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The council can name the North Long Beach Community Center after the city’s first black councilor • Long Beach Post News – Long Beach, California

Long Beach, California 2021-03-30 20:03:14 –

Long Beach City Council Community center The first black woman to be affectionately called the “Mother of Fairness” and elected to the City Council on North Long Beach after Doris Topsy Elboard.

Acclaimed as a pioneer in public services and community activities, Topsy-Elvord, 89, chaired the Long Beach Civil Service Committee. She was also Vice President of the Long Beach Unified School District Personnel Commission and a member of the First Justice and Peace Commission of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles from November 1987 to November 1989.

In 1992, Topsy-Elvord was elected as the first black woman to serve in the city council representing District 6 of Central Long Beach, and was subsequently elected Deputy Mayor twice.

City council member Lex Richardson, who oversees District 9, is leading an effort to name the facility adjacent to Houghton Park. Topsy-Elvord did not represent North Long Beach, but Richardson, now Deputy Mayor of the City, as Topsy-Elvord once did, advocates equal treatment of the color community. He said leadership and tenacity were praised and felt throughout the city. She also lived in North Long Beach for over 20 years.

“We are all part of that heritage,” said Richardson.

She helped co-found the African-American Heritage Association in Long Beach and was nominated as a member of the Port of Long Beach Commission. At that time, Topsy-Elvord was the first black man and the third woman to join the five Port Commissions in nearly 80 years of history.

The Houghton Park Community Center is in the final stages before it opens. The 6,450-square-foot center was specifically funded by Major A. Photo: Thomas R. Cordova.

When Topsy-Elvord’s relatives informed her that the community center could be named in her honor, she said, “Surprised,” Oh! “.

“She’s very happy about it,” said Jackie Topsy, Topsy Elboard’s daughter-in-law. Stephen Topsy, son of Topsy-Elvord, said the name of the community center embodies the long-standing community services that mothers have achieved throughout their lives.

“I think it’s great for her,” he said. “This is what she deserves.”

Houghton Park is one of the city’s five regional parks, serving families other than the 90805 zip code. The newly refurbished community center offers senior programs such as dance, student computer rooms and weight rooms. Along with the community center Neighborhood clinic It is currently undergoing refurbishment and is scheduled to open this summer.

The name of the Houghton Park Community Center, named after Topsy-Elvord, also serves as a symbol of the activities of the black community.

North Long Beach is home to more than 90,000 people, accounting for 40% of the city’s black population. Currently, black residents are the most concentrated in Long Beach.

“We must acknowledge the Cultural Revolution of the city,” Richardson said.

The city council will vote for the naming proposal at the April 6 meeting. Those who agree with the proposal want to be able to name the building after Topsy Elbird before their 90th birthday on June 17th.

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