First Latina POLB Harbor Commissioner, Local Leadership Nonprofit to be Honored with Keys to the City • Long Beach Post

At the next Long Beach City Council meeting Mayor Robert Garcia is expected to honor the first Latina to serve as harbor commissioner of the Port of Long Beach with the key to the city.

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He will also honor for the first time ever a group for their outstanding service and commitment to bettering Long Beach, city officials said.

“Carmen Peréz and Leadership Long Beach have been vital to the development of Long Beach,” stated Garcia. “Carmen has invested decades of hard work and helped open doors for other women leaders and Leadership Long Beach alumni are leading organizations at every level of the City of Long Beach.”

Carmen Perez. Photos courtesy of the City of Long Beach.

With over 30 years of service, Perez is known as a local civil rights leader in addition to being the port’s first Latina harbor commissioner where she helped increase trade at the port and made the city one of the world’s busiest container cargo ports, according to city officials.

It was Perez who worked with the port to offer residents an inside look at the complex with free harbor cruises. More than 2,000 visitors take advantage of the tours annually now. Perez also served as vice chair for the National Democratic Party and as the Democratic National Committee vice chairwoman for California and is a founding member of the Long Beach Chapter of the American Diabetes Association, the Long Beach Mujeres Coalition and the founder and first president of the Long Beach Chicano Political Caucus.

“I am both humbled and thrilled. I love this great city of ours and I think it is an honor for us to volunteer and give back where ever we can,” Perez stated. “I thank Mayor Robert Garcia for this wonderful honor and I will cherish it always.”

Created in 1989, Leadership Long Beach has been working to educate and motivate members to become leaders in the community, focusing on issues that will improve the city’s future and sustainability. With over 1,500 alumni, including the mayor, the nonprofit has had a vast reach throughout the city, officials said.

The nonprofit offers programs tailored to community leaders, high school students, executive leaders new to Long Beach and young adults.

“As we approach the 30th Anniversary of our organization, we are incredibly honored to be chosen to receive the Key to the City,” stated Jeff Williams, an executive director at Leadership Long Beach. “Leadership Long Beach is proud of our three decades of providing principled leadership and having alumni serve in a variety of capacities and ways to make Long Beach an even better place. We are following the vision of our founders and continuing to make strides to create a great future for Long Beach.”

The key to the city presentation will take place during a ceremony at the beginning of the city council meeting on Tuesday, April 3 at 5:00PM at city hall, located at 333 West Ocean Boulevard.

Stephanie Rivera covers immigration and the north, west and central parts of Long Beach. Reach her at [email protected] or on Twitter at @StephRivera88.

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