Meet your candidates

Among the offices on the ballot for the Tuesday, April 10 election in Long Beach will be City Council districts 4 and 8.
Since those seats cover geographical areas that fall within its distribution area, the Signal Tribune has requested that each of the candidates seeking those seats submit information on his or her campaign, the results of which are published below and on page 7.
For more information on the election, visit

Long Beach City Council District 4

Patrick O’Donnell

Age 46

Years residing in Long Beach Born in Long Beach, where he has lived the last nearly 20 years
Years residing in current district Nearly 20

Teacher, City Councilmember

Personal Information

Married to wife, Jennifer, 4th District small-business owner; two daughters

California State University, Long Beach for both bachelor’s and master’s degrees

Nonprofit/professional affiliations
California Teachers Association; Surfrider Foundation, Los Angeles

Goals if elected
Continue fiscal responsibility and small-business support while maintaining rapid public-safety response times
Continue to aggressively repair and maintain streets and sidewalks
Continue to support our parks and after-school programs in schools

(See above)

Long Beach Police Officers Association, Long Beach Firefighters Association, Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters, Senator Alan Lowenthal, Pacific West Association of Realtors, Senator Betty Karnette (ret.), Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster

Daryl Supernaw

Age 60

Years residing in Long Beach 60

Years residing in current district 60

Occupation Business consultant

Personal Information
Married to Cheryl (Hamilton) Supernaw, who is also a lifelong 4th District resident, for 32 years, with two adult children, Shaun and Lauren

Buffum Elementary
Stanford Junior High
Wilson High
Graduate of LBCC and CSULB for both bachelor’s and master’s degrees

Nonprofit/professional affiliations
Long Beach Sustainable City Commission, current member and former chair
Atherton Corridor Neighborhood Association, founder
4th District Budget Advisory Committee
LBUSD Adopt-a-School Program
Long Beach Strategic Marketing, Inc.
Rethinking Greater Long Beach
Schroeder Hall Area Neighborhood Group

Goals if elected
Bring business acumen and corporate business experience to city council
Maintain the airport noise ordinance while promoting airport business and profitability
Develop a “customer service” focus and improved communication to the way the council office addresses neighborhood issues
Develop a sense of “community” district wide, and address concerns equally for all of our neighborhoods
Improve business friendliness to promote retail and job growth throughout the district
Develop non-traditional (non tax-based) revenue streams for funding of city services
Re-establish the connection between the council office and local public and private schools, LBCC and CSULB
Ensure that all essential services (public safety, parks, libraries, etc.) are properly funded

My platform, simply stated, is to be an independent voice advocating for the residents and business owners of the 4th District. The voters deserve a councilmember who exemplifies honesty, integrity and utmost sense of pride in the community. They also deserve a representative who will fulfill his commitment, and I pledge to serve the entire four years and not seek higher office in midterm.

The voters of Long Beach have determined that city council is a non-partisan position. I am a non-partisan candidate, and I am not backed by any political party. I am totally independent and have not accepted any funds from political action committees. My endorsements are from the residents of the 4th District and community leaders throughout the city.

John Watkins

Age 51

Years residing in Long Beach 35

Years residing in current district


Retired sergeant, Long Police Police Department
Currently work for and with Special Olympics Southern California


Attended LBCC and CSULB, earned bachelors degree

Nonprofit/professional affiliations
Special Olympics
Boy Scouts of America
Goals if elected
Balancing the budget will always be the primary goal, but reducing crime and building business will be top priorities.

My platform is public safety, business and our infrastructure
The East Division has the highest crime rate in the city of Long Beach, and we have not hired officers in almost four years. We have to replenish what we’re losing before it gets too late. We also need to look at other alternatives to how we do business, through technology and other resources.
Jobs, jobs and more jobs. We need to encourage and assist more small business to take root in our city. Economic development and growth will be led by local business.
Long Beach has become a corridor city, spending millions of dollars on appearance. We need to focus more on the neighborhoods where we live and deal specifically with poor roadways, broken sidewalks and other neighborhood concerns.

Endorsed by business, neighbors and friends

Al Austin

Age 43

Years residing in Long Beach

Years residing in current district


Organizational consultant

Personal Information

Married with three children


Studied at Long Beach City College; earned bachelor’s degree in organizational management from University of LaVerne; graduate studies in public policy & administration at Cal State Long Beach

Nonprofit/professional affiliations

Board member of Fairfield Family YMCA; served on Long Beach Citizen Police Complaint Commission (2003-2007); Academic Uprise, Inc. (former chairperson); Long Beach Browns youth football team (general manager)

Goals if elected
Provide the resources our police and firefighters need to keep our neighborhoods safe
Focus on positive opportunities for our youth and utilize gang-intervention strategies
Partner with our small businesses to promote our corridors and create local jobs
Protect the quality of life of our neighborhoods, including investing in our streets, sidewalks and city trees, and protecting our airport noise ordinance

As your councilmember, I will be a champion for our neighborhoods with an independent voice that you expect and deserve. I will ask the tough questions at City Hall to make sure that our priorities stay focused on providing safe and quality neighborhoods.

Councilmember Rae Gabelich, Long Beach Firefighters Association, Long Beach Police Officers Association, Councilmember Steven Neal, former Councilmember Rob Webb, former Vice Mayor Val Lerch

Lillian Kawasaki

Age 61

Years residing in Long Beach 8

Years residing in current district


Director, Water Replenishment District of Southern California

Personal Information
Married to Craig Carter, 37 years

Bachelor’s Degree in zoology from California State University Los Angeles
Master’s Degree in biology from California State University Los Angeles

Nonprofit/professional affiliations

Historical Society of Long Beach, Advisory Committee
Friends of Manzanar National Historical Site, Co-Chair

Goals if elected
Spur economic development
Promote safe and livable neighborhoods
Responsibly steward the environment
Increase the efficiency, transparency and accountability of local government


There are numerous challenges currently facing the city of Long Beach, which is why I want to contribute my three decades of local government experience and knowledge to serving my community. My active local involvement in Long Beach, combined with my economic and environmental expertise, makes me uniquely qualified to face those challenges as our next city councilmember.
My highest priority will be to increase local jobs, and retain and attract new businesses. We must continue to revitalize the Atlantic Avenue Corridor and Long Beach Boulevard Corridor to spark growth within our neighborhoods and businesses. As councilmember, I will focus on public safety and infrastructure improvements. I will also be a strong ally of our local schools, libraries, parks, and arts community. I have the experience necessary to lead the way in protecting our environment, improve air and water quality, and responsibly manage our natural resources. I will work to preserve our green and open spaces, while promoting more walkable and bicycle friendly neighborhoods. We need to improve government transparency in the City of Long Beach. I will work to ensure local government is accessible and accountable to the people it should be serving.


Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster
Former Long Beach Mayor Beverly O’Neill
Assemblymember Alan Lowenthal
LA County Supervisor Don Knabe
Long Beach City Auditor Laura Doud
Long Beach School Board Member Barbara Stanton
Long Beach City College Board of Trustees President Doug Otto
The Sierra Club

Gustavo Rivera

Although the Signal Tribune had made contact with eighth district city council candidate Gustavo Rivera, who indicated he would submit his responses for this candidate section, Rivera had not responded by press time, and phone calls to his home were not returned.

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