Former L.B. Councilwoman Rae Gabelich Endorses Juan Ovalle for the seat she previously held

Councilwoman Gabelich provided the following statement regarding her endorsement:

After careful consideration, I am endorsing Juan Ovalle to serve as our next 8th district councilmember.

We have great needs in our district and across our city, including the failure to restore recession-dictated cuts of 200 police officers; the increase in property crimes; the homeless crisis plaguing our communities, at a level we have never experienced before; the pot holes and poor street and park conditions despite of the Measure A tax increase; the “Diesel Death Zone” air quality issues stemming from our close proximity to the 710, LB, and LA ports and the neighboring refineries; the ever-present threat of airport expansion; the dying landscape in our parks and along our streets; and the staggering closure of Fire Station 9. These dire problems will not fix themselves. We need genuine leadership to tackle them. I believe we need Juan Ovalle.

I know something about this job. Serving on our City Council for eight years and representing you was one of the greatest honors of my life. I take this recommendation very seriously, knowing what it takes to bring change to our district. Juan, I strongly believe, would best fill this role.

I’ve worked very closely with Juan over the past two years as a local reformer and activist. He has demonstrated the honesty, integrity and leadership skills we must demand in a councilmember.

There’s a lot to like about Juan, including his unwavering commitment to his community through local service organizations and activism with:

• Sierra Club (Board Member),
• The People of Long Beach (an environmental and government accountability focused group he co-founded with his brother),
• The Long Beach Reform Coalition (LBRC)
• St. Barnabas church groups, including Knights of Columbus service organization,
• Long Beach Kiwanis Club member,
• (formerly) Latino Managers & Professionals Scholarship organization and the Latin American Heritage Association,
• And yes…..he even joined our LB HUSH2 efforts that I helped lead to defend our neighborhoods against airport expansion.

Juan’s commitment to community is impressive and born out of his deep roots in our area of Long Beach, that go back 50 years. He demonstrates great values which I have personally seen in action.

I’ve seen it when Juan stood up to oppose the erosion of democracy during the last city election, pointing out the misleading nature of the charter amendments. I’ve seen it when he stood up against the misallocation of resources when City Hall overpaid millions last year for an unusable homeless shelter near the border with Compton, rather than actually addressing the crisis. I’ve seen it when he stood up to the Long Beach Water Department when its board raised rates not to pay for water delivery, but instead, and without telling ratepayers, to fill budget holes over at City Hall.

And I’ve seen it when last October, as a candidate, he signed the ‘Reform Pledge’, guaranteeing that if elected he would fight to oppose the corruption of special interest big money, bring true transparency to local government, reform our campaign finance system to even the playing field for grassroots community candidates, and ensure competitive bidding and contract negotiations are fair to US, the taxpayers of Long Beach.

The most important quality in a councilmember is the will to ask tough questions on behalf of one’s residents at Council, and Juan has been asking all the right questions. Like me, he’s not a politician—he’s not looking to climb the political ladder, as most others appear to be interested in doing.

Juan’s story is truly the American Dream. He grew up in Wrigley, attended Long Beach schools, and graduated from CSULB with degrees in Political Science and Public Administration. Now he and his wife are proud homeowners and successful small business owners in Bixby Knolls, and have just sent their son off to college. There is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that the candidate to restore a council office focused on us residents, not downtown or outside special interests, is Juan Ovalle.

Vote Juan Ovalle for 8th Council District this March 3rd!


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6/26/19 – Press Release:  Juan Ovalle Announces Run for Long Beach City Council – District 8