By Shannon Murphy and Madison Salter / Staff Writers

Doug Otto, LBCC Trustee and mayoral candidate, said one of his top priorities is education.

Otto has served as Area 4 trustee since 2004 and has been an active member of Long Beach community for 30 years.

He founded and served as president of the Long Beach Foundation for Architectural and Cultural Heritage and the Long Beach Heritage.

Otto said, “The assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968 was a call to action.” Since then, Otto has committed himself to public service and helping Long Beach thrive.

Otto served on the City’s Ethics Task Force in 2002. He is a founding Board member of the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific where he currently serves on its executive committee, and chairs the long-range planning committee.

Otto outlined an 11-point plan to strengthen the city of Long Beach. No. 4 in his list of goals is to “prepare our residents for 21st century jobs.”

He intends to leverage the existing Long Beach education infrastructure to prepare Long Beach for the information-based economy of the 21st century.

Otto encourages recent graduates to start new businesses in Long Beach.

“In this increasingly competitive global environment, the cities that prosper will be the ones with an educated, innovative and sophisticated workforce.”

Otto was diagnosed with the most advanced form of throat cancer in 2010.

He temporarily moved to Texas with his wife Freda to receive treatment at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

During his treatment, Otto communicated with the Board trustees by computer. He participated during the meetings through teleconference and kept an online journal of his medical struggles.

On his website, Otto said he has changed the focus from just access to higher education to making sure students succeed.”

Otto said he knows how important education is to the future of Long Beach.

Otto and his twin brother, Don Otto, were adopted by Lura and Don Otto. He attended Millikan High School and LBCC.

He received a full scholarship to Stanford University. Later he studied at Union Theological Seminary and Columbia University in New York City and then attended the University of Chicago.