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City of Redondo BeachCandidate for City Council, District 4

Photo of Zein Obagi, Jr.

Zein Obagi, Jr.

Business Owner/Attorney
1,314 votes (50.6%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Protect fast police, fire response times. Our first responders are great. We need to protect their funding without raising taxes.
  • Make our streets safer, prevent speeding and crime. Use modern technology to reduce cut-through traffic and lower the speed of cars on Grant, Aviation and Artesia. Integrate protected bike lanes and more walkable streets citywide.
  • Bring attractive, popular businesses to Artesia. We must fix the broken planning ordinances. With new attractive businesses, restaurants, boutique hotels and art installations, Artesia Blvd can become even more vibrant than the Riviera Village.



(Zane Oh-bah-jee)   A native Californian, the son of immigrants and one of nine children, Zein E.  Obagi, Jr.  learned early in life the value of hard work and the importance of family and community.  With this upbringing, Zein began to build his own American dream.   As a member of his beloved Redondo Beach community since 2018, Zein has seen that dream become a reality.  Now he is ready to fight for the dreams of every resident of Redondo Beach's Fourth District.   After all, that is a fight in which he's been engaged for nearly a decade.   In 2012 and 2013, Zein joined then-Councilmember Bill Brand and other Redondo Beach activists to fight for No Power Plant Redondo.  NPP opposed plans to replace the city's retiring power plant with a new one that did not use the ocean to cool the plant and would be an eyesore in the City for decades to come.  That fight goes on to this day as the plant continues to get renewal, pollute our community and blight our Redondo Beach coastline.   More recently, Zein in 2019 fought with Redondo Beach Firefighters when they were out of contract, helping to generate resources for our heroes while meeting and hearing from hundreds of Redondo Beach residents.  Zein also backed a referendum of the current councilmember who blocked a study aimed at finding options to enhance fire responsiveness in Redondo Beach while saving millions of dollars annually.  Now, with our city struggling financially in the pandemic, neglecting to conduct the fire study couldn't have been more of a foolish decision by our councilmember.   Zein is dedicated to a strong Redondo Beach Police Department, too.  In 2019, Zein enrolled in and graduated from the Redondo Beach Police’s Citizen’s Academy, a 14-week-long program.  He learned about policing subjects ranging from SWAT to homeless outreach, and even rode along with patrol on St. Patty’s Day.     With all of this hands-on experience, Zein knows firsthand the resources and support our first responders need to provide strong, effective responsiveness to keep our city safe.  As our councilmember, Zein will ensure that the police continue to be “the community, leading the way through law enforcement”.   Zein's connection to Redondo Beach has only strengthened in the years since, as he and his wife welcomed their first child -- a daughter -- earlier this year.  A regular attendee of city council meetings, Zein asks tough questions and offers strong ideas in the name of bettering Redondo Beach.  Along with his focus on keeping Redondo Beach safe, Zein plans to expedite the desperately needed invigoration Artesia Boulevard as a place to be in North Redondo Beach and enhance our parks and open spaces -- including bringing safe bicycle transit corridors to Redondo Beach NOW.   Public service   Zein's endeavors to better Redondo Beach were not the first time he focused his efforts on improving the lives of others.   He began his public-service work while attending the University of Southern California, Gould School of Law, traveling to the Hurricane Katrina-afflicted Gulf Region to supply critical pro bono legal aid as part of Gould's inaugural Legal Aid Alternative Break project, then going back twice more as part of the project.   Along with his public-service work in Redondo Beach, Zein has worked community-service projects with the Los Angeles 5 (LA5) chapter of Rotary Club International.  While troops were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, Zein joined other Rotarians in preparing care packages for our troops overseas.     As a busy lawyer growing his team and their ability to serve others, Zein makes bettering the lives of others a bedrock of his professional life, as well.  Professional   After passing the California Bar Exam in his first sitting in 2009, Zein worked at several Los Angeles firms -- including one of the largest and most prestigious in California.  In 2012, Zein founded what is now Obagi Law Group, P.C.  His fast-growing practice specializes in fighting wrongful terminations and unlawful discrimination in the workplace.     Driven by Zein's leadership, attorneys at Obagi Law Group treat every client as if they are the firm's only client, winning millions of dollars for clients who have been victims of discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, illegal business practices and other violations of justice.   As a business owner, Zein also understands what it takes to balance a budget, support workers and bring people together to work for a common goal.   Raised with six sisters and married to a practicing physician, Zein also believes that fighting for equality for women and promoting the equal professional advancement of women to lead is more important to than ever -- a value that is one of the founding principles of Obagi Law Group.   Along with serving as serving as a Chair of Programs with the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA) Small Firm Section, Zein is a recent appointee to a pair of LACBA committees — the President's Advisory Committee on Women in the Legal Profession and the Advisory Committee on Judicial Appointment.     Zein regularly leads talks to fellow LACBA members, including through programs on growing and managing a law firm during the pandemic.  Zein believes that we as a community do our best when we empower and look out for one another.   Education   After graduating as valedictorian from Le Lycee Francais de Los Angeles high school (where he also served as co-captain on the varsity basketball team and student-body vice president), Zein got his B.A. in Political Science from UC Berkeley and then his Juris Doctorate from the University of Southern California, Gould School of Law.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

