FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: March 15, 2018
Councilwoman Jeannine Pearce Request Support for Long Beach Lesbian and Gay Pride
Thursday, March 15 – Councilwoman Jeannine Pearce Request Support for the Long Beach Lesbian and Gay Pride festival and parade on March 20th, at 5:00 pm, at the Long Beach City Council meeting, held at the Long Beach City Council Chambers, 333 West Ocean Blvd, Long Beach, CA.
The historic item will recommend to City Council to support the 35th Annual Long Beach Lesbian & Gay Pride Festival and Parade by examining ways to reduce city and staffing fees pertaining to the event. “In its 35th year, Long Beach Pride has become a stable in our community, attracting nearly 80,000 visitors around the world to its two-day event in celebration of LGBTQ+Q equality and diversity”, said Second District Councilwoman Jeannine Pearce, who represents the district where the annual event is held. “Each year, the event brings in over $12.3 million dollars to our local economy and with the city fees increasing over 40% in the past four years, it is in our best interest to examine ways we can support our LGBTQ+Q community in its time of need”, continued Pearce.
Through the years Long Beach Pride has overcome many milestones, starting with the funding to meet the City of Long Beach required fee’s to produce the first event. Yet, after producing only two events, Long Beach Pride started the tradition of giving back to the community and the organization began making outright grants to other non-profit organizations. Shortly after that, Long Beach Pride began donating funds to its volunteers’ favorite charities. The amount of this contribution is based on the number of hours volunteers work at the parade and festival.
In recent years Long Beach Pride has been able to continue the tradition of giving back a portion of the proceeds which has become the hallmark of the organization. For more than three decades now, Long Beach Pride has grown to become one of Long Beach’s largest philanthropic organizations by granting over one million dollars back to the community since its inception. While the main project of Long Beach Lesbian & Gay Pride, Inc. is the annual parade and festival, the organization operates year-round and sponsors other philanthropic projects.
Currently, city requirements placed one the organization and city fees reaching over $230,000 for the two-day event has burdened on the nonprofit organization and is rippling into the LGBTQ+ community. In the past, the organization was able to fund 57 organizations yearly throughout Long Beach with the money generated from the festival and parade. In 2015, the number had decreased to 23 due to requirements and last year, the organizations board members had to make the difficult decision to temporarily freeze all grants and educational scholarships in order to ensure that the event would be funded in 2018. Each year, the city fees have increased causing a tremendous impact on the events budget.
Other cities, like West Hollywood, have taken action to fully support their annual LGBTQ+ event, LA PRIDE (CSW), thus making it one of the world’s most attended Pride events, bringing millions of dollars into their local economy. Since West Hollywood’s incorporation in 1984, the city has been a leading sponsor and partner in LA PRIDE by graciously waiving permit fees, providing West Hollywood Park and surrounding streets for the festival and parade, as well as, paying for the LA County Sheriffs’ presence on the day of the parade. In return, the City of West Hollywood has become an international tourist destination and is promoted globally as an LGBTQ+ Mecca and LA PRIDE, one of the largest Pride celebrations in the world, as a unique and highly sought-after cultural event.
Long Beach Pride attendees contribute an estimated $12.3 million annually to Long Beach’s economy and $23.4 million to the regional economy. Long Beach Pride is a major contributing factor that has made the City of Long Beach one of the top gay friendly cities to live in America. It has also attracted thousands of new residents that have made Long Beach their permanent home.
Additional co-authors of the agenda item include Vice Mayor Rex Richardson- Ninth District, Councilwoman Suzie Price- Third District, and Councilman Roberto Uranga Seventh District. For more information, log onto www.longbeachpride.com.
CONTACT: Denise Newman
PHONE: (562) 987-9191