Happy New Year

It has become a tradition at the Grunion to ask city leaders for either their New Year resolutions or their predictions for the coming year. This time, it is predictions.


Al Austin

(Editor’s Note: Some of the predictions had to be shortened due to space considerations. Listed by alphabetical order.)

From Eighth District Councilman Al Austin:

I expect that 2019 will bring a significant change in the political dynamics in D.C., Sacramento and here locally. Healthcare, housing and reforming Prop 13 will no doubt be major topics of discussion among policy makers and voters over the next several months. My office will remain focused on improving economic development throughout Uptown, new housing projects, expanding park space and building the most livable community in the city. I am personally looking forward to graduations next year, and making more art and culture happen in Long Beach.

Blair Cohn

Blair Cohn

From Blair Cohn, executive director of the Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Association:

2019 will bring the continuation of the positive momentum, the boom, the fruits from investment, the efforts of grassroots elbow grease, and the positive juju from the mayor’s wedding that is projecting the city forward in the right direction. The pundits and critics will remain the same since that, too, is all part of the playing field. Long Beach will creep out from behind the big shadows cast from neighboring cities that get perpetuated by some writers and stereotypers. The Long Beach food, music, art, business and human relations movements will catch the eyes that need to be educated the most.

Bixby Knolls will remain strong and grow stronger. The BKBIA will continue to hatch new schemes and new ways to make the district flourish and connect the greater to community to the business corridors. And personally, I can see my arms and hands will reach out farther to be involved with even more elements of the city (And maybe I will push myself to lose the 25 pounds I’d like to shed).

President Jane Close Conoley

President Jane Close Conoley

From Cal State Long Beach President Jane Close Conoley:

After 2016, I decided I was no good at predicting, but given the invitation, I’ll hazard some prognostications.

Our Men’s Volleyball team will do a repeat next May and be the 2019 National Champions

The Dirtbags will be Big West Champions and make a trip to Omaha for the College World Series

We will graduate over 12,000 in the Spring/Summer of 2019 and welcome over 11,000 new students in the fall of 2019. Both will be records.

National politics, which seems to be at its worst in terms of public confidence, will get even worse in 2019.

Mario Cordero portrait

Mario Cordero

From Mario Cordero, executive director of the Port of Long Beach

This year will be an exciting one for the Port of Long Beach. Following record-breaking cargo volume at the Port in 2018, container growth in 2019 may prove to be more moderate, given the continuing uncertainty posed by the China-U.S. trade war.

The Port’s new headquarters in downtown Long Beach will be inaugurated and will mark a new day for both the Port and the city with the collaborative development of the new Civic Center plaza. Mayor Garcia will further elevate the importance of the City in the trade industry as he assumes the position of Chairman of the Port & Exports Task Force for the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

The replacement to the Gerald Desmond Bridge — “the bridge to everywhere” — will near completion by the end of 2019, giving the Long Beach waterfront a modern and iconic landmark that complements ongoing development in downtown Long Beach.

ict caryn (copy)

caryn desai

From caryn desai, producing artistic director at International City Theatre:

With the positive report coming from the city about the progress made on many fronts (housing, early childhood development, safety, business development), 2019 looks bright with possibilities for growth and advancement. For International City Theatre, we feel encouraged as well with subscriptions up over the past couple of years for our 2019 season. Subscribers make the further development of this art form possible. It’s one way we can educate and bring our diverse community together to promote understanding. Now that’s a positive goal and a positive view from my crystal ball for a great year ahead!

Chris Garner

Chris Garner

From Chris Garner, general manager of the Water Department:

For the State, I predict that new Governor Newsom will have a very difficult time keeping any control over the Democrat’s super majority, resulting in the State spending through any reserves built up by Governor Brown.

For the city, the opening of the new Civic Center will stimulate further high-end development on Ocean Boulevard. Finally, we should see the full development of Ocean Boulevard, which will then extend northward.

For myself, I hope to continue to work with my excellent team at Long Beach Water (and Sewer) to provide our customers clean, affordable drinking water and responsive customer service while stepping up our investment in local well development and storage facilities.


Steve Goodling

From Steve Goodling, President and CEO of the Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau:

Long Beach has hit its stride. We hear it from convention planners, convention attendees, and developers of commercial projects. There is such enthusiasm and momentum being built, and this will carry forward in terms of more media and recognition in 2019. In 2019, we believe that this great momentum will peak even higher with the additional new condominiums, hotels, and other projects coming close to completion or having already opened. If Long Beach was a stock, it’d be rated a “buy.”

Randy Gordon.jpg

Randy Gordon

From Randy Gordon, President and CEO of the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce:

2019 will start the transition of Jeremy Harris to become the President and CEO of the Chamber beginning July 1, 2020. He will hire a new VP of Public Policy in January and they will work closely with him for 9 months and then he will work even closer with me the next 9 months to ensure a very successful transition. I’m absolutely convinced Jeremy will make a great leader of the organization.

From Tom Modica, assistant city manager:

2019 will be a grand year, highlighted by Grand Openings. In 2019, we will open a new City Hall, new Port Headquarters, new Main Library, and a new Aquarium expansion, just to name a few. 2019 will be a year for the history books!

Suzie Price 2018

Suzie Price

From Third District Councilwoman Suzie Price:

On the city side, I predict the Southeast entrance to the east side of the city will be transformed with the addition of the 2nd and PCH project. On the personal side, I predict I will set impressive personal fitness and diet goals, which I will forget about by about February. Finally, I predict the urban community we live in will continue to see the effects of progress in every way.

Rex Richardson with Avocados

Rex Richardson

From Ninth District City Councilman Rex Richardson:

Baby Shark will still be the jam. The Ninth District gets its first bank. Council meetings will continue to get longer, because we love them so much. LAB, Uptown Commons, and The Uptown development projects break ground on North Atlantic Avenue.

And finally, Jon Snow wins the Game of Thrones. #KingInTheNorth.


From Fourth District City Councilman Daryl Supernaw:

I predict Community Hospital will reopen in 2019, and the first patient admitted to the hospital will be a local councilman suffering from exhaustion.

Uranga at Willow Springs Ceremony

Roberto Uranga

From Seventh District Councilman Roberto Uranga:

I have more wishes than predictions, such as for the LBC — A balanced budget, more collegiality among my colleagues and shorter council meetings. For CD7 — continued business growth, economic development and infrastructure enhancements such as fixed streets and sidewalks and trimmed trees. Personally — love, health and prosperity for my kids (keep the promotions coming, babies), another year of a clean cancer diagnosis for my wife and the will and the strength to make right decisions.

From City Manager Pat West:

A beautiful new skyline for the people of Long Beach!

Harry has been executive editor of Gazette Newspapers for more than 26 years. He has been in the newspaper business for more than 35 years, with experience on both weekly and metropolitan daily papers in Colorado and California.

Load comments