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MLK Parade and Celebration to honor Cannabis Advocates and NAACP Leader

The 31st annual Martin Luther King Jr. Parade and Celebration is scheduled to take place Saturday, Jan. 19, Vice Mayor Dee Andrews’ office announced last week.

This year’s theme will be “Walking the Talk” and will celebrate community partners involved in social, environmental and human rights.

The grand marshals include:

Naomi Rainey-Pierson, the Long Beach branch president for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The branch hosts community events year-round and works to uplift the African American community. It was recently honored by the American Bar Association for its annual Law Day.

Adam Hijazi and the Long Beach Collective Association Board, including Greg Lefian and John Bianco. The LBCA is a nonprofit cannabis trade association that works with the city’s health department and community organizations such as AOC7 to ensure public safety and cannabis education. Additionally, Hjazi’s dispensary, The Station, was the first to legally open in the 6th District and turned an empty building into an eye-catching business with a large outdoor mural.

Mauna Eichner and Lee Fukui, 6th District residents living in the city’s Wrigley neighborhood, are environmental volunteers who have served on the city’s Tree Advisory Committee with Eichner also having served on the Pedestrian Safety Advisory Committee. Both are founding members of the Wrigley is Going Green organization and the Wrigley Clean Team neighborhood group.

Philip Gonsal, who has been working with the Long Beach Fire Department for 19 years and currently holds the rank of engineer. Gonsal helps youth with troubled and challenging backgrounds by overseeing two youth programs: the Rockett Academy and It Takes a Village. He is also a board member of the recently launched EPIC nonprofit.

Rich Archbold, The Press-Telegram’s columnist and public editor is a graduate of Leadership Long Beach. He currently serves as a mentor to young professionals as they go through a 9-month leadership program. He was recently awarded the Distinguished Journalist award from the Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Port of Long Beach for its community sponsorships, grants and education outreach as well as its “industry-leading environmental policies” and efforts to build a green port.

“I am extremely excited for this event,” stated Andrews. “We need to give credit where credit is due, and this year’s honorees have proven to give back to the community.”

The event, which is being organized by the city’s Special Events and Filming office in conjunction with the 6th District City Council office, will be kicked off with a parade at 10:30 a.m. at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and Anaheim Street. It will be followed by an outdoor celebration with live entertainment, food, merchandise and vendors from noon to 5 p.m. at Martin Luther King Jr. Park, at 1950 Lemon Ave.

To Read The Rest Of This Article By Stephanie Rivera on Long Beach Post

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Published: January 10, 2019

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