Community activist Eduardo Lara announces bid for 2nd District council seat

Community activist Eduardo Lara has announced his bid for the 2nd District Council seat, heating up an increasingly crowded race for the district that includes the Queen Mary and parts of Long Beach’s downtown waterfront.

His bid comes as embattled Councilwoman Jeannine Pearce on Friday announced that she will not seek a second term.

So far, seven other people have announced their candidacy—the most recent being former business owner Cindy Allen.

Lara, a sociology professor at Cal State Long Beach, is a self-described “social justice leader” who serves on the board for The LGBTQ Center Long Beach.

Eduardo Lara. Courtesy photo.

In a statement Monday, Lara said he’s passionate about Long Beach and is ready to serve the city.

“I am running because too many of our neighbors are being left out of the economic prosperity that our city is experiencing,” he said. “Together, we will move our district forward by focusing on issues like affordable housing, accessible parking, a healthy environment, small-business development, public safety, youth programs, resources for the elderly, and ensuring that all Long Beach workers are treated with the dignity they deserve.”

In the coming days, Lara said he will share his “BEACH Plan” with five key areas: beautification, economic inclusion, access, climate change and housing.

“I’ve called Long Beach home for over a decade; the ‘small town, big city’ feel of the community charmed me,” he said. “It was in Downtown Long Beach where I first met my husband. My God-kids and I are regulars at Bixby Park. Like many of you, I yoga on the bluff and I look forward to Fourth Fridays to enjoy a vibrant Retro Row. I am connected to our coast as it is where I have trained for the charity bike ride, AIDS/LifeCycle.”

Lara and his husband, Gaudencio Márquez, live near Retro Row on Fourth Street. As an educator, Lara has worked as a middle school teacher in the Los Angeles Unified Schools District, and as director of an urban education master’s degree program at Loyola Marymount University. He has also served as a former Obama Organizing Fellow, California Democratic Delegate to the 55th Assembly District, AIDS/LifeCycle participant and a committee member for both the Long Beach LGBTQ+ and Justice Fund advisory groups.

He earned his bachelor’s degree from George Washington University and his doctorate in Education from the University of California Los Angeles. At Cal State Long Beach, he serves as faculty advisor to La Raza Student Association and consults on social justice projects. Through his position with The Center, Eduardo said he plans to work on outreach efforts for diverse communities and further equity for the LGBTQ+ community.

Lara in 2018 ran for District 3 in the Long Beach Unified school board but lost to fellow Cal State Long Beach professor Juan Benitez.

While Mayor Robert Garcia and state Sen. Lena Gonzalez have said they will back Allen in the March 2020 race, Pearce on Monday took to Facebook to voice her support for Lara.

“While there are a lot of great people running for the seat, Eduardo Lara is the candidate with the experience, commitment to equity and passion we deserve,” she said.

Support our journalism.

Hyperlocal news is an essential force in our democracy, but it costs money to keep an organization like this one alive, and we can’t rely on advertiser support alone. That’s why we’re asking readers like you to support our independent, fact-based journalism. We know you like it—that’s why you’re here. Help us keep hyperlocal news alive in Long Beach.

Kelly Puente is a general assignment and special projects reporter at the Long Beach Post. Her prolific reporting has taken her all over Southern California—even to the small Catalina Island town of Two Harbors. She is a Tiki mug collector and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in public policy and administration at Cal State Long Beach. Reach her at [email protected].