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Dear Community Partners and Friends,

The new year offers many opportunities, and I am grateful that we are ushering in 2021 with hope. While I’ve learned that an organization should not build a strategy simply on hope, it is an attribute that one must embrace given the year we leave in our wake.

As much as 2020 will always be a year defined by the pandemic and demand for meaningful cultural change, 2021 will be dedicated to the heavy lifting that will be necessary as we navigate the path to recovery and move our community forward together.

The Downtown Long Beach Alliance (DLBA) – its Staff, Board of Directors, and members of our community – has never shied away from tremendous tasks, and I look forward to the work and the role we’ll play with our citywide and civic partners to achieve our mutual goals. To that end, I would like to share with you our key objectives for 2021 and ask that you consider playing a role to assist our community in the road to recovery.

DLBA will:

1. Continue to support, assist, and uplift our community through the remaining months of the pandemic and lead the pathway to recovery for Downtown businesses.
2. Foster a culture of equality and equity in Downtown Long Beach, and demonstrate our organization’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
3. Maintain a clean, safe, attractive, and accessible public realm and apply creative strategies to improve the pedestrian experience with health and equity at front of mind.
4. Share and magnify positive stories about Downtown through enhanced communications, marketing, and media, for the benefit of our stakeholders and community.
5. Provide targeted educational and technical resources for business owners and entrepreneurs.
6. Collaborate with service providers and the City to engage individuals experiencing homelessness with a focus on transitioning them into housing.
7. Engage the community in the process to update DLBA’s Strategic Plan, which will help guide the next three to five years of programming and projects.

Even as we enter a new year of opportunity, many challenges still lie ahead. Guided by our priorities, DLBA will collaborate with its stakeholders, fellow community organizations, and civic partners to work through these challenges and move Downtown Long Beach forward. Our community is diverse, resilient, and committed, and DLBA will continue to embody and enhance these values in our efforts to foster a healthier, safer, and more prosperous Downtown.

Personally, I know for many of you the tragedies and tribulations of the past year may seem insurmountable, especially as we begin this new year with continued unknowns surrounding our health and economic crises. In all honesty, I have some of these moments too, but I assure you, we can and will overcome the tasks ahead. Downtown Long Beach is a historic community that has seen many trials – and each time, we have persevered. Downtown’s greatest stories and successes, its wealth of diverse businesses and unique character, and its unrelenting momentum are all a direct result of our community’s perseverance, resiliency, creativity, and ingenuity. I truly believe there is nothing we cannot get through and emerge stronger when we identify and collaborate on mutual objectives in a combined effort.

Along with sending you well wishes for the new year, I wanted to thank you for your continued care, commitment and support that has helped our community through this very challenging time. I’m also motivated to share our desires and objectives for 2021, and I look forward to working with you in the days, weeks, and months ahead to help with the heavy load to accomplish our goals.

Thank you in advance for your continued commitment and willingness to help in our journey.

Here’s to a healthy, peaceful, and prosperous 2021 that is filled with meaningful progress and positive results.

Sincerely,

Kraig Kojian

President & CEO