BEVERLY O'NEILL, A LONG BEACH ICON
(Extensions of Remarks - April 01, 2014)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E473]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                   BEVERLY O'NEILL, A LONG BEACH ICON

                                 ______
                                 

                         HON. ALAN S. LOWENTHAL

                             of california

                    in the house of representatives

                         Tuesday, April 1, 2014

  Mr. LOWENTHAL. Mr. Speaker, as Women's History Month comes to a close 
for 2014, I think it is appropriate to highlight the life and work of 
one of the most influential and iconic women from my district: Beverly 
O'Neill.
   She was an educator, a mayor, and a leader. She remains a dear 
friend to me and an icon to a huge portion of Long Beach.
   Her determined guidance, over an unprecedented three terms as Mayor 
from 1994 to 2006, led the City of Long Beach through a transformation 
from ``the smallest big city'' on the West Coast to a thriving 
international destination and gateway known throughout the world.
   Born in Long Beach as Beverly Joy Lewis before the city became a 
World War II Navy boomtown, Beverly attended Polytechnic High School 
and went on to graduate from California State University, Long Beach. 
She eventually earned not one, not two, but five different teaching 
credentials and spent 31 years as an educator at Long Beach City 
College before becoming the college's President in 1988.
   Shortly after being elected as mayor of Long Beach in 1994, as only 
the second directly elected mayor in city history, she and the city 
faced the closure of the Long Beach Naval Shipyard and the tens of 
thousands of city jobs connected to it. Her resolute determination and 
leadership to keep the city on an even keel during this difficult time 
and her empathy and compassion for those impacted by the job cuts 
endeared her to many in the city.
   In her election to a second term in 1998, she received 80 percent of 
the vote. She continued to guide the city past its reliance on a single 
industry as the core employer in the city, focusing instead on a 
diversified economic base.
   Termed out in 2002, Beverly decided to run for a third term as a 
write-in candidate. The citizens of Long Beach gave her a third term 
and made her the first mayor of a major U.S. city to be elected in a 
write-in campaign.
   By the time she stepped down in 2006, Long Beach had made the 
difficult economic transition from Navy town to an international 
gateway and home to one of the busiest maritime ports in the Western 
Hemisphere.
   Still a powerful force for good in the city, Beverly remains busy 
with numerous civic boards.
   Her disarming and unshakable positivity for the city she loved, her 
compassion for the people she served, and the incredible leadership 
with which she inspired a generation of citizens has left an indelible 
mark on the history and the future of Long Beach.

                          ____________________