Robert Garcia
Robert Garcia
Dr. Robert Garcia is a City Council member in the City of Long Beach, California. He represents the First Councilmanic District, which includes large areas of downtown, parts of the Port of Long Beach, and some of the densest and most diverse urban areas in the nation.
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  • 2014
    Age 36
    He won the mayoral election on June 3, 2014 with 52.1% of the vote, defeating Damon Dunn.
    More Details Hide Details Garcia was the first openly gay person to be elected Mayor of Long Beach. Garcia was born on December 2, 1977 in Lima, Peru. He immigrated to the United States with his mother at age 5. His mother and aunt worked in many jobs, including as housekeepers, to support the family. Garcia attended California State University, Long Beach, where he became President of the Associated Students, was an active member of the Delta Chi fraternity and graduated with a degree in Communication Studies. He continued his education at the University of Southern California, where he received a Master's Degree, and later became Public Information Officer at Long Beach City College. Garcia received his Ed.D. in Educational Policy from California State University, Long Beach, in June 2010. He has taught courses in Communication and Public Policy at the University of Southern California, California State University, Long Beach, and Long Beach City College. He is fully bilingual, speaking, reading and writing both English and Spanish fluently.
    In 2014 Garcia ran for Mayor of Long Beach.
    More Details Hide Details He qualified for the runoff by finishing first in the primary election.
    He received 25.4% of the vote in the April 8, 2014 election, finishing first in a field of 10 mayoral candidates. In the runoff election between Garcia and fellow candidate Damon Dunn (22.3% of the vote) on June 3, Garcia won with 52% of the vote, and took office on July 15, 2014
    More Details Hide Details Garcia's first 100 days as Mayor were characterized by a focus on education and seating commissioners to fill vacancies on citizen commissions. Garcia committed the City of Long Beach to joining local educational institutions as a signatory to the Long Beach College Promise, and announced a goal of universal preschool enrollment and doubling the number of internships in the city for local students. He appointed more than 60 commissioners, creating the most diverse slate of commissioners in the city's history. Garcia's State of the City address used a large digital screen to display data and graphics, winning acclaim for its visual appeal and use of technology. The speech highlighted education, economic development, and sustainability, among other issues. Garcia's focus on economic development has been exemplified by his revival of the inactive Economic Development Commission, and acquisition of a $3 million innovation grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • 2013
    Age 35
    In July 2013, Garcia announced his candidacy for Mayor of Long Beach.
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    In July 2013, after Bob Foster announced he would not seek re-election, Garcia entered the race for Long Beach Mayor.
    More Details Hide Details Upon being installed as Mayor, Garcia had to leave the Coastal Commission, which does not allow charter Mayors to serve as members. Garcia has authored or cosponsored more than 20 pieces of legislation, including the City's first Equal Benefits Ordinance, a ban on smoking at bus stops and at farmers' markets, a proposal to extend increased preferences to veterans in civil service hiring, and a broad-ranging arts initiative that eliminated restrictions on street performances, and reduced the business license tax for artists and other home-based businesses. Garcia showed support for both the business community and labor unions, voting to support Project Labor Agreements at the Long Beach Airport, Port of Long Beach and for the Gerald Desmond Bridge, supporting the expansion of the Middle Harbor Terminal, and working to improve infrastructure in commercial corridors. He has shown interest in government reform and fiscal accountability, and supported the City Manager's efforts to consolidate departments.
  • 2012
    Age 34
    In July 2012, he was unanimously elected to a two-year term as Vice Mayor by the City Council, becoming the first Latino Vice Mayor in Long Beach and the youngest in the City's history (Press Telegram, July 18, 2012).
    More Details Hide Details In January 2013, Garcia was appointed to the California Coastal Commission.
  • 2010
    Age 32
    He was reelected in April 2010 by a margin of more than 40 percentage points.
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  • 2009
    Age 31
    In 2009, Garcia defeated six other candidates, including a former First District Councilmember, to win the seat vacated when Bonnie Lowenthal was elected to the California State Assembly in 2008.
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    After being elected on April 13, 2009 to fill the seat vacated by Bonnie Lowenthal, Garcia became the youngest person, the first Latino male, and the first gay person of color to be elected to the Long Beach City Council.
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  • 2007
    Age 29
    In 2007, Garcia founded the Long Beach Post, a website devoted to local news and sports reporting.
    More Details Hide Details The site soon became popular with local political figures and community leaders and gave Garcia increased local prominence. Garcia, with other area residents, founded the North Pine Neighborhood Alliance in 2008 to advocate for the needs of downtown residents and businesses. This launched his political career in earnest.
    Garcia changed his party to Democratic around 2007.
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  • 2005
    Age 27
    In 2005, he founded and was president of the Long Beach Young Republicans; he worked as chief of staff for Long Beach City Councilmember Frank Colonna and ran Colonna's 2006 mayoral campaign.
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  • 2000
    Age 22
    Originally a Republican, Garcia served as California Youth Coalition Coordinator for the 2000 George W. Bush presidential campaign while in college.
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  • 1977
    Born on December 2, 1977.
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