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Mariela Salgado on Long Beach Community, Change, and Cuisine BY LISA KHIEV It is clear that new concept restaurants and small businesses that have been popping up in the city has become an exciting and integral part of the development of our community, offering new, unique culinary experiences and opportunities for those who like to wine, dine, and convene. The 1st District, specifically, is approaching changes in itself with an upcoming November special election to elect a new First District City Councilmember to succeed Lena Gonzalez, now a California Senator. The fourth candidate in the run introduces Mariela Salgado, a Long Beach small business owner, community leader, mother, wife, and a board member of Long Beach’s Parks / Recreation Commission. For this issue, we August 2019

met with Mariela to learn and discuss topics ranging from her emergence and passion in the community to her favorite eats, treats, and local businesses in the city. Can you tell us more about your background and how it lead you to your passion for serving the Long Beach community and its people? My passion for education and service has directed my work on issues that impact our environment, children and small businesses. Since 2010, I’ve worked alongside many Long Beach organizations doing neighborhood clean-ups, beautification projects, park clean ups, supportive services to small businesses, to volunteering countless hours at two school sites and serving on boards. My work with the city

really came to light on the topic of Park Equity – it became clear as a mother, we weren’t providing the same recreational and educational opportunities to our children in many parts of Long Beach including the First District. We have the least green space per 1,000 residents, and the least structured programming in our parks. I knew something had to change so my efforts changed accordingly. I was appointed as a Parks Commissioner and have taken steps to advocate for early education, additional programming for our youth and seniors and changing the way we communicate with our diverse populations. I serve on various organizations and believe solutions start with knowing the work. Change happens when people collaborate and apply


their knowledge to make our community a better place. It’s what I see on a weekly basis across Long Beach, people making a difference and supporting each other. What ignited your desire to run for the seat of 1st District, City Council? Thirty years ago, I started at a school similar to Edison Elementary in the First District, called Stoner Elementary, in which we had limited resources and enrichment programs. My parents won the educational lottery of sorts and were able to send me to one of the best schools in LAUSD. Then, I saw the stark inequities between zip codes and differences in health outcomes and economic opportunities. We see those same problems

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