Spotlight on East 7th St. Collaboration

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7th Street Collaboration

Members of the 7th Street Collaboration with City Council.

EverythingLongBeach.com recently spoke with Gretchen Swanson, Member of East 7th St. Collaboration, via email. They talked about the inspirations and challenges of running a nonprofit organization in Long Beach.

How long has East 7th St. Collaboration been around?

East 7th St. will celebrate its 104 birthday on Nov. 29th, 2013. A critical area in the development of early Long Beach – it was recognized last night at LB City Council meeting with a proclamation by Mayor Bob Foster. The East 7th St. Collaboration was cited for its efforts and vision for the future by Councilperson Suja Lowenthal and Vice Mayor Robert Garcia. 

Describe East 7th St. Collaboration. Tell us a little about your nonprofit, your mission, the people you serve or your goals.

The East 7th St. Collaboration is made up of 3 neighborhood associations and property and business owners along East 7th St. Efforts of the group are to improve the look and business along the street from Redondo to Alamitos.

How is East 7th St. Collaboration different from similar nonprofits?

The East 7th Collaboration grew organically from the local Restoration Trade Fair and the East 7th St. history project. This 1.5 square mile area was annexed to the city of LB in 1909; and remains a critical conduit for commuters and its residents.

How is East 7th St. Collaboration involved with the community?

Besides instituting upgrades at intersections; installing a 1.6 mile tree design and branding the street for future initiatives. The Collaboration has developed design criteria for facade improvement and building renovation. These efforts are best exampled with the newly remodeled and enhanced development at East 7th and Junipero (the former Big Lots).

What are some of the biggest successes East 7th St. Collaboration has had?

We just completed the city’s first competitive re-envisioned art competition. Which has spotlighted how grass root action can alter attitude. And in this case, it shows how hundreds of residents and business people want change along the street and what those changes ought to look like. The winning designs can be found at www.E7th.org

What is the most rewarding part of running East 7th St. Collaboration?

The best part is that no one person runs the organization – it is a collaboration!

What are the future plans for East 7th St. Collaboration?

We are working towards a major street improvement initiative coordinated by Councilwoman Lowenthal’s office. And along the way hope to engage more street action and attract desired businesses.

One Last Thing:

Many have said “what can be done to East 7th St.?” And our response is, “just watch, you’ll see what can be done!”

East 7th St. Collaboration Details:
Phone Number: 562-786-7646
Website: www.e7th.org

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