Robert Garcia MA ’05

Robert Garcia

US Congress member and former Mayor of Long Beach

Robert Garcia made SoCal political history in 2014, when he became the youngest, the first Latino and the first openly gay mayor of Long Beach. As the 28th mayor of the nation’s 36th-largest city, Garcia is focused on making Long Beach a leader in economic development, sustainability, public safety, infrastructure, education, technology and housing.

Garcia began his political career in 2009, when he was elected to the Long Beach City Council. Within his first year, he introduced legislation to implement the city’s first Equal Benefits Ordinance (EBO), requiring contractors doing business with Long Beach to provide the same benefits to registered domestic partners as to married spouses. The bill passed and went into effect January 12, 2010.

As mayor, Garcia’s accomplishments include passage of Measure A, the largest infrastructure investment in Long Beach in over a decade. In 2017, he received two awards during the U.S. Conference of Mayors: the Mayor’s Climate Protection Award and the Latino Leaders Network’s Antonio Villaraigosa Leadership Award.

A college educator as well as a politician, Garcia has taught at many schools, including the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, where he earned his master’s in communication management.

In 2017, Garcia received a Distinguished Alumni Award at USC Lambda’s 25th Anniversary Gala.