Long Beach - The City For Everyone

By John Grossi

Over the last ten years we’ve asked a lot of people what they love about Long Beach. There’s really only one absolutely unanimous answer that every resident repeats back to us. Over and over almost like a mantra for our city. It’s already on the tip of your tongue. Diversity.

Long Beach is a melting pot and home to people from all over the world, with all different viewpoints, and every type of interest, passion, hobby, political mindset, ability, age, set of beliefs, and set of ambitions. Long Beach’s diversity in people translates into incredible diversity in amenities, things to do, and reasons to live here, many of which you will read about in the pages to follow.

In many ways, I believe Long Beach is a model city in acceptance and cohesive communities. Perhaps I speak for others who, like me grew up in this city, and thought very little of it during the formative years, but I believe (for those who grew up here) it takes a healthy dose of travel to realize that our amazing diversity is extraordinary and not just ordinary.

Each time I get the opportunity to travel somewhere new, I come back home thankful, impressed, and even more in awe at just how many different cultures we have at every level of life in Long Beach working side-by-side (for the most part) harmoniously.

Still, we’ve all been faced to examine over the past few years how much progress our country and our city still needs to make in lifting up all cultures from all backgrounds.

We at 908 magazine have a lot of work to do as well. And after a long, serious evaluation of our own stories over the past decade, we are making a serious and public resolution to better dedicate our magazine to purposefully lifting up ALL people from ALL backgrounds as long as they fit our primary qualifier. They are a reason Life is Great in the 908!

We begin this magazine issue by asking some of our elected officials to examine the positive impact diversity makes in our city.

We end it on page 78 by asking you, our community, to help us in highlighting the best in Long Beach, from all backgrounds, over the next 10 years.

Mary Zendejas

Councilwoman District 1

Long Beach is a special city and that is directly linked to its diversity and welcoming culture. I wouldn't be where I am today without this wonderfully inclusive city. I am proudly the first Latina wheelchair-user to be elected to a city council, nationwide, and that is because this city sees people, not stereotypes. I have met so many people who are amazed at the feeling Long Beach has when visiting for the first time. You can just sense that this city wants you to be happy and safe being who you are. I love it and am so proud to be continuing that tradition of diversity by serving the residents as a member of one of, if not the most, diverse city councils in the nation. We are better when we are accepting and I think Long Beach is a shining example of exactly that. You are welcome here!

Suzie Price

Councilwoman District 3

I love the diversity of our city. Most of the families we socialize with are multi-cultural such that the mother and father are from different races, ethnicities or cultural backgrounds. Ours is no exception. The benefits of this reality is that we learn a lot about different cultures and traditions every day through our own friendships and those of our children. One example that

comes to mind is when our close group of friends gets together for birthday celebrations. We sing the “Happy Birthday” song in 4 different languages for every person’s birthday. Now, almost all of our friends can even sing the song in Farsi, my first language. It’s a pretty cool thing to watch! Our rich diversity here in Long Beach gives our lives here a bit of texture that would not be present elsewhere. The melting pot we call home makes us realize the privilege we have to live in a place that celebrates and welcomes differences and allows everyone to call this place home, regardless of where they came from. Long Beach welcomes all and provides a community that is better because of the uniqueness of it’s members.

Daryl Supernaw

Councilman District 4