I am running for office because I have always been an citizen activist, starting in high school, through college and law school.  In 2012, I joined the No Power Plant movement in Redondo Beach to fight against California Energy Commissions approval of a new power plant to fight the retiring AES Power Plant in Redondo Beach that uses once-through cooling, resulting in warmer ocean waters that kill marine live.  In addition, the power plant pollutes directly into the most dense residential neighborhoods in the South Bay.


 On October 1 2013, I gave the following speech to the California Energy Commission:


 "I'm Zein Obagi, and I appreciate the opportunity to speak to the California Energy Commission. I am a former candidate for Congress and I probably will run again, but I first became involved in this issue after going door to door in Redondo Beach and realized that almost everybody from the Birkenstock-wearing to the suit-and-tie wearing resident was opposed to a new power plant coming into Redondo Beach.  That caught my attention. And I started to attend these City Council meetings. And I realize now that we're in front of the California Energy Commission that this state has an obligation as one of the most progressive in the country to lead the way when it comes to energy policy, and when it comes to health policy, at that.


And you have a very dense community here surrounding what is proposed to be a new polluting power plant that will pollute directly, due to the ocean winds, directly into the community. Once there was a need for this power plant to be on the coast because of ocean cooling. Now that's prohibited. As somebody said earlier, how come we care about the animals in the ocean but not the humans lining the power plant just on the other side?


The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. If this power plant was needed, AES would not have been operating its existing power plant at roughly five percent in the past. If you do a needs analysis, I'm sure you'll find what Mr. Wiggins said, that this power plant is not needed.


We want to talk about jobs. Of course a new power plant will bring jobs. So, too, will the bridge to nowhere in Alaska. We don't just dig holes to dig holes. If a new power plant isn't permitted, something else will be. Something else will come into being. And it will need plumbers; it will need framers; it will need roofers. You name it: electricians. These folks will still have a construction job to do in the area. And whatever is developed [it] will likely create more -- a greater number of sustainable jobs on the site.


Finally, we're at a new point in our cancer research. We're finding that the coding for cancer is starting to take place in pregnant women in the fetuses depending on how much carcinogens the pregnant [mothers] are exposed to. You know, the CEC is immune from liability, but does the CEC really want to have it on its conscience that it put a power plant into a densely populated area?


I love natural gas. I think it is one of the cleanest fossil fuels that exist. But does it really need to be right here where it pushes pollution directly into the community? I think not. And I think California can do better. So I urge you not to permit a new power plant in Redondo Beach."


I am running for local office now because my neighborhood needs a true leader, an activist who will be proactive and courageous in tackling our most significant problems.  Folks need to be educated about the social determinants of health; that is, aspects of our environment and society that affect human health and well being.  I view my role as a future council member to identify and raise awareness as to the environmental factors that harm us and the environment (air, water pollution, plastics, fossil fuel dependency), devise ways that we can minimize our impacts, and where we can, legislate so that our local impact on the environment is minimal with a goal of achieving a neutral carbon footprint.   



Videos (1)

— January 26, 2021 Zein Obagi for Redondo Beach Council District 4, 2021

Zein walks a prominent property in Redondo Beach District 4, showing how the City and incumbent have permitted blight continue to exist on the property.  We need change in North Redondo. We need an activist.

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