Long-Time District 6 Council Liaison Takako Suzuki Retires, Local Journalist Justin Chapman Appointed as Replacement

PASADENA, Calif.—District 6 Councilmember Steve Madison has announced that District Liaison Takako Suzuki is retiring this month after 23 years of service. Local journalist Justin Chapman has been appointed to serve as the new District 6 city council liaison, effective Jan. 1, 2023. 

“Taka has been a terrific district liaison for West Pasadena and, like so many others, I’m very grateful for her 23 years of exemplary service. I wish her all the best in retirement,” Madison said. 

Before joining Councilmember Madison at City Hall in 1999, Suzuki was a school and district administrator at Los Angeles Unified School District. She also served as interim director of the Armory Center for the Arts and was a marriage and family therapist at a local nonprofit agency.  

“It was an honor to work with Councilmember Madison and address the needs of District 6 constituents during my time with the City,” Suzuki said. 

Chapman was born and raised in the Pasadena and Altadena areas. He is an award-winning journalist who previously worked in the communications departments of Michelson Philanthropies, Pacific Council on International Policy, and the USC Annenberg Center for Communication Leadership & Policy. In 2005, at the age of 19, Chapman was elected to serve on the Altadena Town Council, becoming the youngest elected official in LA County. During his time on the council, he founded and chaired its Education Committee. 

Currently, Chapman is the writer, host and producer of Pasadena Media’s local news talk show “NewsRap Local with Justin Chapman,” rebranding in January as “Pasadena Monthly with Justin Chapman,” featuring an inclusive exploration of City issues. He has a bachelor’s degree in mass communications/media studies from UC Berkeley and a master’s in public diplomacy from USC.  

“I’m extremely excited about having Justin serve as the new District 6 liaison,” Madison said. “I’ve known Justin for many years and admired his work as a journalist and neighborhood volunteer. His experience, including his service as a member of the Altadena Town Council and work with the West Pasadena Residents’ Association, makes him exceptionally well-qualified to serve as our district liaison.” 

“District 6 includes all the best things about Pasadena and faces several immense challenges and opportunities from the 710 stub to the Rose Bowl Stadium to the Colorado Street Bridge,” Chapman said. “I look forward to supporting Councilmember Madison and serving the residents of District 6.” 

Chapman can be reached at jchapman@cityofpasadena.net.

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Read the December 2022 issue of Justin Chapman's Newsletter, featuring Justin's year in review including a new LA Press Club journalism award, new career move announcement, a "NewsRap Local" episode featuring a discussion with Planned Parenthood Pasadena and San Gabriel Valley President and CEO Sheri Bonner, some recommendations for good reads, news to keep an eye on, and more!