Political activist Carmen O. Perez, who became the first Latino to serve on the Board of Harbor Commissioners in 1991, has been named president of the board for a one-year term.
Perez, public relations director for the Rancho Los Amigos Medical Center in Downey, will lead the Port of Long Beach's top governing body in what is largely an honorary position that rotates among the five commissioners annually.
Perez said her chief priority will be pushing for implementation of the Alameda Corridor project, a $1.8-billion plan to run freight trains between the port of Long Beach and Los Angeles railroad yards.
The project is expected to relieve congestion on the Long Beach Freeway by providing a direct trucking link along Alameda Street. The ports and Union Pacific Railroad, which owns the currently unused train route, are still negotiating the sale of the corridor.
A 31-year resident of Long Beach, Perez is founder of the Long Beach Chicano Political Caucus and is a former vice chair of the Democratic National Committee.