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Openly Gay Man Elected Vice Mayor of Long Beach

By Stephan Horbelt
From the office of Dr. Robert Garcia, Long Beach City Councilmember:

By a unanimous vote, the City Council elected First District Councilmember, Dr. Robert Garcia, as the youngest Vice Mayor in the history of Long Beach, and the first Latino to hold that post. 

Garcia, now 34, is also the youngest person ever elected to the City Council in Long Beach history, and the first gay person of color.

“I am honored and grateful to serve as Vice Mayor for this City that I love so much,” said Garcia. “I want to thank all my colleagues for entrusting me with this responsibility, and I look forward to accomplishing great things together.”   

Garcia has been an LGBT leader and has been named to The Advocate's 40 Under 40, Instinct Magazine's Men of the Year, and has served as Grand Marshall of the Long Beach Pride Parade. In addition, he has authored landmark LGBT legislation including policies in support of equal benefits, gay marriage, anti-bullying, and naming the first park in the United States after Harvey Milk. 

Garcia, who teaches communications and serves as a college administrator at Long Beach City College, was elected in 2009 in a special election, and then re-elected to a full four-year term in 2010. His tenure has been marked by a focus on public safety, technology and parks, as well as support for the arts and issues of social justice. 

The Vice Mayor, who serves for a two-year term, chairs Council meetings and represents the City at public functions in the Mayor’s absence.