TORRANCE — Councilmember George Chen of the City of Torrance is running for re-election in the hotly contested race in the 2nd District of the city.
Chen was first elected in at-large elections back in 2018 to a four-year term.
However, in 2018, the city was threatened with a lawsuit alleging that the at-large elections prevented representation of minority groups within Torrance. At the time, the population was 35 percent Asian and 16 percent Latino; however, all of the councilmembers were white.
As a result, the city created six council districts. This year, Districts 2, 4 and 6 are in play.
As the only Asian American member of the City Council, Chen has been at the forefront of significant issues in Torrance. He supports the trapping of coyotes within the city to ensure the safety of the public. He introduced the USA Water Polo Team to train at the Torrance Unified School District Aquatics Center in preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics this summer.
Chen initiated the Electronic Neighborhood Watch, through which Torrance police can capture crimes on video doorbell cameras, providing a high-tech tool to combat crime in the city.
Chen is a 28-year resident of Torrance, where he and his wife, Amy, have raised their two children.
“I have the experience and the vision for us to be leaders in the 21st-century community,” he said. “I have leveraged over 30 years of experience as an aerospace engineer, a program manager, and more recently, as a councilman to represent our collective values.”
Chen has broad-based support within the city, both in the Asian Pacific Islander community and the population at large. Community activists including Jonathan Kaji, president of Kaji & Associates, and Mark Tsuneishi, president of Tsuneishi Insurance, endorse his candidacy.
Kaji states, “The citizens of Torrance have greatly benefitted from George’s outstanding professional and academic acumen on the City Council. He will continue to advance the business, cultural and health interests of Torrance in the future.”
The other City Council candidates in the March 3 election are Councilmember Geoff Rizzo in District 2; former city clerk Sue Herbers and businesswoman Sharon Kalani in District 4; Andrew Block, a field representative for Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi, and Councilmember Mike Griffiiths in District 6.