While Whitburn did not have the money of the downtown insiders, he did have the passion of the people on his side.
Long-time readers of San Diego Gay and Lesbian News know that we almost never issue endorsements for political offices.
The District 3 City Council race in the City of San Diego is a rare exception. SDGLN feels compelled to endorse a candidate in this race because of the importance of this seat to the LGBT community as well as the unique qualifications and character of one candidate in particular.
That candidate is Stephen Whitburn.
Virtually everyone in the LGBT community knows Stephen Whitburn from his years of selfless service to our community in a number of key roles.
In 2008, community leader Stephen Whitburn ran for San Diego City Council in an impressive campaign. Whitburn already had an accomplished career as an executive with the American Red Cross in San Diego.
Whitburn felt compelled to run for City Council in 2008 because he was concerned about the lack of attention to basic neighborhood issues.
Whitburn was right and his message resonated with the grassroots. While Whitburn did not have the money of the downtown insiders, he did have the passion of the people on his side.
Unfortunately, Whitburn came up short in that election, he did not retreat from public service and he never lost his focus on the core neighborhood issues that have been and still are neglected.
In 2013, Whitburn lent his talent to San Diego Pride - helping turn that organization around from scandal and financial challenges. Whitburn help build the reach and infrastructure of San Diego Pride. More importantly, Whitburn instituted a culture of openness and cooperation with both LGBT and non-LGBT organizations, businesses, and civic leaders that had been sorely lacking.
That gets us to the uniqueness of Whitburn’s character. Too often, political leaders play games or are phony - nice to you in person and nasty in all other settings. Not Whitburn. Whitburn is genuine and sincere. If there’s a disagreement, you will know and it will be respectful.
But Whitburn can be counted on to honor his word and is a genuinely decent person.
SDGLN proudly issues a rare endorsement for Stephen Whitburn for San Diego City Council.
Whitburn is the real deal - and a refreshing spirit in the all-too nasty realm of San Diego politics.