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Your Invite to Join Tomorrow's Key to the City Presentation

Release Date: 2021-03-22

Please join us tomorrow to honor some of Long Beach's most distinguished community leaders with a Key to the City. Ron Arias, Gina Rushing Maguire, and Roberta and Dr. Matthew Jenkins have made incredible contributions to our city and I am thrilled to be presenting them with this recognition.

Though the community will not be able to attend in person this year due to COVID restrictions, I encourage you to watch live at 4:30 PM tomorrow, Tuesday, Feb. 23, on any of the city's social media channels, or on YouTube here.

Ron Arias, Gina Rushing Maguire, and Roberta and Dr. Matthew Jenkins have led incredible lives, and their stories are uplifting. Below, you can learn a little bit about each of them before we see them in the City Council Chambers tomorrow:

Ronald R. Arias is a widely respected public health leader in our region and nation with over 50-years of professional and community leadership experience. Ron Arias served for over 12-years as the Director of the Long Beach Health Department, where under his leadership he built much of the Health Department we know today. He worked to establish the Miller Family Health Education Center and created Community Health Research Studies. Prior to his leadership of the department, Ron was the manager of the Public Health Bureau. And from 1979-1990, he worked as a manager for the American Lung Association of Los Angeles County.

Even after his retirement in 2012, Ronald Arias continued his volunteer service, especially in support of our community’s youth. He currently serves on the Children's Clinic Community Advisory Committee, the Earl B. and Loraine H. Miller Foundation, the Long Beach Memorial Hospital Strategy Committee, the Rancho Los Cerritos Foundation and as an integral member of the Long Beach Latino Cultural Center steering committee.

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Gina Rushing Maguire has led St. Anthony High School for the past 20-years and in that time has given new life to this historic institution. She is widely credited with saving the school from closure. An alum of St. Anthony herself, Gina garnered the support of alumni and community partners leading to the development of over $50 million in gifts enabling the expansion of curriculum, programs, financial aid, technology, and significant facility renovations for the school.

In addition to her work with St. Anthony, Gina has been a stalwart Long Beach community member. She played a key role in founding Leadership Long Beach and served as President of the Junior League of Long Beach. Earlier this year, Gina announced her retirement from St. Anthony, effective at the end of the current school year in June. Long Beach will be forever indebted to her for her tireless years of service to the community.

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We will be giving recognition to Roberta Jenkins and posthumously to Dr. Matthew Jenkins. Roberta and Dr. Matthew Jenkins graduated from Tuskegee University in Alabama, where they met and where Dr. Jenkins would later serve from 2013-2014 as interim university president. With great success from their personal business, the Jenkins’ dedicated their time and resources towards advancing access in education across the country, but especially here in Long Beach. They helped to establish the Math Collaborative at Jordan High School, later replicated at Cabrillo and Wilson High Schools. They also established the Matthew and Roberta Jenkins Family Foundation, awarding scholarships and grants to deserving students, institutions and local organizations.

Both Roberta and Dr. Jenkins have been recognized by numerous organizations for their resolute work in education, including the NAACP. Individually, Roberta Jenkins, now retired, has continued her support for the community by serving on many foundation boards and committees, some of which include the CSULB Foundation Board, the Entertainment Industry College Outreach Program for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, the Board of Directors for Long Beach Symphony, and the Long Beach Museum of Art – where she has also served as president.

Dr. Jenkins has been recognized by many civic organizations for his leadership, including the Compton College Board of Trustees, Tuskegee University Board of Trustees, Charles Drew University Board of Directors, California State University Foundation Board, and the Claremont Graduate University Board. Dr. Jenkins passed away in fall of 2019 and is survived by his wife Roberta, their adult children and his many grandchildren.

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You can read more about our honorees here.

I am excited for tomorrow and can't wait for you all to join us.

Thank you and Go Long Beach,

Mayor Robert Garcia