MARK TWAIN once wrote: "Twenty years from now you will be more
disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you
did. So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover."
MY MOTTO IS "EXPLORE. DREAM. DISCOVER."
I WANT TO Explore, Dream and Discover as much as possible in my
life here on earth, and I want my Web sites to empower, equip and
excite others to do the same. I try to live my life working toward GROSS DOMESTIC HAPPINESS.
I WANT TO help folks to find something
new and exciting to do and experience. That's why I I have formed
my charitable organization and named it the "Community Action
Team" -- a name that I feel encompasses all the varied activities
and events that I have (and will continue to) organized for the
good of our community.
WHAT CAN I DO to help you explore your potential, make a dream
come true or discover new frontiers? I hope to hear from you.
Please Support CAT - Justin's 501c3 Nonprofit
RIGHT NOW, while the need is in your mind, won't you please donate? We receive no government monies, and depend entirely on people like you.
WE HOPE YOU share our love for animals, kids and the environment, and our wish is that you'll consider a gift of $25, $50, $100 or another amount so that we can continue to bring you and our community fun events and meaningful projects.
CHECKS to CAT, Attn. Justin Rudd, 275 St. Joseph Ave., Long Beach, CA 90803.
THE MAIN PURPOSE of the Community Action Team (CAT) is to promote social well-being among the general public. As a 501c3 nonprofit corporation governed by a board of directors, contributions to CAT are tax deductible and are used to help produce quality events within our community that benefit children, animals, and the environment.
CAT IS AN UMBRELLA organization that includes:
4Halloween Kids' Costume Contest
4July 4 Kids' Bike Parade
4Dog-themed Poetry contest
4Dog-themed Sidewalk Chalk Art Contest
4Interfaith Blessing of the Animals
4$1,000 National Kids Spelling Bee
4Haute Dogs on the Beach events
4Haute Dog Easter Parade
4Haute Dog Howl'oween Parade
4Operation Santa Paws
4The Great Sand Challenge 5k/10k
45k/10k Grunion Run
45k/10k Turkey Trot
4Operation Easter Basket
4Easter Egg Decorating Contest
4monthly 30-Minute Beach Cleanups.
|Justin's Free e-Newsletters
Weekly; Long Beach/LA/OC area dog news & events; 4,100+ subscribers
4JUST-IN TIMES e-News
Weekly; Long Beach/LA/OC area gay/lesbian news & events; 2,500+ subscribers
4BEACH CLEANUP e-News
monthly reminders for the Long Beach 30-Minute Beach Cleanup at Dog Zone; 1,050+ subscribers
4BEACH FITNESS e-News
weekly e-news about Justin's Sand Challenge classes in Long Beach; 350+ subscribers
4PAGEANT PRACTICE QUESTIONS e-News
weekly questions for seasoned and novice pageant contestants; 3,375+ subscribers worldwide
I AM A FIRM believer in the collective power of individuals joined in a spirit of goodwill and generous giving to bring about the success of a community.
full story below
Justin Rudd coaches pageant contestants and teaches fitness. He also cleans up beaches, raises money for charities and helps animal shelters.
Local Activist Ponders a Wider Role in Long Beach
||Los Angeles Times
Mon., Jan. 2, 2006
-Nancy Wride, staff writer
IT IS NOT a response Justin Rudd expects from a would-be Miss America .
But as he coaches Miss Nevada in his Long Beach living room, asking her mock pageant questions about cosmetic surgery and her diet of chicken fingers and fries, he is unfazed by this potential misstep:
"What," Rudd asks Crystal Wosik, "do you dislike most about yourself?"
Miss Nevada does not pause. "My back fat." Rudd gives no grimace. "And my nose," she goes on. Rudd doesn't blink. "And my brothers make fun of my feet, so I'm self conscious about those too."
Phyllis George surely never uttered such a thing in her Miss America day, but Rudd has learned in the pageant coaching business how to shift negatives into positives.
"Now see," he tells Miss Nevada, "you want to be yourself, that's part of your charm … but still bring out the positive."
