Opinion : If Mom Were Mayor: Essay Winners Give Her Guidance

Long Beach youngsters were invited to write essays describing what their mothers or fathers should do if one of them were elected mayor. Steven Wasick, a freshman at Polytechnic High School, won first place in the high school category. Rome Sotelo, who is in the eighth grade at Hughes Middle School, topped the middle-school division. Nearly 100 students entered the contest, sponsored by "Straight Talk" Cable Television show, ACT Electronics and Kinko's Copy Center. The winning essays:

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If my mom was the mayor (and she should be) there are plenty of things I would ask her to do. These are just a few of them.

Even though Long Beach is a large modern city, we need a sense of community. Neighborhood meetings are a way to start. People in every neighborhood have good ideas and if everyone came together and discussed the ideas, problems would be solved and neighbors might be friends again. Also, get corporations to sponsor events at local parks so that youth in the area will have something to do after school and on weekends.

Crime: it's on everyone's mind. People used to be able to leave their doors unlocked at night and not worry. Now, walking down the street at night is left for the daring. We need to restore that feeling of security to the citizens of Long Beach. One way to do this is to put more police officers on bike patrols. They have been proven to be more effective in stopping crime and are much less expensive to support.

Although Long Beach has problems, we are still a great city. People who live here know that. We must make sure that other people from around the country know that, too. Long Beach must project a positive image of itself so that businesses are enticed to come here.

There is an old saying that a city is only as good as the people who live in it. The fact that Long Beach is a great city is a testament to the people who live here. We have made Long Beach into the wonderful city that it is today. Don't stop now, together we can make it even better.

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