PRESS TELEGRAM | By Hunter Lee | April 2, 2020
The Long Beach Center for Economic Inclusion announced the new organization’s founding Board of Directors recently, and with that, also came the announcement of a new resource to help uplift economic development across Long Beach.
The organization’s mission is to expand inclusive economic opportunities to Long Beach residents, focusing on supporting small businesses and entrepreneurship, youth development, housing and home ownership, and economic resiliency.
Chairman Bob Cabeza, former YMCA senior vice president of Community Development, will lead the board.
The rest of the founding directors are:
- Juan Benitez, director of the CSULB Center for Civic Engagement;
- Rev. Wayne Chaney of Antioch Church of Long Beach;
- Sharon Diggs-Jackson, at-risk youth advocate;
- Vivian Shimoyama, founder of Breakthru Solutions, a small business advocate; and
- Darick Simpson, director of Miller Foundation and formerly of Long Beach Community Action Partnership.
“This founding board is comprised of amazing individuals who have been doing the real, heavy-lifting work of uplifting small businesses and our low-income families and communities for years,” Cabeza said in a statement late last week. “I am honored to serve alongside these individuals to help put into place an entity that will serve our community for many years to come.”
The organization was established in response to the “Everyone In” Economic Inclusion Implementation Plan, which Ninth District Councilman Rex Richardson championed; the plan brought together community stakeholders from across Long Beach to develop a series of recommendations to expand economic opportunity in the city.
“With so much economic uncertainty for Long Beach, the timing is right for a Community Development Corporation to step up in ensuring small businesses and working families are a key focus of our relief and recovery efforts,” Richardson, chairman of the Economic Development Committee, said.