The Redondo Beach Chamber of Commerce has endorsed a high school student for the District 4 seat on the Redondo Beach City Council.
Julian Stern, 18, nearly ran as a write-in candidate for the March 5 municipal election. Because he was only 17 at the time of the filing period, it was unclear whether he could legally file the paperwork he needed to get on the ballot.
Ultimately, he was allowed to file. Stern's name will be on the ballot.
Don Szerlip, who chairs the Chamber of Commerce's candidate political action committee, called Stern "the best candidate" for District 4.
"We are giving him our unqualified endorsement and support," Szerlip said Thursday afternoon at a news conference.
Stern, who is currently a student at Environmental Charter High in Lawndale, has received the endorsement of Redondo Beach District 5 Councilman Matt Kilroy, former Mayor Greg Hill and former school board member Carl Clark, Szerlip said.
"Belying his age, Julian displays a mature demeanor and is relaxed and respectful in conversation with business executives, government officials and constituents alike," the chamber said in a news release. "There is little doubt that, if elected, Julian will invest his time and energies to guide the City's future in a positive direction."
For his part, Stern said his goal is to focus on the city's efficiency, quality of life, transparency, responsiveness and economic development.
"In order for a city to be prosperous, in order for a city to be a destination, in order to tackle any issue faced in the city, the city must first have a strong economic base on which to stand," Stern said in prepared remarks at the news conference. "Let's keep this city on the right track and not let it deviate."
According to the Chamber of Commerce, businesses in District 4—including those along Artesia Boulevard and in the South Bay Galleria—generate more than 40 percent of the city's sales tax revenues.
In addition to its endorsement of Stern, the chamber also announced that it was endorsing Michael Jackson for the District 2 council seat. Jackson and Susan Kowalski are challenging incumbent Councilman Bill Brand for the chance to represent the harbor and pier area, as well as other parts of South Redondo Beach.
"As a small-business owner and a veteran of more than 25 years working in aerospace, Michael's focus is not myopic," the chamber wrote in a news release. "He is looking to restore balance and common sense to City Hall and focus on tackling the issues that local government is supposed to address."
Jackson is also the incoming chairman of the Redondo Beach Chamber of Commerce.
The chamber did not specifically endorse anyone for the District 1 race; however, it recommended Jeff Ginsburg and Kimberly Fine.
For the mayoral race, the chamber recommended the three current councilmen running for mayor—Steve Aspel, Pat Aust and Matt Kilroy. Candidate Eric Coleman was not among the recommendations.
According to Szerlip, the chamber's PAC held multiple meetings to determine its endorsements.