Shirley Huling, 59, is a farmer’s market sales person who moved to Long Beach in 2005 and moved to the 1st District in 2014. She is a registered Democrat.
Read the Post’s profile on Shirley Huling here.
Why did you decide to run?
I was a political science major in college with a minor in international relations. I loved politics—I wanted to be in politics—and I worked on Ernie Kell’s reelection campaign. I got into the fashion industry, then sat on the board of a charter school in Long Beach, and realized that education is the answer. I am a Buddhist and I believe in going inside. We can make an impact. Anything’s possible. I was part of the change. I have been invested in the neighborhoods. We need to stir up dialogue; the status quo is all we’re seeing.
The 1st District has some of the highest rates of violence among the city, including shootings. What solutions do you have to reduce gun violence? And does that include increasing the number of police officers?
All we’re doing at this time is we’re patching everything up. We have not come up with a real solution. It seems like it’s just the same stuff. We need access to parks and recreation opportunities, schools, and parents have to be part of the process. Kids need to feel safe. I’m not going to say police need to increase, but rather we need a partnership where kids are doing internships at the police department. People are what make it go around.
What type of solutions would you propose or support to provide more affordable housing? Is rent control part of your plan?
All buildings should be multi-use, for folks who are lower income. We are creating the homelessness problem by limiting access. We have to start creating value. We should do a study on every building in the city. Why are they vacant? Every building should be multi-use. We need to study how to create value. As far as rent control, I’m not sure about my opinion on it. I just know that we need more housing.
How would you address the homelessness crisis in the District, including the issues associated with homelessness like mental illness and addiction?
We’ve got to start with preschool, elementary school and advocating breast-feeding. We need a homelessness resolution committee that incorporates folks from the homeless community, multiservice center, firehouses, police department and other agencies. We have feared everyone down; what empowerment are we doing? We’re all about our title and our ego. We’re working from the wrong platforms. It’s about access, good food, improved schools and access to schools speaking Spanish.
What is your plan for improving air quality in Long Beach? Do you support the expansion of the 710 Freeway and the use of MHF in nearby refineries?
I have no position right now.
What have you personally contributed to the District?
I am homeschooler, an educator and a farmer.
Who is endorsing and funding your campaign?
Me, me and me. I will have an open door policy; all neighbors can come to me. I’m not taking any money from anyone. I would rather than just talk to people than have them own me.
Do you have plans for higher office?
I am not looking for a career in politcs. I have absolutely no plans for higher office. I want to be based on integrity.