Despite some wince-worthy moments along the way, Garcia has handled a tough city campaign and the responsibilities of his new office with the candor, grace, and aplomb of someone much older than his 36 years. Last week, Garcia visited the Bedrosian Center’s Lunch for a Leader series to provide special insight into his unlikely ascension to the mayor’s office after a hard-fought campaign, how his age helps his communicate with Long Beach residents, and his education-based initiatives aimed at tackling the city high poverty rates.
Robert Garcia is Mayor of Long Beach, CA, and USC alumnus. He spoke candidly with a small group of students, faculty, and community members about his first 100 days in office, the campaign trail, and much more. Photos by Deirdre Flanagan
Garcia made history by becoming the first Latino and the first openly gay mayor of Long Beach by triumphing in a runoff election on June 3. At 36, he is also the youngest person to serve as mayor in the city of nearly 470,000 at the southern edge of Los Angeles County.