Longtime Long Beach City College Trustee Doug Otto is being challenged for the east Long Beach Area 4 seat by teacher Davina Keiser. Again.
Keiser ran and lost against Otto four years ago.
Keiser, 61, is a teacher at Wilson High School and has worked in the Long Beach Unified School District since 1979, minus a seven-year break to raise her two children.
She was born and raised in Long Beach, attended public schools and LBCC during high school and college. She received her bachelor’s in music, as well as teaching and secondary education music credentials from California State University, Long Beach.
Among Keiser’s reasons for running, she said, is the city.
“Long Beach is my city,” she said. “I love it. I’ve always been a champion of the educational journey.”
Her concerns include the loss of some of LBCC’s technical programs.
“I really feel when the current board cut the tech programs, such as carpentry, that was a huge disservice to the community,” she said.
She added there are certain jobs that can’t be outsourced, such as some at the Long Beach Airport.
“I think we need to reprioritize and make any cuts that are needed,” Keiser said.
Faculty relations are another concern of Keiser’s.
“There have been some adversarial relations among the faculty getting the dialogue going,” Keiser said. “A lot of people I’ve spoken to feel they don’t have a voice. We need to extend our communications program.”
She added she is used to listening to people and has worked on various LBUSD committees, including the Long Beach College Promise Symposium.
Doug Otto, 67, is another Long Beach native. He attended LBCC and earned his bachelor’s in human communications from Stanford University.
Then, he earned a joint master’s degree in religion from Union Theological Seminary and Columbia University in New York City. He received his law degree from the University of Chicago and has a private practice in Long Beach.
Otto was elected to the LBCC board of trustees for Area 4 in 2004 and has served three terms as its president. He also was elected to the statewide California Community College Trustees board of directors.
Otto said he originally ran for Area 4 because he had been an LBCC student, had an affection for the college and lived in the area.
One of the challenges Otto listed is a level of distrust between faculty and administration. He said he helped organize a leadership academy for staff members as well as adopting a Strategic Communications Plan, with an ad hoc committee.
He said he wants to continue to make students successful by increasing access to and offerings of the Long Beach College Promise. The promise, established in 2008, is a collaboration among Long Beach Unified School District, LBCC, California State University, Long Beach, and the city, which is meant to increase students’ success in higher education.
Otto’s other concerns include reducing the amount of time students spend in college and working with employers to ensure coursework meets their criteria.
Emily Thornton can be reached at email@example.com.