Chamber Endorses High School Student for City Council

Julian Stern, a student at Environmental High School in Lawndale, is running for Redondo Beach City Council District 4.

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.

Bruce Szeles February 01, 2013 at 09:33 PM
Kent - My understanding from the city attorney is that the county law/requirement is that you be 18 at the time of the election to be able to register to vote in the county. The city charter requires you to be a registered voter in order to file for running for a council seat in the city. Mr. Webb determined Julian met all the criteria to file.
Kent McCaman, Captain of Industry February 01, 2013 at 09:49 PM
Bruce, you wrote, "The city charter requires you to be a registered voter in order to file for running for a council seat in the city." But Julian was not a registered voter when he filed. Plain and simple, Justin didn't qualify. This suggests that Mr. Webb erroneously determined that Julian met proper criteria to file. If law had been interpreted correctly, newly registered voter Julian would be voting for one a bonafide candidate.
Bruce Szeles February 01, 2013 at 10:48 PM
Kent - I guess we agree to disagree on this issue but I think you would agree that having a young adult who steps up to the plate to carry the torch of democracy is a very good thing! Thanks for the debate.
Alexander Starr February 01, 2013 at 11:19 PM
Bruce- Rebuilding the AES powerplant will, for 50+ future years, massively increase pollution for ALL our RB air, including district 4. It affects us all. Additioanlly, if AES rebuilds, they will develop the remaining 38 acres as "mixed use", which is code for condos. So we get a new polluting powerplant AND CONDOS (with a postage sized park). Think of the "heart of the City" scam part 2 in disguise. Second, he is unqualified, a kid with no University education, no working experience, nothing but a high school degree. He HAD the advantage of not having baggage by being corrupted by special interests (as are most politicians), but that has evaporated with the Chamber endorsing him.
Robert Keane February 02, 2013 at 12:28 AM
Who is really behind this kid? I applaude this young man for his initiative but the last thing we need on the heels of the Great Recession is a kid on the City Council. Finish High School (and if he wants to be a politician I'm going to take him to task for not attending Redondo Beach schools), go to college and get your degree. Start a family and struggle a little to make ends meet. THEN you will know what I need from a councilman. The Chamber either has an axe to grind aginst the other two candidates or they really are that stupid. I pay a lot in taxes and politics is a serious business, the Chamber is a joke.
Bruce Szeles February 02, 2013 at 12:39 AM
Alexander - I'm a surfer not a meteorologist but I've watched the winds here in Redondo for 35 years and a prevailing off shore blows the AES plume right up district 3 and into West Torrance but that is not my point. Your statement about mixed use is not in the currect zoning so that would need to be voted by the people of the city and NOT a change that AES could make on their own but that is not my point either. My point is Julian Stern is the best person to run and win for district 4 period. You as a South Redondo my not like the Chambers endorsement because you are not pleased with the Chambers position on Measure A but please don't throw out the baby with the bath water. As I see it from the perspective of living 20 years in the north end of town. Julian will be the kind of council member the the south end of town wants on the dais this coming 4 years. Trust me, he will be a listener of all people and not be on the council dais for his own agenda and the agenda of AES or the Chamber.
Eric Coleman February 02, 2013 at 01:02 AM
Julian Stern is a viable choice. Do you honestly want technicalities deciding our lives? For the love of God that's why we're in this mess in the first place! If it wasn't for a technicality we wouldn't have been stuck with the disastrous Bush Presidency! Furthermore, his age is not an issue; the last thing we need is one more old fart, who's been in government far too long and owes too many favors, deciding our future. Leave the kid alone, ageism is not a real issue; tearing down that powerplant is. Stern is a friend of mine and I KNOW FOR A FACT he will follow the will of the voters in regards to Measure A. Don't fall into the trap set by AES of divide and conquer. Yes on Measure A.
DR February 02, 2013 at 02:37 AM
For those of you that are nay saying Julian Stern, have you met and talked to him? If not, you should stop judging and make it a point to meet him. He is not a one issue candidate and I support him.
Bruce Szeles February 02, 2013 at 02:51 AM
Robert - Eric is correct. Our generation sure did a great job of taking care of business. I also pay a boat load of taxes and I'm counting on Julian to get my money's worth out of every dollar. Why is it do people our age simply dismiss a young adult as not having the chops simply based on age? I'm behind Julian and I know the needs of district 4.
