2022 City Council runoff candidates answer Sun questions

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Runoff Question 3: What is your level of education and work experience?

District Five

Nathan Steele

Nathan Steele

I bring a tremendous amount of professional experience to Seal Beach, Leisure World and City Council.  I have worked at the executive level of many companies including Fortune 500 companies.

I worked with them to solve difficult, seeming-impossible problems finding creative and unique solutions.

I am a life-long learner.  I studied at John Brown University, North Central University, Northern Illinois University. I majored in Economics and Broadcasting.  I went to seminary in 2011 and language school in France in 2017.

I began my career in the brokerage business in Chicago as a licensed securities dealer. I worked at several high-level boutique brokerage firms.  I also became a member and floor trader on the Chicago Board Options Exchange.

In the early 90’s, I transitioned to training others in the skills needed to be option traders, working in Madrid, Spain in Spanish as Spain’s options market was opening.

In 1993, I joined Holden International, a global training and consulting firm.  I specialized in Strategic Planning and the application of strategy to business, marketing, and sales campaigns. Through those years, I worked with several Fortune 500 companies like EDS, IBM, Accenture and Microsoft on a global scale.

I traveled over 2 million miles, to more than 40 countries around the world.

In addition to training and consulting, I was a conference speaker at sales and management conferences in the US, Canada, Mexico, Spain, Turkey, South Africa and other countries.

I am the author of “Strategic Clarity: The Essentials of High-Level Selling”.

Today, my passion is advancing the Gospel through Christian radio in the US and on the mission field. I am the President of The Steele Agency, an advertising agency specializing in Christian programming, working with Christian radio stations in North America.

I am also the US Director for Grace Bible Mission, working as the liaison between the Cameroon Biblical Seminary and their supporters here in North America. I have been instrumental in raising nearly $2 million dollars for their work.

I also built 2 radio stations in Cameroon, enabling local pastors to preach in their tribal languages.

Mariann Klinger

Mariann Klinger

I believe my work and education supports my bid for a seat at the Seal Beach City Council as the District 5 representative from Leisure World.

During my 13 years living at Leisure World, I worked in Security for 10 years and continue to serve on the city’s Planning Commission for seven years. As a security officer I had the opportunity to meet and help my neighbors in Leisure World, even teaching CERT several times. On the Planning Commission I became more acquainted with the operation of my city.

Prior to coming to Leisure World, I taught history and government at Salinas high schools and Monterey Peninsula Community College in a second career after leaving newspaper work.

I worked as a reporter and editor on newspapers for 20 years, mostly in Monterey County. In my newspaper career, I covered city and county governments, courts and education.

To support my work, I earned a BA in Communication, an MA in Political Science, California teaching credentials in social studies and English, a certificate to teach Journalism, one to teach non-English speaking students, and one to teach CERT (Community Emergency Response Training). I was a military wife (my late husband was career Air Force) with four children when I earned my bachelor’s degree often taking them to classes with me.

We had four graduates in my family as I completed my master’s degree along with two daughters earning bachelor’s and my son graduating from high school. Those were exciting times.

Runoff Question 4: Where are you getting the money for your campaign?

Nathan Steele

I am proud to have earned the trust, support, and encouragement of thousands of local and regional concerned citizens. With this level of support, I have been able to raise several thousands of dollars from those who believe in our message of keeping Seal Beach, Seal Beach.

Mariann Klinger

Because District 5 is completely within the boundaries of Leisure World, candidates typically ran campaigns as a neighbor to neighbor operation, honoring the non-partisan designation of the office. My predecessors Sandra Massa-Lavitt (2012-2022) and Mike Levitt (2002-2012) did so and I chose to follow their lead, financing my own campaign staying within the monetary limits set by the state. I ask neighbors, friends and associates to put my signs in their window and to help pass out campaign literature.

Although I turn down offers of money, I accept and receive help getting out the word of my candidacy. I held an open house in October to talk with community members and frequently sit outside Clubhouse 6 to talk with passersby.

I’m proud to say I received the endorsement of the Orange County Firefighters Association. The firefighters, especially from Station 48 are the mainstay of Leisure World residents.

District Three

Runoff Question 3: What is your level of education and work experience?

Stephanie Wade

Stephanie Wade

I have a BA from Brown University and an MA from Duke. My career spans two tours i the Marines, teaching school and directing volunteers for a political campaign.

I’ve also worked on veterans issues for two elected officials. As Rep. Gil Cisneros’s veterans liaison and manager of a district office, I helped OC veterans cut red tape to recover over $231,000 in benefits.

In OC Supervisor Katrina Foley’s office, I work on infrastructure issues, events and veterans services. In both roles, I’ve built relationships with federal, state and local leaders that I can leverage to address issues like flooding, traffic safety, water pollution and homelessness.

My colleagues on the OC Veterans Advisory Council have twice elected me Vice Chair and last month, as Chair.

