Photo by Sarah Bennett
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti endorsed Long Beach mayoral candidate Robert Garcia Tuesday, calling him an example of “new leadership” with a vision for collaboration between Los Angeles County’s two largest cities.
At a press conference at the Golden Shores Marine Biological Reserve, Garcetti also announced the endorsement of several other mayors from throughout the County who were not in attendance, including Bell Mayor Violeta Alvarez, Compton Mayor Aja Brown, Downey Mayor Fernando Chavez, Hawaiian Gardens Mayor Reynaldo Rodriguez, Hawthorne Mayor Chris Brown, Huntington Park Mayor Rosa Perez,and Norwalk Mayor Marcel Rodarte.
Los Angeles’ 15th District Councilmember Joe Buscaino–who represents the greater San Pedro area–spoke of his support for Garcia and his excitement at the potential to work closely with government “across the bridge.”
“What we see unfolding before us is a new generation of leadership,” Buscaino said. “What we have is a candidate who loves and embodies the spirit of Long Beach.”
Garcia, a Long Beach City Councilmember and educator, is running against businessman and former NFL player Damon Dunn in the June 3 general election. Dunn’s major endorsements include the Long Beach Firefighters Association and the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce. Garcia has already received big endorsements from current Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster as well as the Long Beach Police Officers Association.
Garcetti’s support for Garcia comes less than a year after Garcia and other Long Beach councilmembers voted to pursue litigation against the City of Los Angeles over the proposed SCIG rail yard located in Los Angeles but adjacent to Long Beach’s Westside neighborhoods. Foster attended L.A. City Council meetings and condemned them for not considering the impact the project would have on Long Beach.
Neither Garcia nor Garcetti discussed SCIG at the press conference, though both cited opportunities for the “sister cities” to better collaborate on issues of air quality, economic development, environmental and those concerning the twin ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.
“I couldn’t be more excited to stand with other mayors who represent this next generation of leadership, mayors who love the Southland and its diversity,” Garcetti said. “We are unified behind Robert because we all know that he will do well for Long Beach as well as the region.”