Openly gay mayor takes office in Long Beach

Robert Garcia took office as the 28th mayor of Long Beach, California today, making him both the first openly gay person and first Latino ever to serve as the Southern California city's chief executive. California Attorney General Kamala Harris read Garcia his oath in a public ceremony.

Garcia, who at 38 also becomes the city's youngest mayor, emphasized the need to represent all of the city's constituencies after his historic election. “I think it’s important for people to know that I plan to be mayor for everybody equally," Garcia told the Orange County Register earlier this month. "So, regardless of where they live, what they look like, who they love or what they do for a living, I’ve been elected by the city so I plan on being mayor for everyone."

Garcia is committed to improving the lives of the people in his community and has already laid out a blueprint for boosting the economy and creating jobs in Long Beach, where under Garcia’s previous leadership as vice mayor the city saw its first budget surplus in a decade.

Garcia has proven himself as an advocate for LGBT equality, authoring an Anti-Bullying Ordinance as well as a groundbreaking Equal Benefits Ordinance, which required large vendors to provide domestic partner benefits to their employees.

Victory believes Garcia will continue to be a strong advocate for the city of Long Beach and for its LGBT members.