Nonprofits donate wheelchair lift to city


Three Long Beach residents representing local nonprofits have joined forces to donate funds to the City of Long Beach to install a wheelchair lift before newly-elected City Council member Liz Treston takes her seat on Jan. 1.

Former Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg, of The Harvey & Ellen Weisenberg Special Needs Resource Corps., along with Cliff Skudin of Surf for All and Richard Papetti of Citizens United to Remove Barriers donated nearly $7,000 to the city last month to purchase and install a lift that will help Treston — who has a spinal cord injury and requires a wheelchair — get to the dais for council meetings.

“It’s nice for the public to have the voice of a person who is physically challenged to be able to do what has to be done to advocate and move forward in helping our entire community,” Weisenberg said. “City Hall has to have total access for people that are challenged.”

The council voted unanimously to accept the donation at its Nov. 19 meeting. Weisenberg said that city employees would install the lift before Treston takes office next month.

Treston — known as an advocate for people with disabilities as well as those who have struggled with challenges after Hurricane Sandy — garnered 3,179 votes in the Nov. 5 election. She said she had been looking to find another way to pay for the lift without using city funds before Weisenberg and others stepped up.

“I didn’t expect [Weisenberg] to be so generous, but he always puts Long Beach first,” said Treston, who added that she was also grateful to Surf for All and CURB.