a shelter, by enabling them to see the resources the city is implementing, then we may get them to cooperate in the solution to end homelessness. By assessing these individuals we will also be able to understand what type of help they will need. If they continue to refuse then enforcing mandatory cooperation should be implemented.

How would you address crime in the city?

I will fight for a stronger and safer Long Beach while bridging the gap between citizens and law enforcement. By enhancing and supporting community engagement and training for the LBPD so they can address the increase in crime. I would invest more resources into our safety services to hire additional police, fire and EMS.

The state is requiring Long Beach to make room for 26,502 new housing units by 2029. How should the 7th District be a part of that plan?

District 7 can be part of the plan because we have much industrial and warehousing space between Anaheim Street and Pacific Coast Highway on the lower westside. We can start utilizing those spaces whether in District 7 or other districts. Traffic is terrible, parking is scarce and neighborhoods are already over-dense with apartment buildings. The city must start considering reorganizing ordinance regulations to make new space to build affordable (truly affordable) housing for the residents of the city. 

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

Housing affordability is a growing issue nationwide, having lived in cities like Long Beach and New York City, I have witnessed the effects of high rent. As councilman, I would push and support rent control policies for the city. While these policies are not the solution for affordability in the city, they will help students, veterans, low-income families and anyone struggling with high rents. Studies have shown that rent control increased the probability a renter stayed at their address by close to 20%. This would be a step forward to target affordability and homelessness reduction.

There’s been a historical lack of investment in open space and recreational opportunities in your district. How would you secure more resources for open space?

While open space is a premium in the city, it’s more of a premium in District 7. I would increase resources/renovations to the current recreational spaces in the district and investigate any available land in the community to transform into recreation space.

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?

No. I feel that the city is acting, but not enough. This issue is of importance to me personally because I was raised and still live in District 7, so I experienced poor air quality throughout my entire life. The biggest thing would be addressing the challenge of traffic congestion due to ports. Especially now with the supply chain disruption throughout the world and here in the Long Beach port, addressing the issue of the pollution caused by the trucks, trains, and ships needs to be discussed. We need to be more aggressive with implementing policies to reduce the harmful emissions