Bruce Szeles February 02, 2013 at 02:52 AM
Thank you Eric. I spoke to your step Mom the other day about you. Glad you are running. Keep at it!
Alexander Starr February 02, 2013 at 03:39 AM
Bruce - The kid is just that, a kid, period. A total UNQUALIFIED kid. No Univ. degree. Zero professional work experience. No ADULT life experience. Inexperienced, naive, and easy to manipulate by cunning special interests. I willI give him kudos for having the guts to run for office, but that is all he should receive. He should go to College or technical degree, or whatever, learn how to critically think, experience life as an adult for a decade, then I will take him seriously. Being a councilman takes serious skills and leadership. He has none of these. His candidacy is just plain silly.
Alexander Starr February 02, 2013 at 03:43 AM
Eric - See my response above re: the kid candidacy. Agreed with the old fart comment. lol Love the fact you are for Measure A. You have my vote for Mayor, plus my wife, and my 180 RB friends!
Bruce Szeles February 02, 2013 at 04:15 AM
Alexander - When Julian is sitting on the dais come May and is representing the district that takes in 40% of the tax dollars generated in this city I hope you understand he will be a listener. Clearly you don't know Julian because never in the last 4 years of speaking to him and reading his take on what life is like in our area on the North side of town that it ever crossed my mind that I was not speaking with anyone less then one who has wisdom far beyond his years. The old testament speaks of individuals such as this. The new testament recalls a twelve year old teaching in the Temple. Some of our founding fathers were no more then Julian's age and help draft the documents that our Nation is built on. My challange to you Alexander is to meet with Julian then tell me all the negatives you wish. Thank you.
Alex Chichester February 02, 2013 at 05:28 AM
Coleman for Mayor
Alex Chichester February 02, 2013 at 05:29 AM
Coleman for mayor
DR February 02, 2013 at 05:32 AM
Well stated Bruce...
Alexander Starr February 02, 2013 at 06:17 PM
Bruce - In 1776, the average age of the Founding Fathers was 43.8 years old. Not one was 18 year old. Pleaseeee......This is getting ridiculous.
Bruce Szeles February 02, 2013 at 08:34 PM
Alexander - You are correct the average age was 44 but you had Jonathan Dayton of NJ age 26 and John F Mercer 28 of MD attend the Constitutional Convention. Interesting enough Thomas Jefferson one of our best known founding fathers was absent from the process due to his service over in France but that's not my point. It seems to me that you have dismissed his running purely on age or who is endorsing him. Or could it be that you don't like his view on the one single issue that you seem to be involved with in the harbor? If you not stuck on this single issue and are interested in having good people on the dais from parts of the city other then just the south end of town you may want to speak to Julian. Thank you.
L. Campeggi February 02, 2013 at 08:57 PM
Kent is technically correct. California election law may very well allow someone to register to vote and run for office before they turn 18, as long as they will be 18 on the date of the election. However, if the City of Redondo Beach City Charter states that a person is not allowed to file papers to run for office before their 18th birthday, then yes, it appears as though Julian Stern should not have been allowed to file papers to run for the District 4 council member seat. If he wins, it could be challenged on that basis. For my friend Alex, I have to disagree that a college degree makes a person qualified. There are plenty of people with college degrees who lack common sense, and plenty of people without them who are brilliant. That said, I DO believe that "life experience" as an adult is a preferred prerequisite for anyone seeking public office. And even so, that still doesn't mean that a person learned anything from their "life experience." However, I also believe that a person has a better shot at navigating their way through the political muck and mire, facing challenges in working with colleagues, businesses and community members with whom they might not agree, if the candidate has some real, substantive experience dealing with people from a variety of different levels - like homeowner, parent, community organizer/activist, employee, boss, breadwinner, partner/spouse, caregiver, patient, volunteer, etc.
