Meet our Team
Shawna Stevens is an experienced legislative, government, and health professional with 18+ years in the public and nonprofit sectors. As Chief of Staff, Shawna plans and directs the operational and strategic aspects of the Mayor's office, coordinates the execution of programs and strategic initiatives, and works to ensure our City's initiatives and programs align with Mayor Richardson’s priorities.
Prior to joining Mayor Richardson's team, Shawna worked for the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services for 10 years, overseeing chronic disease prevention programming and placed-based initiatives. She was also principal of her firm SHS Connections, a consulting business providing guidance, services, and connections in project management, policy analysis, grant writing and capacity building to clients in all sectors.
Shawna holds a BA in Sociology from UCLA and a Master's in Public Administration from California State University, Long Beach. She is a proud soccer and dance mom who is raising her two daughters in Long Beach with her husband Michael.
Ms. Young has spent her career fighting for social justice and economic justice. In her pervious role as the Southern California Regional Director for Service Employee International Union’s Committee of Interns and Residents, (CIR/SEIU); a national, labor organization in the healthcare sector comprised of the resident physicians, interns, and fellows who have served on the frontlines throughout the COVID-19 global pandemic involved much more than supervising staff and bargaining contracts. When CIR members working at public and private hospitals and medical centers wish to shape statewide and federal policy to preserve reproductive rights, prevent gun violence, and provide a path to citizenship for immigrants, she directed the work of the organizing, political, and communications departments as well.
Ms. Young is also active in her community. Through her pervious role in labor, she has worked to coordinate Job Fairs in the City of Compton and Carson as well provide families in the City of Watts, Compton and Long Beach with Toys during the holiday season.
She was a founding member and President of the Black Women’s Democratic Club for Black Women and also serves as a member of the Los Angeles County Democratic Central Committee for the 65th assembly district.
Ms. Young received her B.A. from California State University, Dominguez Hills in Public Administrative Management and completed her Master Degree in Public Administration with a focus in Urban Affairs at California State University, Long Beach.
She is also a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta, Sorority Incorporated.
Lucius Martin grew up in the Greater Long Beach Area where his mother worked in education and his father worked for the State of California. Upon graduating from high school, he attended Long Beach City College where he was active on campus organizing events and participating in student government.
Utilizing the foundation provided by the amazing faculty at Long Beach City College he finished his undergraduate education at the University of California, Los Angeles. While at UCLA he worked with other student leaders to organize weekly community outreach activities to promote access to higher education through tutoring and peer mentoring throughout Los Angeles County.
In his over decade and half career in economic development Lucius has worked within state, tribal and local municipal management building strategic partnerships that have led to countless opportunities for others. Lucius has worked for the City of Long Beach for ten years where he began his career working within the Youth Opportunity Center; he would go on to leading business engagement efforts at the city administered workforce development board Pacific Gateway. While serving in non-management roles for the city Lucius was active within his union, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) where he served as a Shop Steward for his division.
Lucius maintains professional membership in the California Association of Local Economic Development as well as the National Security Space Association and was recently selected for the inaugural cohort of Coro Workforce Fellows.
Lucius lives in Los Angeles County with his lovely wife and two children whom he spends a lot of time visiting with family in Long Beach and exploring the many neighborhoods and restaurants that make Long Beach the best destination to live, work and play.
Connor Lock is an experienced government innovator and policy implementer who enjoys breaking down complex challenges and designing holistic approaches to improve people’s quality of life and fairness in society.
Mr. Lock most recently served as Chief of Staff for Long Beach Vice Mayor Cindy Allen. Prior to his current tenure in Long Beach, Connor served from 2019 - 2020 as the first Chief of Staff for Katrina Foley, then-Mayor of the City of Costa Mesa.
Deputy Mayor Lock also currently serves on the Housing Advisory Committee for the County of Los Angeles and on the Boards of Walk Long Beach and Partners of Parks. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service in International Political Economics from Georgetown University and a Master of Arts in Public Administration from California State University, Long Beach.
