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Student Spotlight: Marshall R. Goodman, Sr.

Published October 5, 2020
Public Policy and Administration

For Marshall R. Goodman Sr., the desire for higher education extended beyond his undergraduate studies. As a candidate of the Masters in Public Administration, he has the opportunity to expand his expertise in public policy; he hopes that this will elevate his political career as he is currently serving as city council member in the City of La Palma.


What is your current position?

I am a self-employed musician. I was a member of the band Sublime from 1990 to 1992. I was a founding member of the Long Beach Dub Allstars which I reformed in 2016 and have served as the managing member. I co-produced our newest record which was released in May of 2020. I also serve as a Council Member of the City of La Palma. I was Mayor of the city in 2019 and I am currently running for re-election to serve a second term.

How many years?

I have been a musician for 24 years and I have been a Council Member for four years.

Why did you choose to complete an MPA?

The Urban Affairs concentration of the MPA program assists me with two goals. First, as a City Council member with no background in public service, I felt studying administration would be a good way to learn more about the inner workings of the system in which I serve. I was highly interested in studying the organizational aspects of public service because they contain the essential component of implementing the policy that elected officials create. I believe that the internal perspective that this program provides will benefit my work as an elected official and create career opportunities in the future. Second, the concentration in Urban Affairs provides an opportunity to bolster my undergraduate subject matter in the area of social justice and policy implementation.

How has your job changed since the pandemic started?

As a musician / performing artist, the pandemic has changed my job immensely. Our first record in 15 years was released on May 31st of 2020 and we had our entire summer promotional tour cancelled due to the pandemic. However, the record was well received and I'm excited about the new approaches being investigated for delivering live music. We are discussing drive-in performances which bring back a tradition from my youth--the drive-in movie experience. Of the limited benefits that can be found within a travesty like a pandemic, one thing that can be regarded as such is the entrepreneurship that is taking place to keep industries afloat.

What is your city doing to answer the calls for racial justice?

The majority of our Council has always taken positions to support social justice whether it regards race relations, immigration concerns, or other local, state, and federal issues. Although the City of La Palma is 1.8 square miles with a population of just under 16,000 and is not as impacted by social justice issues as larger cities, we remain engaged with societal issues and provide position statements that support justice and inclusiveness.  

What do you like to do when you're not at the office?

I enjoy taking trips with my family to our local time share locations, as well as meeting my daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren in St. George, UT once a year. I like to golf with friends and family as much as I'm able. But, most of all I enjoy having margaritas with my beautiful wife at our favorite neighborhood restaurant.