Saturday, September 21, 2013

SATURDAY POLITICS: Will The Next Mayor of Long Beach Be LGBT?

Robert Garcia Gerrie Schipske
There is an electoral campaign underway to become the next Mayor of Long Beach, the second largest city (of 99!) in Los Angeles County, seventh largest in California and 36th largest nationwide. There are two prominent LGBT candidates running for Mayor of Long Beach: Vice-Mayor (and City Councilman) Robert Garcia, 35, and City Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske, 62. Garcia has represented District 1 since 2009 and Schipske has represented District 5 since 2006. If either is elected in April 2014 they would be Long Beach's first Mayor who is openly LGBT. Long Beach is considered to have a relatively large fraction of the population that is LGBT and according to official census data about 1% of all city households are same-sex couples.

From Garcia's campaign website:
Dr. Robert Garcia was elected Vice Mayor of Long Beach by a unanimous vote in July, 2012, becoming the youngest person ever to hold that position. He was first elected to the Long Beach City Council in April of 2009, and re-elected to a full four-year term in April 2010 to serve the citizens of the First City Council District.
Robert is also a California Coastal Commissioner.  He was appointed by the California State Senate Rules Committee in January of 2013, and in that role serves as one of 12 commissioners tasked with protecting the California Coast and overseeing all development up and down the state.
He is a member of the public policy and communications faculty at the University of Southern California, and has taught Communication Studies at both Cal State Long Beach and Long Beach City College. Robert's passion for education led him to pursue a Doctorate in Higher Education, which he was awarded in 2010 after publishing his dissertation on California's Master Plan for Education.
Robert also holds a Masters Degree in Communication Management from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor's Degree in Communication Studies from California State University, Long Beach.
In 2007, Robert co-founded and launched the Long Beach Post, a Long Beach based media website and newspaper. Today, the Long Beach Post has over 80,000 online subscribers, and a print edition of over 25,000 copies.
From Schipske's campaign website:
Gerrie was elected in 1992 to the Long Beach Community College District Board of Trustees where she focused on expanding vocational training programs and implementing the "seamless educational system" with LBUSD and CSULB. As President of the Board she guided the start of district elections.

She was elected to the Long Beach City Council in 2006 and re-elected with over 64% of the vote in 2010.

Gerrie is an adjunct faculty member at CSULB and has taught graduate and undergraduate courses on public administration, intergovernmental relations, human resources management, healthcare law and California government. She also teaches at the Senior University at CSULB (OLLI).

Gerrie has written three books on the history of her hometown: Rosie the Riveter in Long Beach; Early Aviation in Long Beach; and Early Long Beach. The books are available from Arcadia Publishing and local bookstores.

​Gerrie and her partner, Flo Pickett, have been together 33 years and raised a son and two daughters. They are Grandma and Nana to a wonderful 3 year old girl.
It appears as if the fight to be Mayor of Long Beach recently got more complicated when former Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal (who used to represent District 1) announced recently that she was entering the mayoral race. Former NFL player Damon Dunn who is also a City Councilman has raised the most money so far.

MadProfessah will be following this local race with interest!

Hat/tip to Karen Ocamb

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