Mr. Lock lives in Long Beach with his wonderful wife, son and two dogs, and enjoys doing DIY home remodel projects.
Paul Barragan-Monge is a policy expert with more than a decade of experience leading legislative advocacy and community organizing efforts at the local, state, and federal levels. Most recently, Paul served as the Director of Mobilization at the UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Institute where he led state budget and legislative campaigns, statewide coalition-building efforts, and strategic communications to promote equitable policy outcomes and improve the living and working conditions of communities of color.
Previously, Paul worked for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors where he led the design and implementation of citywide programs and policy interventions, and advised on legislative strategies to advance educational equity, immigrant rights, worker protections, small business sustainability, and the city’s public health response to COVID-19.
Between 2016-2018, Paul also served as an appointed member of the University of California Board of Regents, advocating for the needs of more than 270,000 undergraduate and graduate students throughout California. Paul is the proud son of Salvadoran immigrants. He was the first in his family to go to college and earned a BA from UC Santa Barbara, an MPP from Harvard University, and a law degree from the UC Berkeley School of Law.
Jeff Williams recently served as the Interim Director of the Long Beach Center for Economic Inclusion (LBCEI) to help launch a new nonprofit Community Development Corporation focused on bringing inclusive economic opportunities to underserved communities in Long Beach. Previously, Jeff served for 10 years as the Executive Director of Leadership Long Beach, the preeminent community leadership organization in our city. Jeff has extensive experience in nonprofits, community development, program management and leadership development.
Jeff co-founded the Long Beach Community Internship program at CSULB and has launched several community events including the MLK Day of Service and the Long Beach Mardi Gras. Brought to California as part of the Teach For America program, Jeff is passionate about community and providing opportunities for young people to find their path. Jeff married up to Ellen Williams and they have two amazing kids, Trent and Violet.
Malini Basu joins us from Dallas, Texas where she is a veteran TV journalist with 20 years of experience. She won 3 Emmy Awards and 2 National Edward R. Murrow Awards during her tenure.
Malini has experience in investigative reporting, covering major breaking news stories, and leading change by uplifting the voices of people in need. She has previously held positions at the legacy ABC station WFAA in Dallas and Boston 25 News. She was the only reporter on the ground who went to El Salvador to help combat gang violence. She had special security clearance from the El Salvadorian government to be in one of the world’s worst gang prisons to conduct detailed interviews of the convicted gang members. The goal was to understand the modus operandi of the gang and formulate ways to intervene that process by helping give teenagers hope and, from falling into the trap. Before working at Boston 25 News, she worked at the CBS affiliate in Houston for 3 years where she covered a number of major breaking news stories.
Malini graduated from St. John's University in Queens, NY. She holds a Bachelor's of Science degree in Journalism and Business. She grew up in an immigrant family in Queens, NY, where she watched her parents make the ultimate sacrifice.
Every summer, Malini's parents sent her brother and her to Kolkata, India to be with their grandparents, where they learned the value of hard work and what struggle really is. She is a proud sister: her brother is an Orthopedic Trauma Surgeon in the Dallas area. Malini is married to Hemanth Kappanna, PHD who is the co-principal investigator of DieselGate, the emissions scandal that sparked worldwide change in the automotive industry. Malini is excited to join him in the Long Beach area.
Maria Banegas is the Administrative Officer for the City of Long Beach, Mayor’s Office with over eight years of experience serving the City of Long Beach and its constituents. Mrs. Banegas has over ten years of progressive Human Resources experience in both the public and private sectors. Her professional career encompasses managing various human resources matters within office management, supervision, and budget forecasting. She has extensive experience in training/employee development, employee relations, employee recruitment and retention, and interpreting and implementing policies. Her expertise and knowledge assist in cultivating a positive environment to help drive the goals and initiatives of the Mayor’s Office.
Maria received a bachelor’s degree in Management of Human Resources from California State University Dominguez Hills. She enjoys spending quality time with her husband and three children. She loves exercising and hiking.
