Long Beach City Council members ousted two lame-duck incumbents Tuesday night to appoint a new council president and vice president.
Council President Anthony Eramo nominated Councilwoman Anissa Moore as president; the motion passed 4-0 with Councilwoman Chumi Diamond absent.
Eramo said, “Congratulations,” and swapped seats to let Moore lead the meeting.
Councilman Scott Mandel nominated Councilman John Bendo as vice president, with the motion passing 3-1 and Eramo dissenting.
Moore was the first African American elected to the council in 2015 and now is the first black council president.
She is one of five Democrats on the council and is running for re-election, but as a Republican.
The vote replaces Eramo and Diamond, who were defeated in a June primary election for the Democratic ballot.
Their defeat created an unprecedented six-month lame-duck period for the rest of the year due to the early election. Eramo and Diamond have served in their roles since January 2018.
Moore and Bendo assume the ceremonial titles on the council, which allow them to work as figureheads to lead meetings.
The council presidency is a rotating role that carries no additional pay and has no set term.
Moore was initially turned down for president in 2016, when other council members said she needed more experience in office.
Moore had expressed reluctance in taking the presidency in an election year.
She said last month, “I think it would be inappropriate to step into that role right now.” At the July 16 meeting, she said she wasn’t turning down the presidency but didn’t want to be attacked for being more visible.
Bendo was elected to a four-year term in 2017 without party affiliation while running on the Democratic ticket. He backed a slate of New Wave Democrats in the primary election.
“As a leader of the city council, my role is to facilitate meeting and collaboration with colleagues to restore stability and good government,” Moore said. “Our system is broken and we will begin discussions on how to fix it. This is a ceremony but also a statement that we’re moving forward to a commitment to transparency.”