This is the first of a three-part series on our Housing4All plan. This post focuses on the community-based approach because frankly it is high time our region paid more attention to addressing the needs and opportunities for those most struggling to afford a home or apartment to live in. I use the term “community-based” to refer to our government’s role in this crisis because any participation by the county government truly is driven by us as a community. Read More
When I was 23, I co-founded a health promotion non-profit organization aimed at promoting healthy choices and disease prevention in a working-class community that was predominantly African-American and Latino. I had been asked by a friend to work with the local university and the health department because those demographic groups had a track record of coming into a neighborhood and telling the neighbors what they needed rather than listening. I earned the trust of the people we worked with back then, not by inserting myself as a leader but by rolling up my sleeves, being humble, and helping where help was needed. That lesson has stuck with me over the years.
Our campaign has seen tremendous support from community members and leaders across San Diego’s 4th Supervisor’s District.
These people support our vision in part because it is rooted in consistently held values that they know I have had for many years. But they also are public supporters of our campaign because I have taken the time to earn their trust by showing up, by being true to what I say I’ll do, and by not just having ideas but being willing to work to implement other people’s ideas and respond to their needs.
Every weekend we are bringing our message to voters across the Fourth District. We share the importance of supporting every child, caring for our seniors, tackling our housing affordability crisis and many other issues. We are proud to stand at a person’s door with the respect and support of community leaders with decades of involvement in San Diego and let them know our campaign will put their needs in this community first.
For ten years I served on my North Park community’s Town Council while working in a busy legal career and supporting other causes I felt strongly about. One of the things we worked to do was to encourage community leaders from Rancho Bernardo and Del Cerro to Nestor and Encanto to join with us in communicating shared priorities to our local representatives. Our thought was that if we could show the leadership that we had shared interests it would be easier for leaders to reach across political divides to achieve solutions each community needed.
As I campaign to be the next member of the Board of Supervisors I see parallels to that neighborhood work in communities as distinct as Linda Vista and Lakeside. Although the communities have different geography and cultural nuances, they share plenty in common. Both communities are filled with parents who want high quality child care to be more affordable and whose aging residents struggle to meet their basic needs and get the care and support they need. Both communities suffer from housing costs that often far outstrip the available wages to pay for them. As a region, we must be more focused on embracing solutions for the crises our communities share in common.
Neighborhood leaders from across the County Board of Supervisors Fourth District – from communities in Clairemont and Mission Hills to North Park and Encanto and beyond – are standing to publicly endorse my campaign. Having the faith of people who have worked hard in their own San Diego neighborhoods means a great deal to me. They have earned the respect of their neighbors by their dedication. I am grateful that they see in me the type of leader who has the professional experience for the job and also that I am one of them and will embrace the role of community leadership if elected to serve. They see a neighborhood leader who is not a career politician merely in search of the next job but who has a demonstrated commitment to San Diegans and is stepping up for children, for seniors, and for a region that needs more investment in its neighborhoods. This public support makes me proud and reinforces the value I place in the people in our neighborhoods.