The Office Holder Records Collection may be useful for researchers who are interested in local Long Beach government during the late 1990s and early 2000s. The City Council members’ papers provide a glimpse into neighborhood politics and issues, while the Mayors’ papers show city politics as a whole. The historic nature of Beverly O’Neill’s three-term tenure as mayor makes her papers a valuable resource to researchers, with many of the materials in the correspondence subseries providing examples of the public’s view towards the O’Neill, which made her write-in candidacy possible, and the impact she made on the city.
The Office Holder Records Collection documents the activities of the Mayor and City Council offices of the Long Beach Municipal Government from 1994 through 2014. The collection is made from a combination of donations from the private offices of city officials as well as materials returned from the City after the redaction of sensitive information. The redacted items have been filed with the office holder’s records to rebuild the original organization of the office holder. Materials relate to internal issues in government offices as well as citywide issues, including the Port of Long Beach, the United States Naval Station, Naval Hospital, and Naval Complex, Alameda Corridor, San Gabriel and Los Angeles rivers, League of California Cities, and the United States Conference of Mayors.
The Office Holder Records Collection documents the activities and issues affecting various offices of Long Beach City government. The collection includes papers from the office of Tonia Reyes Uranga (City Council, 7th District, 2002-2010), James Johnson (City Council, 7th District, 2010-2014), Robert “Bob” Foster (Mayor, 2006-2014), and Beverly O’Neill (Mayor, 1994-2006).
In addition to her work with the Long Beach City Council, Tonia Reyes Uranga (born 1954) has been a member of the South Coast Air Quality Management District Governing Board, the League of California Cities Latino Caucus, and is owner of Tonia Reyes Uranga Consulting (TRUConsult). She has spent many years working with workforce and employment issues in the cities of Long Beach and Orange, was Executive Director for the Miguel Contreras Foundation, and has served on Board of Directors and committees to many groups.
James Johnson (born 1978), a Long Beach native, spent only one term on the Long Beach City Council. Prior to the City Council, Johnson served as Assistant City Auditor. After his seat on the Council he went on to be an adjunct professor of law at California State University Long Beach, an attorney with the Los Angels County Office of the County Counsel, and as general counsel for the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles.
Robert “Bob” Foster (born 1947) served two terms as mayor following the three-term run of Beverly O’Neill. Foster began his career in public service with the California State Senate and California Energy Commission. He worked for Southern California Edison for more than 20 years, serving as President from 2002 through 2006. Foster was on the Board of Trustees for the California State University system from 1998 through 2006.
Beverly O’Neill (born 1930) was raised in Long Beach, and attended school all the way through her undergraduate work in Long Beach. After achieving a doctorate in Vienna, she returned to Long Beach to have a three-decade career moving up the ranks of the staff at Long Beach City College, spending the last few years of her time there as Superintendent-President. O’Neill served three terms as mayor, from 1994 through 2006, in Long Beach. Her third term, as a write-in candidate, made her the only mayor to achieve this honor in the nation. During her third term, Mayor O’Neill served as the 63rd President of the United States Conference of Mayors (2005-2006).
Scope and Content
The Office Holder Records Collection documents the activity of elected officials in the City of Long Beach from the years 1994 through 2014. The records have been collected, through multiple donations, from two City Council offices and two Mayor’s offices.
Tonia Reyes Uranga was City Council member for the 7th District of Long Beach from 2002 until 2010.
James Johnson was City Council member for the 7th District of Long Beach from 2010 until 2014.
Beverly O’Neill served as Mayor from 1994 until 2006. Robert “Bob” Foster served as Mayor from 2006 until 2014.
The collection consists of 19 linear feet containing; reports, press releases, memos, agendas, minutes, bulletins, pamphlets, letters, photographs, newspaper clippings, and a small amount of buttons, patches, and nametags. The materials in the Office Holder Records Collection have been organized into four series based on each of the officials represented: Tonia Reyes Uranga, James Johnson, Robert “Bob” Foster, and Beverly O’Neill. Within each series folders have organized alphabetically by subject. In the Beverly O’Neill series there are four additional subseries: Correspondence, Newspaper Clippings, Publicity Scrapbooks, Ephemera and Photographs.
The Tonia Reyes Uranga series consists of two document boxes. Folders are organized alphabetically by subject, and include such topics as South Coast Air Quality Management Division, education and schools, environment, Golden Shore Development, homeless, League of California Cities, National League of Cities, National Association of Latino Elected Officials, superstore/big box retail, transportation, and youth employment. The James Johnson series consists of one half of a document box, and folders are organized alphabetically by subject. Topics include airport, Downtown Long Beach Associates, downtown plan, Redevelopment Agency, transit, and urban forest master plan. The Robert “Bob” Foster series consists of three quarters of a document box, and alphabetized folders include subjects such as Arts Council for Long Beach, Colorado Lagoon, Kroc Community Center, and Los Cerritos wetlands. The Beverly O’Neill series has been compiled from redacted documents delivered by the City of Long Beach as well as papers donated to the HSLB by O’Neill and her former Chief of Staff, Diane Jacobus. The series occupies 15 document boxes. Folder headings have been maintained from O’Neill’s office whenever possible. The main series of folders are organized alphabetically, and the subseries are filed after the main series, organized chronologically.