Activism

Introducing Mr Dee Andrews Vice Mayor of Long Beach, California U.S.A.

Mr Delouis Andrews Vice Mayor of Long Beach, California is affectionately known to everyone as Dee Andrews.  He was born in Oracity, Texas on July 27, 1940 to Tim and Ardelia Andrews and is the fourth of five children, three girls and two boys.

The family moved to Long Beach when he was five years old and lived in the projects on the East side.  His parents worked at the Navy shipyard.  He attended Roosevelt Elementary School, Franklin Middle School and Polytechnic High where he had athletic scholarships.  From there he went on to UCLA but they weren’t allowing athletes to play in their first year at UCLA so he returned to Long Beach and attended the Long Beach City College then Call State Long Beach where he received his master’s in Social Sciences and government studies.

In 1967 as a standout athlete he played with the Dallas Cowboys in the position of Wide Receiver.  He played for a year and a half but had to quit because he broke his wrist.  He decided to call it a day and returned to Long Beach to finish his teaching credentials.  He was a few units short so he spent another year in college completing that.

He said that when he was going to school he couldn’t go on the “other side” of Atlantic Avenue.  Walnut Avenue, 10th Street and Hill Street was as far as Blacks could go.  They called it the Red Light District and people had to be at home by a certain time.  Also back then you couldn’t go to the school of your choice but the school that was in your area.

He started teaching kids from ages six to fourteen and he was part of the first ten African-Americans allowed to teach in Long Beach.  Carl Corn one of his fellow teachers, and also his student whom he’s very proud of, became the first Black superintendent of the Long Beach Unified School District.  In those days they didn’t have African-American students in high school except for Poly High then they started integrating in the 70s.

Mr Andrews was then sent to Wilson High also in Long Beach along with fellow teacher Luther Williams who is currently on the Board of the Long Beach Teachers Credit Union.  There were a handful of African-American students at Wilson high along with a large group of Cambodians who came over in 1975 after the Vietnam war.  He taught this first group of Cambodians.

Dee Andrews transitioned into politics because he “liked the idea of the court situation.”  He got into politics relatively recent, in 2007.  He was still working with the school district but because of his fascination with court cases, a Cambodian friend of his suggested that he should try politics. Laura Richardson an African-American council person at the time also encouraged him to run.  Twice he was defeated but the third time was the charm when Mrs Richardson became State Senator and then Congress woman.  He won her seat. The way how the city was zoned then, a Black person could not win city council.  Finally they separated the West side from the east side and then Blacks could run on the East side.  At that time too Tony Bats was the second African-American Police Chief of Long Beach.  He then moved to Oakland, California but now unfortunately Mr Andrews has lost touch with him.  He also touched on the riots.  Long Beach suffered from two riots.  The first when Dr King was murdered in 1968 and when Rodney King was beaten in 1991.  The National Guard had to be brought in and the rioting was stopped at 7th Street.  It was more controlled in Long Beach than Los Angeles.  Some buildings were burned down and today those lands are marked with white picket fences.

The platform that Mr Andrews ran on was jobs especially for those who were incarcerated with felony on their records.  His motto “They worked while they were in prison, why can’t they work out here.  They already showed that they have good work ethics.”  And he was successful.

He touched on rent control which is so needed.  With rent for a one bedroom apartment going for up to $1,900.00 a ballot initiative was done where they met with landlords to let them know that the rent should not go any higher than ten percent of the current fee and that is STILL high.  Also a law was passed that if a landlord evicted a tenant for an unjust reason then said landlord who have to relocate the tenant who was evicted.

He spoke about the homeless crisis here too. Plans were being made to implement vouchers to subsidize rent but it would only be 20 to 25 vouchers total which would definitely not be enough.  There was talk of building shelters that would hold 125 beds but the homeless wouldn’t go for that.

One idea that Mr Andrews has is that the city should buy up the hotels that are not being used (and they are many!) and use them to house the homeless and then transition them into jobs, those who can work.  He thinks it’s a novel idea so we’ll see.  A lot of condos are being built in Long Beach but the developers are looking to renting them for the 2024 Olympics and beyond.

For Thanksgiving, Mr Andrews is planning on giving away Nikes, a shirt and a pair of pants to his students (he still teaches) at the McBride Recreational Center which is run by the city.  He also works with Mr Baker a barber on Martin Luther King (MLK) Blvd to give away backpacks full of back to school supplies and free haircuts. And let’s not forget the annual MLK Day parade culminating with a concert at the MLK Park with old school bands like War and the annual LGBTQ parade which draws thousands.

Mr Andrews has been married twice.  His first wife was Toni Bishop and his current wife is Maxine Andrews. He met Maxine 50 years ago but they both had separate lives and went their separate ways.  It wasn’t until recently that Ms Thelma Houston the singer (no relation to Whitney) also of Long Beach, brought them together again and they have been married for the past six years.

  Maxine is a star in her own right.  She is a well known backup singer in Hollywood. Name any group or solo artist and she’s sung for them, including Neil Diamond. She was featured in the documentary Twenty Feet from Stardom which went on to win the Oscar for Best Documentary and a Grammy for Best Music Film.

Mr Andrews is the father of three grown daughters.  One is a teacher, one works in the penal system and like her father wants to save ALL the inmates, and the other lives in Las Vegas.

What does the future hold for this dynamic Vice Mayor?  The 2020 elections! And again he will be running on jobs for all.

Good luck and blessings.

 

Dorrette G. Young

562 682 5710 or 562 253 4491 Email ydorrette@gmail.com 

Written by Dorrette Young
Jamaican. Born December 15th. Worked for a bank in Jamaica. Was promoted to Secretary to the general manager for the entire banking system. Left for a PR firm, also in Jamaica. Wrote articles for our clients, interviewed local celebrities like Jimmy Cliff, traveled the island covering events with a professional photographer and I sang with the Jamaica Folk Singers, touring the island and Costa Rica. Moved to the USA in 1988 to pursue a career in entertainment. Worked as an LVN in the meantime. I can be contacted at ydorrette@gmail.com or 562 682 5710 or 562 253 4491. Profile

One Reply to “Introducing Mr Dee Andrews Vice Mayor of Long Beach, California U.S.A.”

  1. When I make a correction and stay on this page the corrections stay but when I move to the home page and then come back to this page the corrections are erased. Can u please fix it for me. Thanks Dorrette G. Young

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