Message from the President
As President of the Board of Directors of the Gateway Cities Council of Governments, it is my pleasure to welcome you to our website. The Gateway Cities COG represents twenty-seven cities of southeast Los Angeles County, as well as the County of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach. This unique organization has its focus on improving the lives of the residents of our region of Los Angeles County in four major areas: transportation, air quality, housing, and economic development.
As part of our transportation mission, we have developed the Gateway Cities Strategic Transportation Plan (STP) in close cooperation with all of our member cities, as well as the County, resulting in a unified document that will take all of our region’s planned projects in all areas of transportation, ranging from pedestrian and bicycle facilities to highways and mass transit, and put them in a position to receive funding from regional, state, and federal agencies. If you scroll over the “Initiatives & Projects” tab on our home page, you will find the link to the Strategic Transportation Plan where you can view videos and other information related to this important effort.
The Strategic Transportation Plan has served as the motivation to launch the development of plans for the major arterial corridors that cross the Gateway Cities. The object of these studies is to create “complete streets”, making these corridors highly efficient and safe, not just for cars and trucks, but for transit services, bicycles, and pedestrians as well. The first of these studies was Artesia Boulevard Corridor, which has been completed. The next is Lakewood/Rosemead Boulevard Corridor, which is in the final stages. The plans for these Corridors are developed with the full cooperation and participation of the cities along the respective corridors. Currently we are developing plans for the Atlantic Avenue/Boulevard and Florence Avenue Corridors, and future corridors are planned, based on the STP and city recommendations.
We continue to work on plans to improve the I-710 freeway corridor to enhance traffic safety and mobility, especially in light of the importance of that corridor to the goods movement industry on which our region’s economy is so dependent, and most importantly to support another of our key missions, which is to improve the air quality in the region. Work is also continuing on improving the “hot spots” of traffic congestion in the SR-91/I-605/I-405 freeway corridors. These projects rely heavily on major arterial intersection improvements, the development and use of alternative technologies, and freeway interchange design improvements as an alternative to simply adding lanes to the freeways.
Thanks to funding from our County Board of Supervisors, the Gateway Cities Homeless Action Plan initiative, which has the goal of finding permanent housing for the homeless in our region of the county, is now in its eighth year of operation. In its first years, this very successful program has permanently housed over 2100 previously homeless individuals. Working with our partner, the wonderful organization People Assisting the Homeless (PATH), we have served thousands more homeless persons, linking them to medical services, emergency shelters, financial assistance, and veterans’ programs.
The COG’s Economic Development Working Group continues to work on strategies to improve the economy and job opportunities for the residents of the Gateway Cities. In the past year Long Beach City College, Southeast Los Angeles County Workforce Development Board, and Cerritos Regional Chamber of Commerce have joined the Working Group in the continued development of strategies to lower unemployment within the Gateway Cities region. The Working Group has also joined forces with the Los Angeles Small Business Development Center located at Long Beach City College to create a job training partnership. We have an economy largely supported by the trade industry through our local ports, which accounts for 45% of the value of all goods that are shipped to the United States. We still have a very important manufacturing sector with significant job opportunities in the area of advanced manufacturing. We are working with our state representatives to develop strategies to support these industries because of the needs of our residents to have access to well-paying jobs. We continue to promote the Gateway Cities as a place where businesses would want to locate. I invite you to explore our website’s “Site Prospector” program by clicking on the “Site Selection Tools” tab on our home page to access a “one stop” database of available buildings and properties throughout the Gateway Cities area where potential employers can locate.
In 2019, the COG launched a new Climate Action Planning (CAP) Framework, visible under the “Initiatives and Projects” tab on our home page. The CAP Framework is a set of tools for cities to create a Climate Action Plan when they are ready to do so. The Framework includes emissions tracking, target setting tools, and public engagement guidance, among many other elements.
The Gateway Cities Council of Governments’ success is only possible because of the high level of cooperation among all of our member agencies. It is my privilege to serve as President of this energetic organization.
President, Board of Directors
Gateway Cities Council of Governments and Council Member, City of Whittier