Apr 14, 2017
The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners is expected to vote tomorrow (Friday, April 14) to name Mario Cordero, a former chairman and current member of the Federal Maritime Commission, as the Port of Long Beach’s new Executive Director. Cordero, a Long Beach resident and attorney, served previously as president and as a longtime member of the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners.
The decision will bring an experienced Long Beach political leader to the helm of the Port at a critical time following business losses related to last year’s Hanjin bankruptcy and concerns that Long Beach’s ambitious capital expansion plans may be causing long-term debt problems.
In choosing Cordero the Harbor Commissioners have chosen an experienced insider with a long history in Long Beach politics and port politics who is also considered pro-labor.
It was noticeable that the Port’s press release referred to Cordero as the next “Executive Director’ after his predecessor Jon Slangerup preferred referring to himself as the Port’s chief executive officer a more corporate term.
In November 2009 while a Long Beach Harbor Commissioner, Cordero spoke about himself and his immigrant background and his sympathy for truck drivers working at the Port who, before trucking de-regulation, had employee and Teamster Union status back in the 1980s, “Look who’s driving the trucks. Ultimately that is a social issue here… Let us not lose sight, who’s driving the trucks. I cannot lose sight of that because that’s where I came from. I came from an immigrant family. And I came from a hard-working labor father, a father who was a laborer… These truck drivers remind me of the strife of the immigrant… I think we need to step back and look at what the real issue is. …. And I’m certainly a product of a family that fought, fought hard, worked there and the opportunity was there. And I want that same opportunity to be given to people who are in the truck industry, the kind of industry that we had before, in the 1980s.”