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Manhattan Beach: Five Ways to Be A Good Citizen, Right Now

Sep 01, 2020 11:33AM ● By Jeanne Fratello
Want to take a few minutes of your week to become a better citizen of Manhattan Beach? We've compiled a few things everyone should do:

1) Complete the Census

Currently, only 66.7% of households in Manhattan Beach have responded to the 2020 census. That compares to an average of 74.7% among our neighbors across El Segundo, Hermosa, Redondo, and Palos Verdes. This is a little embarrassing, but it's not too late to fix that. If you haven't answered yet, you can respond online at

Why is it important? The census decides how billions of federal dollars are distributed in California. An undercount could impact funding for our schools, health services, child care, emergency services, and many other programs. Just as importantly, the census determines the number of California’s congressional members and Electoral College votes, so let's make sure we get counted and our voices are heard.

2) Meet Your City Council and School Board Candidates

It's almost Labor Day, which means that elections are right around the corner. Now's a great time to learn about the residents who are running for high-profile local offices. We'll be writing more about these candidates as it gets closer to the November 3 election, but until then, here's a chance to get to meet them:

City Council Candidates (vote for three): 
School Board Candidates (vote for two): 

(Oh, and make sure you're registered to vote!)

3) Wear a Mask or Face Covering

We're not going to rehash the mask debate except to remind everyone that the city is issuing warnings and ticketing those who are not wearing masks or face coverings (with the primary enforcement focus on highly trafficked areas downtown). Why put an additional burden on our police by making them have to ask you to do it? In fact, the MBPD has urged citizens to help them by wearing a mask. Follow their advice and just wear a face covering so the they can spend their time on bigger issues. 

(P.S. Support local businesses by purchasing your masks in Manhattan Beach from local merchants.)

4) Secure Your Property

Again, this one's a no-brainer but it can go a long way toward helping the police help us.

In 2019, property crimes (burglary, larceny, and vehicle theft) made up 94% of all crimes committed in Manhattan Beach.

These are crimes of opportunity - and we can cut down on them and help out the police by providing fewer "opportunities."

To help make our town and neighborhood safer, lock your doors and windows, and keep your car doors locked. Secure your outer gates if you have them. Use appropriate outdoor lighting, and install video cameras if appropriate. And if you're going to be away, keep your lights on a timer and arrange for someone to pick up mail, newspapers, and packages.

If you need more information about how to keep your house safe when you're out of town, download the MBPD's Vacation Checklist before you leave home.

5) Help Clean Up the Beach

We all live here because we love our beautiful beaches. Now's our chance to show our appreciation by keeping them clean. September is Heal the Bay's Coastal Cleanup Month, and this year, families and individuals are being encouraged to do their own (socially distanced) cleanup days. That means you can pitch in at any time that it's convenient for you. So grab a mask and gloves, a bucket or trash bag, and help make our beaches better. (Make sure to register your cleanup so that Heal the Bay and its partner organizations can keep track of how much trash is collected.)

If you're not able to participate, you can still join Heal the Bay at one of its weekly Knowledge Drops or Instagram Live presentations. Alternatively, you can donate to help sponsor a beach cleanup, survey marine protected areas, fund water quality research, and more. Everyone loves a clean beach!

Bonus Task: Compost Food and Green Waste

Did you know (it seems like lots of people don't) that the city's green waste program has converted to a more traditional composting program? And that yard waste can now be mixed with food waste? So you can get on the eco-friendly train by putting these items in your green waste bin:
  • Garden trimmings
  • Food waste for composting, wrapped in newspaper or waste paper (no plastic bags)
  • Food-soiled paper including napkins, paper towels, coffee filters, paper plates (non wax coated), greasy pizza boxes and greasy paper bags
Yes, you heard that right: You can now put greasy pizza boxes in your green bin. What shouldn't go in the green bins are tree branches or tree trunks; palm fronds; waxed paper products; liquids; or glass, metal, or plastic.

Thanks for being great citizens of Manhattan Beach!

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