Equality California has endorsed Robert Garcia in his campaign for reelection as mayor of Long Beach.
“Robert Garcia is one of the most prominent and respected LGBTQ elected officials in the country,” said Rick Zbur, executive director of Equality California, in an announcement of the endorsement. “As mayor of California’s seventh largest city, he has been a champion for open government, education, infrastructure, sustainable and livable neighborhoods, a clean environment and a strong and vibrant economy. Since he was first elected to city government, he has been a visible champion for LGBTQ equality and social justice and has devoted considerable time and energy to supporting and improving the organizations that serve the LGBTQ community. His courage, passion and visibility as mayor of one of the largest cities in California have made him a role model both for LGBTQ public officials and for young people everywhere.”
Garcia was born in Lima, Peru, and came to the United State with his mother when he was five. He was elected as the first openly gay, first Latino and youngest-ever mayor of Long Beach in 2014 at the age of 36. He was the first person in his family to attend and graduate from college and was elected student body president while at Cal State Long Beach. He has been named to a list of Long Beach’s “Most Innovative Minds” by Long Beach Magazine, to the Advocate Magazine’s “40 Under 40” list of young LGBTQ influencers in 2010 and to Instinct Magazine’s list of “Leading Men” in 2009. He devotes considerable time to organizations that support the LGBTQ community and is a member of the boards of Equality California and the Victory Fund.
Garcia was first elected as a member of the Long Beach City Council in 2009. Under his tenure, Long Beach has continued to rank as one of the most LGBTQ-friendly cities in the nation according to HRC’s Municipal Equality Index. The EQ announcement says that Garcia “has also been a champion of education, open government and infrastructure, and has worked with both labor and business groups to promote the city’s economy and revitalize its downtown.”
Garcia will appear on the June 2018 primary ballot.