SAN DIEGO -- This week's look at politics evaluates the fate of district three based on the redistricting committee's recently released preliminary map, plus we hear from mayoral candidate, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, on the recent changes in her campaign.
Councilmember Todd Gloria has resided in the City Heights neighborhood for the past 10 years, but if the redistricting commission adopts the proposed changes, Gloria is prepared to move from his home on Cherokee Point.
"I have terrific neighbors who have become friends over the years that I will miss very much," Gloria said. "I will also miss being able to tell people that I live on the same street that my mom grew up on - a true story that has helped illustrate the deep roots I have in our community."
While City Heights could become part of the new District 9, Hillcrest will remain at the heart of Gloria's district, which will expand west, to include several new neighborhoods such as Mission Hills, Old Town, Bankers Hill, Little Italy and downtown.
The redistricting committee listed several reasons for their decisions, including the fact that Balboa Park is a major common interest of the many neighborhoods in District 3, and the proposed district is geographically contiguous with plenty of reasonable access between the neighborhoods.
"I have made the decision to relocate in order to continue to serve the majority of the neighborhoods I currently represent," Gloria said. "I never miss a chance to tell anyone who will listen that I have the best Council District in San Diego. Tightly knit, diverse, historic neighborhoods with tremendous character are why people from throughout the region love our district.
"Ongoing infrastructure initiatives, increasing parking capacity, continued economic development, new library projects, restoration of streetcars and the 2015 centennial celebration for Balboa Park, all demand experienced leadership at City Hall," he added, stating that throughout his career he has had many opportunities to work with businesses and residents in the new portions of the proposed District 3. "I am confident that I will be able to serve them well from day one."
Councilmembers Lorie Zapf and Marti Emerald will also have to make similar decisions if they are to continue to represent their districts.
For now, the commission will continue to take public feedback on its map and may still make changes prior to the final Sept. 15 deadline. The LGBT Redistricting Task Force plans to attend the meeting scheduled for Saturday, July 30.
A Mayoral Update
For die-hard campaign followers, it might look like only two of the four mayoral front-runners are campaigning aggressively, Councilmember Carl DeMaio and Assemblymember Nathan Fletcher.
However, while it is true that both DeMaio and Fletcher have held far more "meet and greet" type of events and are asking for donations as low as $25, the campaign staff of District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis assures San Diego Gay & Lesbian News that Dumanis is campaigning just as aggressively.
"Because of Bonnie’s position as DA and the security issues that go with it, we do not list every event on her web site," said campaign consultant Jen Tierney, adding that they do plan to host several "meet and greet" events in the near future, in addition to their fundraising efforts.
On Thursday, July 28, Dumanis will have a fundraising event at the home of one her supporters from 6 to 8 pm, and on Thursday, August 4, Mayor Jerry Sanders will host a breakfast fundraiser from 8 to 9:30 am. Minimum donations for both events range from $150 to $250, but Tierney states those are merely suggestions, and the campaign will welcome donations of any size.
On August 11, the Dumanis campaign will also bring Kevin Klein on board, to act as their new campaign manager. He is currently on Sanders' mayoral staff.
"Kevin has the skills and talents we need in Bonnie’s campaign, including experience in a winning San Diego mayoral race," Tierney said. "He also has the personality to make him a good fit with the team Bonnie already has assembled."
Coordination of Bonnie’s web site, Facebook, Twitter, etc. will be one of Kevin’s jobs when he [joins her campaign staff] and he will ensure that all public events get posted to her web site quickly."
Klein insists that the pending end of Sanders' term as mayor had nothing to do with his decision to join the Dumanis campaign.
"Working for Jerry has been amazing and I never planned to even look for another job until after he left office," Klein said. "When I was approached with the opportunity to join Bonnie's campaign, I said I knew little about her and had never met her. We met and had a very frank and unexpectedly long conversation, after which I decided she is exactly the kind of elected official I would enjoy working for. She is an honest, say what you mean and do what you say, kind of person. Bonnie just gets it and that is extremely refreshing in today's political climate."
In the coming months, it sounds like San Diegans will be hearing a lot more from Dumanis. For their parts, DeMaio and Fletcher continue to host several public events, while Rep. Bob Filner has yet to compete as aggressively.
Looking Back at Pride
If you were among the thousands of people who lined the streets for San Diego's annual Pride parade, you likely noticed a slew of politicians participating in the parade. It is easy to dismiss this as merely campaigning tactics, but it should be noted that when the LGBT community first started marching years ago, it was unfathomable that they would have as much political support as they do today.
For that reason, we salute all of the politicians and city officials who took part in this year's parade: Senator Christine Kehoe, Assemblymember Marty Block, Assemblymember Toni Atkins, Mayor Jerry Sanders, San Diego County Law Enforcement (led by SDPD Chief William Lansdowne), the San Diego District Attorney's Office, San Diego County Office of the Public Defender, School Board member Steven Beiser, Rep. Susan Davis, Councilmembers Todd Gloria, Sherri Lightner, Carl DeMaio, David Alvarez and Marti Emerald, the San Diego County Office of Education, and Rep. Bob Filner.
Of the four front runners seeking to be the next mayor of San Diego, the only person absent from the celebration was Assemblymember Nathan Fletcher. His campaign staff explained to San Diego Gay & Lesbian News that he missed the festivities because he was in Texas on a family trip that had been scheduled for months.
To submit questions you would like to see the candidates answer, request coverage of a campaign event, or for any inquires regarding campaign coverage in the San Diego Gay & Lesbian News, please email Staff Writer Esther Rubio-Sheffrey at [email protected] or call toll-free to (877) 727-5446 x711.
As a matter of full disclosure, SDGLN Publisher Johnathan Hale has a personal relationship with Carl DeMaio. Their relationship in no way impacts the editorial decisions made by Ken Williams, SDGLN Editor in Chief, and does not influence our political coverage. All candidates are allowed to submit two pieces per month for our Commentary page. Williams can be reached at (877) 727-5446, x713.