Council Unanimously Supports Naming Community Center for Senator Jenny Oropeza

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Sen. Jenny Oropeza

Garcia’s proposal now goes to Housing & Neighborhoods Committee, Parks Commission for approval

The Long Beach City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved the first step in naming the Community Center at Cesar Chavez Park after the late State Senator Jenny Oropeza. Oropeza, who lived in Long Beach, oversaw the creation of Cesar Chavez Park and the Community Center when she was First District Councilmember. Oropeza also served as Student Body President at CSULB, and as a member of the LBUSD Board of Education, the State Assembly, and the State Senate. She was the first Latina elected to the Long Beach City Council.

The naming of the community center will now go before the Housing and Neighborhoods Committee and the Parks and Recreation Commission for a recommendation, and then return to Council for final approval.

“I can’t think of a more fitting way to remember Jenny than to honor her at a park that she and her neighbors worked so hard to create,” said Garcia. “She told me once that Cesar Chavez Park was her proudest accomplishment.”

In his letter to the Council, Garcia noted Oropeza’s commitment to public health initiatives, legislation to protect women’s safety, environmental preservation, and support for education, among many other accomplishments.

Under Garcia’s proposal, the official name of the Center would be the “Jenny Oropeza Community Center.” The Center is located at 4th and Golden and is the centerpiece of Cesar Chavez Park. Supporting Garcia as co-sponsors were Vice-Mayor Suja Lowenthal, and Councilmembers Gerrie Schipske and Steve Neal.

The idea to name the Community Center after Jenny Oropeza was first proposed to Councilman Garcia by community leader Ann Salas-Rock. Salas-Rock worked with Jenny and other community leaders of the West End Community Association to create Cesar Chavez Park.

“I’m very grateful to Robert for bringing this forward,” said Tom Mullins, the Senator’s husband. “Jenny would surely be moved and very happy. She was so proud of this park.”

Under another proposal by Garcia, which the Council also unanimously supported sending to the Housing and Neighborhood Committee and Parks and Recreation Commission, the newly constructed park at Magnolia and 14th would be named “Seaside Park,” after the hospital that long stood at that site. That park is set to open February 12.

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