Cecile “Cecily” Harris Walters is a Special Projects Assistant for the Office of Mayor Rex Richardson. She retired from the City of Long Beach after over 32 years in 2014.
In 1992 – 2000 while in the Legislation Department, she was Chief of Staff for the late Vice Mayor/Councilwoman Doris Topsy-Elvord, the first African American female Councilwoman and Vice Mayor. Cecile’s years of experience in public administration have given her a broad knowledge of administration, organization, communication, problem-solving, and leadership.
Cecile has a master’s degree in Public Administration from California State University, Long Beach. She has volunteered her time to many non-profit organizations for many years and recently became a Mentor for the Women Guiding Women Cancer Support and Education.
Her passions are living a healthy and active life, biking, powerwalking, and sewing. Last year, Cecile completed her eighteenth Long Beach Half Marathon and looks forward to what this year offers.
Christian Cambridge is a Human Resources Officer at the City of Long Beach. Prior to his current role, he served as a Senior Human Resources Analyst where he assisted City Management in Labor Relations through conducting classification and compensation studies, analyzing labor cost, and representing the City in negotiations and meet and confer meetings.
Before joining the City of Long Beach, Christian earned dual Bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley and a Master’s degree in Public Policy at the University of Southern California, with a focus on health policy. His practicum project under the California State Treasurer’s office involved a financial evaluation of existing retail food markets in Los Angeles in effort to increase healthy food access amongst low income communities- specifically in areas consisting of a high density of 0 to 5 child populations.
Christian spent two years in the non-profit sector as a site coordinator and instructor for the Youth Policy Institute. His key commitments focused on grant writing, after-school programming, and the development of an arts curriculum for inner-city youth, providing mentoring and training to students.
Parker is a Long Beach native with family roots in Uptown Long Beach who brings a wealth of experience as an organizer, caseworker, and policy assistant to the Mayor’s office. Before graduating from Georgetown University in 2019 with a BS in Foreign Service, Parker worked under the Long Beach City Manager’s office in the Office of Civic Innovation and for North Long Beach’s Congresswoman, Nanette Barragán. Before joining the team, Parker spent time as an organizer for Senator Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign as well as the Texas AFL-CIO. He previously served as the Policy Coordinator during Mayor Richardson's term as Vice Mayor.
His primary area of focus has been on improving working people’s interactions with government through lowering administrative burdens and making it easier for those in need to get help from their government. During the pandemic, he spent time as a caseworker for Worker’s Benefit Fund, helping union members all across the country determine which healthcare, unemployment, nutrition, and rental assistance programs they qualified for and making sure they received them.
Montserrat Pineda is a North Long Beach native who grew up in the Ramona Park Neighborhood and is the proud daughter of Salvadoran immigrants. She was the first in her family to attend college and graduated from the University of Redlands with a BA in Political Science.
While at Redlands, Montserrat championed other first-generation students through Students Together Empowering Peers, led the social justice and diversity-focused siblinghood WRW, organized efforts around civic engagement, advocated for Cal Grant increases with the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities, and was chosen as the Commencement Speaker for her class.
Pineda remained dedicated to her local community by interning for Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, Vice Mayor Rex Richardson, and Congressman Alan Lowenthal, working at the Long Beach Center for Economic Inclusion, and organizing food distribution drives and civic engagement activities in Long Beach. Soon after graduating, Montserrat joined Rex Richardson’s Mayoral campaign as a Volunteer Coordinator and then Campaign Organizer. Pineda is proud to represent her community at the Mayor’s office and begin her career in Public Service.
Dorian is a creative professional with experience navigating both public and private sector communications. Prior to joining the City of Long Beach, he spent two years working with firms representing statewide and national nonprofit organizations and outreach campaigns, including Amnesty International and California's Vaccinate All 58 program while also working as a freelance photograher. Dorian also served as Communications Coordinator during Mayor Richardson's term as Vice Mayor.
Dorian studied at California State University, Long Beach, with a dual specialization in Music Performance and Music Education. His hobbies and interests include photography, creative design, archery, hiking, cooking, and spending time outdoors.