By Matthew Pahl
City/County Management Fellow Erika Martin has seen Long Beach change over the years. Martin grew up in the city and is currently working on facilitating change there as a development analyst for the Long Beach Redevelopment Agency.
Her interest in local government was spurred at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she studied political science and minored in environmental studies and urban planning.
Upon graduation, Martin enrolled in the master of planning and master of public administration dual degree programs at USC to further study urban planning at the city level and bring sustainable change to the built environment in areas of cities that need it most.
As a fellow, Martin was able to hold discussions with leaders in the local government community.
“The fellowship was a good complement to my education at USC Price because it exposed me to the living and breathing world of local government,” Martin said. “Interacting with current city managers was helpful because it exposed me to a wealth of insider knowledge that you don’t get by simply reading a textbook.”
Martin also found that being a part of a group of Fellows was beneficial to her career development.
“I really enjoyed being part of a close group of students who share similar career goals,” she added. “I know that I will keep in touch with all of them and keep track of their careers in local government.”
That knowledge and those relationships have already aided her in her work at the Long Beach Redevelopment Agency. “The personal experiences shared have made a positive impact on my young career,” she noted.
Combined with internships and her experience in the classroom at USC, Martin’s experiences as a City/County Management Fellow have prepared her well for a rewarding career in local government.