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Deborah Castro: Candidate for Council District 3

Deborah Castro: Running for Council District 3

Why are you interested in this position?

I am running to give back to the community as the District’s voice. As a business owner on 2nd Street and homeowner in Belmont Shore for 25+ years, I have raised my family here and supported the economic vitality of the 3rd District. In the last 10 years, I have seen our neighborhoods change with businesses closed, homelessness, and rising crime. On the council, I can make a difference from the inside as your advocate. Following the pandemic, we need someone who knows our community and the city at the ground level to lead with a common-sense approach and get things done. Our alleys, curbs, and roads are crumbling while property values continue to increase; we need more resources. People from all areas of Long Beach enjoy the beaches, parks and waterways here and there is a cost to keeping it clean and safe for our residents and those who visit.

What relative experience do you have in this career field?

As a CEO and entrepreneur, I have the ability to bring people together around big ideas for better results. For more than 2 decades, I employed people in Long Beach, managed client budgets, negotiated multimillion-dollar contracts, and made tough decisions. My clients have spanned Fortune 500, government, and nonprofit sectors from regional to national to global projects. I produce programs that improve effectiveness of business and government through websites and apps that streamline processes, programs that lower greenhouse gas emissions and reduce traffic congestion (vanpools, buses, trains), safety programs that help save lives such as Vision Zero (City of LA), and destination marketing to promote tourism. I am the only candidate that has worked with counties and higher education on strategies to educate, attract, and retain customers, students, parents, and citizens with proven results. I thrive on collaboration, working with multiple teams to achieve positive outcomes.

What are 3 changes you would like to make while in office?

  • Realign the budget to prioritize public safety and critical infrastructure without raising taxes

  • Attract business in key sectors with high-paying jobs through new programs and incentives.

  • Improve oversight: vendor selection, contracts, and accountability for transparency.

What are your top priorities for small businesses ?

  • Reduce red tape to help attract and keep new businesses.

  • Institute a “Shop Local” initiative.

  • Prioritize Long Beach businesses for contracts, opportunities, and resources.

What are your 3 goals or main concerns for District 3?

  • Public Safety (crime/homelessness).

  • Crowding and Congestion (parking/traffic/development).

  • Improving Infrastructure (crumbling streets, alleys and curbs).

How would you address people who are concerned about the City and States Affordable Housing plan and its impact on their neighborhood?

Ensure that the plan is responsible and does not add more congestion in the 3rd District. We need strategies and policies to mitigate parking issues from ADUs and new development. Our District needs someone like me that will fight against overcrowding and to protect the character of our neighborhoods. Affordable housing would fit best where commercial spaces can be converted to mixed-use developments. We need to incentivize landlords to rehab existing structures, and developers to bring new affordable projects to areas that need revitalization, by streamlining approval cycles and decreasing time to market.

What is an innovative way you plan to involve the community in your decisions?

  • Quarterly open forums at an accessible location.

  • Conducting focus groups to ensure all voices are represented.

  • Convene stakeholder meetings and working groups with representatives from each neighborhood association.

Is there a City-wide issue you would most like to address?

Too often Long Beach is viewed negatively from the outside, and I would like to change this perception. Rebranding Long Beach as one of the best places to live, work, and visit. A well-run city with responsiveness to its residents and business-friendly programs to encourage innovation. A city that embraces diversity and has distinctive neighborhoods with award-winning schools. A city that offers a good quality of life. With the right vision and leadership, the branding will match the reality.


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