Long Beach’s new mayor makes history by being young, Hispanic and gay

Robert Garcia achieves a trio of historic firsts in California city election

Long Beach’s new mayor makes history by being young, Hispanic and gay
04 June 2014

Robert Garcia made all kinds of history when he was elected mayor of Long Beach, California on Tuesday (3 June).

At 36, he’s the youngest mayor ever and he’s the first Hispanic elected to the city’s top job.

Garcia is also the first openly gay mayor in the coastal city just south of Los Angeles. He had the high-profile endorsement of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

‘Thank you, Long Beach!’ Garcia wrote on his Twitter page on Wednesday morning.

Currently the city’s vice mayor, Garcia edged real estate investor and former NFL player Damon Dunn to win office. They had emerged from a 10-candidate field whittled down to a two-person runoff  after a primary election in April.

Of the historic nature of his win, Garcia told NBC Los Angeles: ‘I think you run, not necessarily to be the first, I know that there are certainly historical implications of my election. I’m in this to be mayor of everyone, no matter the age or the color of their skin or who they love.’

He has not shied away from taking the lead on issues impacting the LGBTI community.

Garcia authored the Equal Benefits Ordinance, which was passed in 2009. It ensures that vendors the city does business with provide the same benefits to same-sex partners as they would to heterosexual married couples.

Garcia has also worked to have a park in Downtown Long Beach to be named after Harvey Milk—the first park in the U.S. honoring the slain politician who became the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California when he won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

Last year, the Council adopted the city’s first anti-bullying policy that Garcia sponsored. The policy addresses guidelines for employees and sets up a process to identify and support kids who are being bullied.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Mothers support son and son-in-law in court

The mothers of a Taiwanese gay couple publicly speak out to support their love and rights after suffering much torment and disbelief
No thumbnail available

BBC sorry for ‘gay cure’ Clare Balding debate

British comic says there is 'no woman that can't be cured' of being gay on controversial radio show
No thumbnail available

Despite anti-gay marriage stance, Mike Huckabee insists he's not a homophobe

Former Arkansas Governor says he's not a 'hater' but simply 'on the right side of the Bible”
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

Salvation Army says unrepentant homosexuals deserving of death

An Australian major in the Salvation Army has refused to disavow himself from the organization's belief that unrepentant homosexuals are deserving of death in the eyes of God
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

Ellen DeGeneres chooses her new temporary gardener: he's hunky Derek Yates

Actor-model-singer also started a non-profit after his brother was killed by an impaired driver
The tragedy and triumph of Oppenheimer

The tragedy and triumph of Oppenheimer

The Royal Shakespeare Company tackles some relatively modern history in a new play from Tom Morton-Smith.
No thumbnail available

Lesbian sister of Australian opposition leader calls for Occupy Sydney eviction

City councillor Christine Forster calls for eviction of Occupy Sydney camp from Martin Place in the center of the city