Cindy Allen, 52, is a retired police officer and small business owner who has lived in the district for 13 years. She is a registered Democrat.
Why are you running for the 2nd District?
I’m running for office because I believe I am the best qualified candidate to represent this district and deliver the solutions we need. As a former police officer for the City of Long Beach, I was proud to serve our residents and developed strong skills in leadership, communication, and understanding our residents. As a former small business owner of a small publication, I worked hard to bring people together to serve the community. My connection to the district is unique and genuine, and I am committed to putting people first and focusing on the real issues.
What do you see as the biggest problem facing the 2nd District, and how do you propose solving it?
The Second district, and the city at large, is in the middle of a transformation. Businesses are thriving and more people are coming into the district. As a result of these changes, our district is feeling the pressures of economic growth, specifically congestion, affordability, and public safety related issues. In order to effectively address these problems, we need to rethink a number of our policies. First off, we need to make sure our streets and roadways are equipped to safely handle large volumes of vehicle, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic. Second, we need protections in place to make sure people from all walks of life can live and work in the district. Finally, regarding public safety, I would like to foster a better relationship between law enforcement and the community. We need to increase trust between our officers and the community, and to do so we need to emphasize de-escalation and boost the number of community resource officers.
What are your specific plans to address homelessness?
Homelessness is a crisis in California, and our city, like many others, has been severely affected. In order to address this issue, I believe we need to significantly increase the types and amount of resources dedicated to solving this problem. Currently, many of our services for this population are only open from 9am-5pm. This is absurd as homeless is not a 9am-5pm problem; I want to make sure our service centers are open 24 hours a day so these individuals can get help at any time. Additionally, I believe we need to increase the number of mental health treatment centers and city employed social workers trained to deal with this population. Lastly, homelessness is directly related to affordability issues, and I believe in increasing the number of affordable housing units in the district so people are less likely to lose their home.
Do you believe there is a parking issue in the district? If so, how would you address it?
With more development in the district, the parking situation will only become worse. We need to study the problem and create new private-public partnerships to address it. We should bring forward new solutions, including adding underground parking structures, expanding after-hours parking at local businesses, and improving mass transit. We will also explore solutions like resident-only permits for residential streets, ZipCars, and new “Intelligent Parking” technologies that help drivers find spots more efficiently. I am committed to finding solutions to this issue and will execute a plan on Day 1 when I’m elected.
What, if anything, is wrong with the Broadway Corridor and how would you fix it?
The recent changes to the Broadway Corridor have in my opinion, worsened the street. Parking has become more difficult and traffic congestion has increased. As a result, the number of accidents have risen and our local businesses are receiving less customers. When I’m on the City Council I will push for a new study that analyzes the “street diets” that have worked in other cities, and will compare those outcomes to our own. I will work with our Planning Commission, Public Works Department, and other departments to make the solutions we need.