Together, we convinced the county to lobby for comprehensive military discharge reform, created a Welcome Home program to honor Post-9/11 veterans, and helped establish the long-overdue site for the OC Veterans Cemetery, where we raised a 60’x100’ flag last week!

My volunteer work includes being Chair of one of the country’s largest Surfrider Foundation chapters, where I led beach clean ups and dune restorations and gave the Parks Commissioner a surfing lesson! I currently volunteer with our local Surfrider Foundation chapter, Seal Beach’s Save Our Beach, and am a member of the Lion’s Club and Chamber of Commerce.

My other qualification is: parent. I’m proud of my 27-year-old son who is a City Planner in New York. My daughter is a fifth grader who most recently gave a thumbs up to the Christmas Parade and loves Seal Beach as much as I do. Part of why I’m running is that I want to preserve this special beach town for them.

Throughout my career, I’ve put the skills and experiences I learned in the Marines to work. Those two tours taught me how to work with people who were different from me–different in upbringing, background and ideology. I learned to listen, speak honestly and disagree respectfully.

From 1995-1998 I lived in Swansboro, NC and have been trying to find that small, beach town feel ever since. My first visit to Seal Beach in 2016 told me that I’d finally found it and I’m not leaving!

These experiences make me the most qualified candidate to represent our district. I can’t wait to get to work making our town even safer, wealthier, more resilient and transparent.


Lisa Landau

Lisa Landau

As a local businesswoman, I have a degree in accounting with over 30 years of experience.

I attended the Thomas Jefferson School of Law and hold a real estate license.

Part of my work experience was helping our team successfully transition my employer’s company from private to public ownership through an Initial Public Offering.

This was a complex and arduous 6-year process where my work was subjected to the highest levels of financial, regulatory, and legal scrutiny.

As your Councilmember, I would bring that level of expertise to examining, prioritizing, and setting Seal Beach’s budget.

My volunteer work in Seal Beach has been my most fulfilling experience.  Being part of our community, volunteering for the Seal Beach Police Department, the Chamber of Commerce, Lions Club, Leo Club, and Neighbor 4 Neighbor has helped me get to know our neighbors and have a thorough understanding of our town and our values.

I am a local and have contributed to our town for years.

My opponent first moved from Los Angeles and then into the Eaves Apartments just in time to file for a vacant Council seat.  In the last 3 weeks, my opponent joined the Lions and the Chamber to give the impression of being local.

It takes years to know the people and community of Seal Beach with its rich history dating back to 1915.   

I ask for your vote because I have the education, work experience, and time spent in giving back to our town to be effective.  The highest of educations and most impressive work experience will never take the place of knowing the culture, values, and people of our town.

Runoff Question 4: Where are you getting the money for your campaign?

Stephanie Wade

My greatest strength as a leader is my ability to build relationships. That’s why I’ve been able to raise $19,487 in contributions from 91 separate donors, all of whom are listed on my campaign finance reports. (See below for a link.)

Over 83% of the contributions to my campaign come from small donors.

Larger contributions come from values-based organizations. For example, Equality California and the Orange County League of Conservation Voters both contributed the maximum amount. Other support of which I’m particularly proud comes from Orange County firefighters, Planned Parenthood and Women for American Values and Ethics (WAVE) and union members, who give voluntarily to political campaigns.

My family has been extremely supportive too. My parents, my son and my ex-wife have all contributed.

The people and organizations who have not contributed–and whose contribution I would not accept–are anyone who might have business before the council. Nor would I accept contributions from giant corporate interests, especially oil companies and developers.

I fully support the letter and the spirit of Senate Bill 1439, which goes into effect on January 31st. This new law prohibits legislators from taking any action involving a donor who has given more than $250 and has a “a financial interest in the decision and lobbies, testifies, or attempts to influence the outcome.”

Without waiting to be asked, I will recuse myself from any proceeding in which there is an appearance or concern of bias relating to a donor. Keywords for me are openness and transparency.

I encourage all Seal Beach voters to view the financial disclosure statements for all the candidates, available here: http://pubrec.sealbeachca.gov/WebLink/Browse.aspx?id=164362&dbid=0&repo=COSB.

Lisa Landau

Follow the money…

I, Lisa Landau, have 13 donations.  Every donor is a Seal Beach Resident.

Stephanie Wade has 90 donations, only 20 from Seal Beach.

My donors represent different political persuasions and though we don’t always agree on everything, we all agree that we want to keep our town small, quaint, and neighborly.

Many of Wade’s donors are special interest political PACs and partisan politicians with agendas to change our small town.

I urge you to look at the reports at the City Clerk’s office and ask yourself, why are these politicians and special interest PACs contributing to a small-town election?  My donors are our friends and neighbors.  I ask you to keep our Seal Beach culture and vote for me, Lisa Landau.