Long Beach Police Complaint Commission Chair Suely Saro announced on Wednesday, Feb. 20, that she will run to represent the City Council’s Sixth District in the March 2020 election.
“I’m running for City Council to bring people together, to make positive changes happen in our community, and to serve as a strong advocate inside City Hall,” Saro said in a statement. “I understand the importance of listening, working in partnerships, and building consensus to ensure all voices are represented in decision making.”
The Sixth District is currently represented by Vice Mayor Dee Andrews, who was first elected in 2007. The Central Long Beach District stretches from 10th Street up to 31st Street, abutting Signal Hill to the east.
Saro, a leader in Long Beach’s Cambodian community, was born in a refugee camp in Thailand after her parents fled genocide in their home country.
Despite the fact that Long Beach is home to the world’s largest Cambodian population outside the country itself, the city has never elected anyone from the Cambodian community to the City Council. Saro said she hopes to change that.
Saro was the first Cambodian executive director of Khmer Girls in Action, a Long Beach organization that helps develop leadership in the city’s young Cambodian population. She is also the founder and chair of the Women for Women Foundation based in Cambodia.
In addition to serving as chair of Long Beach’s Citizen Police Complaint Commission, she is a faculty member in Cal State L.A.’s School of Social Work. Saro also worked as a field representative for Ricardo Lara’s office representing the state Senate’s 33rd District.
“I believe it is important that residents benefit from good policies that ensure a thriving local economy, healthy communities, and a safe and clean environment,” Saro said. “I am excited and ready for the campaign ahead and look forward to work with my fellow residents to create meaningful changes in Long Beach’s Sixth District!”