RUDD'S CLIENTS INCLUDE Mrs. America 2006 — whom he will coach again for this spring's Mrs. World competition in Russia — and Miss California USA, now vying for Miss USA . He has made a part-time career out of guiding contestants toward success.
It's a wonder he has the time.
In Belmont Shore , a coastal neighborhood in the state's fifth largest city, Rudd is most widely recognized as an activist who has led thousands of residents to community service.
He has organized monthly beach cleanups, spelling bees offering scholarship money, creation of a dog beach, charity fundraisers, pet dress-up parades and toy drives for dogs in shelters.
"Justin gives people free snacks, hosts bulldog beauty contests, eschews cellphones," said Christopher Ward , naturalist for the city's El Dorado Nature Center Park , who also runs Long Beach 's Adopt-a-Beach program. Rudd "has put together an entertaining and useful website, actually cares about making the city more livable and somehow exudes both creativity and integrity, wrapped up in a ton of energy."
Jane Parnes, board member of the Seal Beach Animal Care Center, calls Rudd "an amazing character" whose band of volunteers from his listserv of 4,100 animal enthusiasts hit area shelters the Friday before Christmas as part of his yearly "Operation Santa Paws" drive. The idea is to contribute pet toys, food and grooming products to Southland shelters, boosting the health of animals so they become more adoptable.
But Rudd — a savvy self-promoter — is on the verge of entering the often bruising field of local politics.
He is weighing a Long Beach City Council run and must decide by the Jan. 11 deadline. Supporters who volunteer at his nonpolitical community events — he has 14 websites linked via http://www.justinrudd.com — ; say his ability to mobilize thousands of residents could only grow with public office. The 3rd Council District includes about 50,000 residents in Belmont Shore , Belmont Heights , Naples and the eastern flank of Long Beach near the Orange County line.
RUDD LIVES in a modest apartment whose porch sign reads "Anything Is Possible." He said he makes no money off good deeds, eking by on his pageant coaching, the fitness classes he teaches and about $100 a week in online sales of a pageant tip guide.
"I'm a person who doesn't need a lot. I would say my one splurge is I go out to eat every night," said Rudd, who lives with a partner.
Fans, including Beth Barnes, president of the Long Beach chapter of Surfrider Foundation, see Rudd as a community leader. The national environmental group and others — parents and pageant contestants, a producer of a sea otter documentary, an airline rep and some Girl Scouts — were spending a recent Saturday sifting for cigarette butts and other trash on the beach.
"I look to Justin," Barnes said, "as our unofficial ombudsman of Belmont Shore ."
Granted, elected officials must attend ribbon cuttings and other marginally silly photo ops, but is Long Beach ready for a council member who stages Mother's Day purse tosses and whose constant sidekick is a 40-pound bulldog named Rosie?
THE CITY HAS BEEN STRUGGLING with a variety of weighty issues, from homelessness and crime to the continuing financial woes of the Queen Mary. If Rudd enters the council race, only time will tell whether voters embrace a candidate best known for dog shows and picking up trash at the beach. Despite his volunteer efforts, Rudd is untested in the world of politics, which would require him to take positions on controversial issues.
Rudd laughs. "Oh, I think Rosie 's more popular than me."
AS HE WALKED MISS NEVADA through her pageant paces, he observed that the need to whirl a negative question around to underline the positive is a skill essential in both pageants and politics.
Rudd sat in his living room recently, notepad and pen poised, asking Wosik about her views on gun control and gambling, her volunteerism and how she keeps slim on chicken and fries. His dog panted and snorted around the room before collapsing on a chew toy.
The screen saver on Rudd's computer monitor provides a slide show of his life. He was born 36 years ago to a southeast Alabama family that still owns a furniture store in Ozark. His fraternal twin brother, Jason, is a second-term city commissioner in Dothan, Ala.
He is a graduate of Samford University business college in Alabama who arrived in Long Beach a few years after he moved to California in 1995.
HE WAS A SUBSTITUTE teacher for two years in the Long Beach Unified School District and worked as a Disney stage performer.
