Meet new Downtown Long Beach Alliance (DLBA) Board Member Isidro Panuco, who also serves as Vice-Chair of our Public Safety Committee. In his new roles, Panuco hopes to advocate for the needs of Downtown and help develop projects, events, and initiatives that will help the community for years to come.
“I am Senior Manager of Transportation Planning at the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro),” explained Panuco. “I manage transportation improvement projects and grant programs throughout Los Angeles County. I am pleased to serve DLBA, which is at the core of these efforts for Downtown Long Beach.”
Panuco and his wife live in the heart of Downtown, buying a condo in 2018 after living in Downtown for several years. “Long Beach’s demographic diversity, proximity to the beach, and access to outdoor activities drew us to the City,” he said.
Born in Los Angeles and raised in Norwalk, Panuco attended the University of California, Riverside, where he double-majored in Political Science and Chicano Studies, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in both. Before landing his job at Metro, Panuco worked as a legislative staffer in Washington, D.C. “I believe that with my experience I can provide meaningful contributions to the resurgence of Downtown Long Beach as COVID-19 restrictions subside,” he said.
Throughout the pandemic, Panuco has been tuned in to DLBA’s efforts. “The DLBA Board and Committees have kept public health and safety at the forefront of decisions,” he said. “Surveys have been sent out to the Downtown community to evaluate concerns and opinions on such issues as parklet dining, safety, and cleanliness. The Board and Committees will continue to monitor public health guidance and will develop COVID-appropriate events and partnerships as recovery continues.
“There were signs of adaptation activity throughout the pandemic,” continued Panuco. “To-go orders, outdoor dining, and other innovations were developed as means to keep businesses afloat. It has been great to see ‘normal’ life and activity return to Downtown. They have been sorely missed. We haven’t quite returned to pre-pandemic Downtown yet, but the future looks bright.”
Panuco encourages businesses, residents, and other stakeholders within DLBA boundaries — which includes the Parking Business Improvement District (PBID) — to attend Board and Committee meetings that align with their interests. “Stakeholders can provide public comment during the meetings and also reach out to DLBA Staff or Board Members,” he said.
To balance his hyper-connected urban lifestyle, Panuco loves nature getaways. “I enjoy the outdoors,” he said. “Hiking is one of my favorite hobbies. In this digital age, we are just a text, an email, or a phone call away. Being outdoors for a few hours on a hike or on a camping trip — away from the urban noise — is peaceful and helps one disconnect and refresh.”