— ADVERTISEMENT - GO AD-FREE — ADVERTISEMENT - GO AD-FREE

🍻 ISM BREWING x Long Beach Watchdog - Join us Thursday, July 25 for a fundraiser beer pairing dinner. Click here for more info.

Naming of POLB's education center after former Rep. Alan Lowenthal heads back to council for final approval

Over some 30 years in office, Lowenthal advocated for many environmental issues like protecting port-adjacent neighborhoods from the dangerous dust that eminated from petroleum coke in Long Beach.

Naming of POLB's education center after former Rep. Alan Lowenthal heads back to council for final approval
A person walks in front of the Port of Long Beach headquarters in Downtown Long Beach. Photo by Jason Ruiz

An exhibit room inside the  Port of Long Beach’s Downtown headquarters is one step closer to being named after former Congressman Alan Lowenthal after a City Council committee voted Tuesday to ask the full council to approve the naming.

The issue will head back to the full City Council, where that body will give the final approval on the name of the new center, which is proposed to be the “Congressman Alan Lowenthal Global Trade and Education Center.” Port leadership asked the council to consider the renaming of the center earlier this month.

Lowenthal began his political career in Long Beach as a City Council member in the 1990s, and retired from Congress in 2023 after opting to not pursue another term. The issue was heard by the council’s Government Operations and Efficiency Committee, which voted unanimously to send the item back to the council for final approval.

Over three decades in office, Lowenthal advocated for environmental issues like protecting port-adjacent neighborhoods from dangerous dust from petroleum coke in Long Beach. Then, he worked to reduce the amount of time that cargo trucks are allowed to idle while waiting at ports while in the California Assembly

The city has a policy that typically prohibits city-owned land or buildings from being named after living people unless the City Council determines that the person has made a “significant contribution” that warrants a deviation from the policy.


Boycott the Post. Become a Watchdog.


Mario Cordero, the executive director of the Port of Long Beach, said Lowenthal really “moved the needle” on the environmental steps that the port needed to make. He noted that nearly a quarter of the port’s cargo handling machinery is zero emissions and the port is still working toward a 2030 goal of being zero emissions.

“Given those examples, I thought it would be proper to name this after the congressman,” Cordero said to the committee Tuesday.

Councilmember Daryl Supernaw, who chairs the committee, said that while Lowenthal stacked up accolades during his political career, he was a professor at Cal State Long Beach before he ran for council and that it was appropriate that his name will now be on an educational center.

“I think that’s a nice fit,” Supernaw said.

In recent years, the council has named a handful of city-owned spaces after people who are still alive.

In 2016, the council voted to rename the Center Theatre inside the Performing Arts Center after former Mayor Beverly O’Neill.

In 2021, the council voted to name the Houghton Park Community Center in North Long Beach after former Councilmember Doris Topsy-Elvord, who became the first Black woman to be elected to the council in 1992. Topsy-Elvord died a few months after the renaming of the center.

Most recently, the council approved the renaming of the sports complex at Chittick Field in Central Long Beach after former Councilmember Dee Andrews, who represented the area until 2020.

The council is expected to vote on naming the center after Lowenthal at some point in May.

— ADVERTISEMENT - GO AD-FREE — ADVERTISEMENT - GO AD-FREE

To finish signing in, click the confirmation link in your inbox.

×

Support the Long Beach Watchdog and get cool features like dark mode, the ability to comment and an ad-free reading experience.

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Sign in.