Rosie, his bulldog, may look like a canine version of an old fat guy, but she is purebred, which is what drew him most recently into a civic debate over the American Kennel Club's demand that Long Beach drop its ban on dog breeding.
RUDD IS CONCERNED that city shelters can't handle the animals abandoned there and that breeding might add to the population.
His rallying of numerous speakers via electronic news alerts and links to his website played a role in swaying the City Council to put off voting on the issue.
He also helped establish a dog beach on the same sands where his monthly beach cleanups earned him an award this year from the Environmental Protection Agency. Through his nonprofit Community Action Team, Rudd and other city residents have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for charity over the years.
Some of Rudd's volunteers worry that politics could cramp his civic activity.
"He does [volunteer work] every month, year after year," said Tommy Kha , a consultant with the Hitachi Corp. who first volunteered for the beach cleanup years ago as a student. "He's like this role model to live by."
g RANDOM FACTS
About Justin Rudd!
1 Justin loves chocolate chip cookie dough and can make it from memory and from scratch. Usually, he has some frozen dough in the freezer.
2. He founded and directs a 501c3 nonprofit organization called the Community Action Team (CAT).
3. Has a business degree from Samford University -- a private Southern Baptist school in Birmingham.
4. Justin received the 2004 Outstanding Young Californian award presented by the CA Jaycees Foundation.
5. He orchestrated the community candlelight vigil, which, organized in only 48 hours, brought an estimated 5,000 people to Long Beach's World Trade Center the Friday following Sept. 11.
6. Lived the first 26 years of his life in Southeast Alabama (near Florida and Georgia). He was born and raised in the town of Ozark (spelled backwards is KRAZO), population 15,000.
7. Has lived in California since 1995.
8. Elected and served as class president all four years of high school and his senior year in college.
9. Was in Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity in college and was elected as Brother of the Year his junior year. He also served as social chairman, secretary and v.p.
10. Elected Homecoming King by the student body his senior year in college.
11. Helps women to prepare for pageant interviews (including Miss USA, Miss Teen USA and Miss America contestants). Every week he e-mails pageant practice questions to 5,000 women around the world. subscribe.
12. Sometimes people tell him he looks like Peter Krause from "Six Feet Under."
13. Sleeps with the noise and air circulation of a fan on high!
14. Broke his leg when his bike slid on a pile of leaves on the family's steep driveway. Was in a body cast and in traction in the hospital when he turned 6 years old. During recovery, his family pushed him around in a green wheelbarrow.
15. On Feb. 9, 2005 Justin received the statewide Environmental Volunteer of the Year Award presented by Keep California Beautiful. He also received the Outstanding Environmental Achievement Award from the EPA in 2005.
16. Graduated fifth (of 219) from Carroll High School in Ozark, AL in 1987. He was president of the National Honor Society; received top subject matter awards for musical theatre and choral music; was in Mu Alpha Theta (math honor society), the Spanish honor society, Key Club, Fellowship of Christian Students, madrigal singers, and Future Business Leaders of America; took all honors and AP classes that were offered; was founder and president of the Bleacher Screechers pep club.
CLICK: MORE RANDOM FACTS ABOUT JUSTIN RUDD!
Justin Rudd Photography
TO TOP OF PAGE
"Justin Rudd makes the Energizer Bunny look about as speedy as a fire hydrant."
-- Tim Grobaty, columnist, Long Beach Press-Telegram
"The best friend of Long Beach dogs." --Tom Hennessy, Long Beach Press-Telegram; April 5, 2005
"Meet Mr. Tireless. Sometimes we think that if Justin Rudd never moved to Belmont Shore, the place would be overrun with feral cats and you'd be able to walk from Ocean Boulevard to the sea at Granada on a luxurious blanket of Styrofoam and cigarette butts. Instead, thanks to his work and the word "tireless' didn't exist until Rudd began walking and talking with dogs and clean-ups and education and miscellaneous pageantry, the Shore is a better place to live."
-- Tim Grobaty, columnist, Long Beach Press-Telegram; March 2, 2005