doug athans February 03, 2013 at 08:06 PM
Bruce Szeles - It's time to get over the fact that you lived in North Redondo and YOU NOW LIVE IN TORRANCE! It's time to mind your own business and run for city council in Torrance, although I doubt you'd make it! It's time to get over your anger that you ran for city council in Redondo Beach, district 4 against Steve Diels and overwhelmingly lost! Steve won by a landslide!!! Now mind your own business in your own city, leave ours alone!!! Julian is a high-school kid! This is a great time in his life, time to have fun, to find a girlfriend, go to basketball games, to keep tap-dancing, singing and hip-hopping in his mommies recitals, to find a date, to go to the prom, (hopefully his daddy Doctor will pop for the limo). Did he ever have a job? Has he worked? If so for how long? Having a part-time job during high-school teaches you to work for a boss that you may not like n doesn't coddle you, but you stick to it or get fired. Life doesn't always go the way you want it. What about college? If he's so bright, any scholarships so far? I'm glad his friend Eric knows he'll not fall into the AES trap! Those kids are both for YES on A, at least they don't want to breath polluted air! Just think back to when you were 17-did you make any mistakes? Did you learn from them? Aren't you a more valuable person today? Last, it's time to remind you again: YOU DO NOT LIVE IN REDONDO BEACH! We were glad when you left our neighborhood in North Redondo, now don't come back!
Bruce Szeles February 03, 2013 at 09:57 PM
Wow Doug. Seems you have some issues to deal with but I will not be bullied by you or anyone else so save your drama for the silver screen. Thank you.
Charles Park February 04, 2013 at 12:39 AM
They might have asked you about the lawsuit you and Bill Brand filed against the city that ultimately cost us over $1 million
Charles Park February 04, 2013 at 12:47 AM
He's 17 people!!!! Why do I want a kid making decisions about my tax dollars who has ZERO experience, in anything . He might be a bright kid but I'd like to see a bit more experience in something.
sheri patterson February 04, 2013 at 08:51 PM
Robert, your last point is spot on. "The Chamber is a joke". Those who vote or even pay attention to who the Chamber is endorsing do not realize that they are nothing more than a special interest group lobbying to protect big business and their own. They have been on the wrong side of the biggest resident/political issues in Redondo for decades. And to be clear, residents care about both our community and strong business climate--we want solid solutions so our community will thrive with as much revenue as possible. But not at the expense of ruining our city....think Heart of the City (one example). The Chamber fully supported this absurd plan with flawed planning and traffic studies. It was a complete joke. Now who really thinks that Michael Jackson is going to be unbiased representation for the residents when he's the incoming president of the Chamber? THAT is a no brainer. If we want more special interest power running our city and lining the pocketbooks of developers and elected officials, vote for Jackson. Have residents bothered to look at where the majority of his money came from? Definitely not from District 2 families and businesses. Hello? And this is who the Chamber thinks is best. Enough said Nothing against Julian. He'd be better off without the Chamber's endorsement.
Mary Ann Keating February 07, 2013 at 06:01 AM
I met Julian this afternoon at the North Redondo Library. He appears literate, intelligent and interested in keeping District 4 on the upward spiral set by incumbet Steve Diels. Wither Julian wins or loses, Redndo Beach would be well served to nuture this young man as a vital resource in the city's future. Mary Ann Keating
DR February 07, 2013 at 06:22 AM
Mary Ann. Thank you for sharing. Hopefully this may influence people to not "Judge a book by the cover" and get to know what he's about first. Let's work together to Build a United Redondo Beach instead of a divided Redondo. Thanks again Mary Ann!
Jordan Howard February 09, 2013 at 06:00 AM
Y'all some salty old people. Age does not = experience. The same way that a degree does not equal qualified. Be open minded and stop letting an 18 year old intimidate you. Listen to his ideas, you might learn something. Go Julian. Keep dreaming big, doubters come with the territory.
L. Campeggi February 09, 2013 at 06:16 AM
A point of clarification: Julian Stern is not in favor of Measure A. Stephen Sammarco, also a District 4 candidate for City Council, is not in favor of Measure A. The third District 4 City Council Candidate, Jan Jeffreys, stated she was leaning toward YES on Measure A at the candidate forum in January. At another candidate's fundraiser last night, she again reiterated her preference toward YES on Measure A.
DR February 09, 2013 at 08:29 AM
This has nothing to do with a candidate because Measure A won't be an issue.
Miss S February 10, 2013 at 04:20 AM
As I read these negative comments about Julian you so called "Adults" should be ashamed of yourselves. What are you teaching younger Americans. Nothing! A bunch of babies fighting in the sandbox. I've known Julian since elementary school. If any of you would get to know him and understand his passion for this city and politics you would known this isn't the only thing he's done in life. How are all the big shots and talkers working out for you? Go Mr Stern and I will be proud to vote for you election day. Call him if you have the guts. And you might learn something.


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