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As I write to you today, families across our city and country have begun gathering to celebrate Thanksgiving. For many of us, this holiday season will be the first we've been able to see our family. Just one year ago, we were in an extremely different place and I am grateful for the tireless work and sacrifices of so many that have made it possible for us to celebrate together.
This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for my family, for my friends and for our amazing Long Beach community. But I would be remiss if I didn't also take a moment to be thankful for the memories we have of those who are no longer with us today. Long Beach has lost 1,052 people to COVID-19. The lives of their families and friends will never be the same. As we gather, in a way that we might not have before, please take a moment to remember those who we lost — and an extra moment to be thankful for those who are still with us today.
I never imagined when I became mayor that I would be leading our city during the largest health crisis our city has ever faced; but today, thanks to the hard work of our frontline workers, health care partners and each and every one of you — Long Beach has now vaccinated 83% of our adult population, 81% of those 12+ and 75% of those 5+. From day one, Long Beach has been a national model for vaccination programs, and we are continuing to vaccinate folks every single day.
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Beyond a successful vaccine and booster rollout, Long Beach has also had some other amazing achievements this year that we should all be thankful for. This spring, LBUSD was the largest school district in the state to successfully reopen in-person instruction and Long Beach became one of the first cities in the country to pass a robust economic recovery package with the Long Beach Recovery Act. We were even able to support 1,500 migrant children in finding a home through our partnership with the White House's humanitarian efforts.
It is true that there's a lot more ahead of us to tackle — including affordable housing, the national homelessness crisis, the impacts of the pandemic on public safety, and a robust recovery — but after what we have all just worked together to achieve, I am more hopeful than ever.
I want to express my gratitude to all of Long Beach for a stellar year of working together. It is my honor to serve as your mayor, and I am thankful for the opportunity to lead our city every day.
Go Long Beach and Happy Thanksgiving,
Mayor Robert Garcia
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