LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- Rex Richardson was sworn in Tuesday as Long Beach's first Black mayor, pledging "to address our housing crisis, our economic and racial inequities and our changing climate."
"We only achieve these goals if we continue to work together toward our shared vision for our region's future," Richardson said in his inaugural address at the Terrace Theater in the city's downtown area.
Richardson replaces Robert Garcia, who will represent California's 42 District in Congress after serving two terms as Long Beach mayor.
Richardson previously served as vice mayor of the city and defeated fellow City Council member Suzie Price in the mayoral race this year.
"This historic mayorship represents not only how far we've come toward building a more inclusive city, but also the potential that we have to remedy deep and systemic disparities in opportunities across our city," the 39-year-old Richardson said.
With Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass in attendance, Richardson pledged to work with her in tackling the homelessness crisis.
"I accept your call to lock arms with you and confront our cities' shared challenges," Richardson said to Bass. "Imagine a moment when two mayors from the two largest cities in the region are aligned on values and working together to get our unhoused neighbors off the street, and chart an equitable recovery for the future of our region. We will turn this vision into reality, with Mayor Karen Bass as our neighbor."
He said he would call on the city manager Wednesday to bring a declaration of a state of emergency on homelessness to the City Council.
Richardson was one of nine city officials sworn in at the ceremony.
City News Service contributed to this report.