Election Spotlight: Al Austin, Long Beach District 8
On March 3, 2020, Long Beach’s voters headed to the polls to vote for the who would represent District 8, which includes Bixby Knolls, in the City Council.
Incumbent Al Austin faced a serious challenger, Tunua Thrash-Ntuk.
Thrash-Ntuk is the wife of City College Board Trustee Uduak-Joe Ntuk, and she had raised over $100,000 before the July 2019 filing deadline.
As of March 30, with almost 9,500 votes counted, Thrash-Ntuk is winning the primary with 38% of the vote - incumbent Austin is close behind with 32%. Without a doubt, the run-off race toward the November 3 general election will be highly competitive.
District 8 includes neighborhoods in Bixby Knolls and North Long Beach.
The largest voter population is between 55 and 69, with a female and white majority.
There are 29,269 total voters, with only 8,829 being high propensity voters.
In the 2016 elections, Al Austin won his second term with 51.3% of the vote, while BizFed PAC endorsed candidate Wesley Tumbow took 32.5%.
Austin was first elected to the district in 2012, after having had a career in aerospace and legislative staffing.
He represented Long Beach on and served as president of the Gateway Cities Council of Governments, which focuses on improving transportation, air quality, housing, and economic development.
While on the council, Austin helped pass the EIR for the I-710 Corridor Project, the Climate Action Plan, and new regional approaches to combat homelessness.
While serving his two terms on the City Council, he has focused on transportation, economic development, and sustainable planning. He prioritizes transparency, revitalizing commercial corridors, and increasing funding for parks and open spaces.
His approach to accomplishing these tasks is a “get to yes” mentality.
He serves as the Chair of the City Council’s State Legislation Committee and as a member of the Budget Oversight, Public Safety, Housing and Neighborhoods, and I-710 Oversight committees.
(It is important to note that Austin dropped out of the race for State Senator to replace Ricardo Lara a month after announcing his campaign.)
For his reelection campaign, Austin raised $87,106.
His priorities for reelection are:
- neighborhood livability that includes infrastructure investment and public safety,
- Leverage Opportunity Zones for new affordable housing,
- economic and workforce development,
- enhancement of the arts and culture,
- and green sustainable planning.
He is endorsed by:
- Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia,
- Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn,
- California State Assembly Speaker Anthony Renton,
- Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell,
- Representative Nanette Baragan,
- and the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce.
He currently does not have a stance on Split Roll, but he is not opposed to changes to property taxes.
Since entering the Council, Austin has proven to be a fierce advocate for the business community -- especially the small retail shops at the heart of his district.
Because of his positive record and collaborative attitude, BOMA/GLA Political Action Committee decided to support Austin in the primary. To get involved, you can support BOMA/GLA PAC or reach out to BOMA/GLA staff about opportunities to help Austin locally.