A “meet and greet” was held on Sunday, Oct. 13th, in Ocean Beach to introduce us to David Alvarez, a candidate running for the position of Mayor of San Diego.
It was the first time that many of the attendees had ever met Mr. Alvarez, and there was great interest from the over 50 people in attendance in what he had to say, how he said it, and what he sees for the future of San Diego. He gave willingly of his time, and spent almost three hours answering every question asked. It is interesting to note that at no time did he evade the questions, and from this observation was honest and sincere in what he said.
He stated that his leadership goal as the mayor of San Diego is to continue the community action that is so badly needed in San Diego. He said that he would put the “neighborhoods” first and work on infrastructure so badly needed in our city today.
David was born and raised in San Diego. His mother worked in fast food restaurants when he was a child; his father was a janitor. His brothers are currently blue-collar workers. He was the first one to finish college and certainly the first to enter politics.
Alvarez is an environmentalist and feels that San Diego needs to come up with a good climate action plan, promoting solar projects, recapture of water to be used in projects such as “showers to flowers.” He feels that in the past the city neglected communities to build up the down-town area, and we are suffering from that neglect now.
We have hardly any parks or open space for families to take their children; we have fire stations that are closed down; police are leaving the city for better paying jobs in neighboring communities. He cited that Petco Park is $15 million dollars in the hole, and another $3 million was just tacked on to that. That money could have gone to help other neighborhoods improve their infrastructure.
As a City Council member, when then-mayor Jerry Sanders pushed to prioritize downtown development and tourism interests, Alvarez was the prime dissenter. He was the only vote against the downtown-dominated list of projects to be completed with state redevelopment funds. He argued that other neighborhoods deserved a fair share of the cash.
David was instrumental in introducing a proposal to require contractors on many City of San Diego public works projects to pay prevailing wages to its employees. It passed the City Council by a 5-4 vote.
Alvarez expressed concern about climate change in our environment. He quoted Dr. Ralph Keeling about what we can expect in the next 40 years. He said we are way behind the challenges that are facing us with rising oceans, rising bays, etc., and it is time that we start preparing for the changes to come.
There were many questions asked of Alvarez, and this reviewer was impressed with the honest answers given. He touched on the Coastal Commission’s approval of the expansion of the Convention Center; he touched on the possibility of a new Chargers stadium. He was asked what he thought should become of the old downtown library and he compared what has happened to the World Trade Center building – now housing homeless people and offering services to them – to what can be done to the library.
In David’s words, “ . . . the campaign is going to come down to the hard work and dedication of the voters of San Diego. Please sign up to volunteer to work on the campaign and one of the volunteer coordinators will get back to you with opportunities to get involved.”
This reporter had not made up her mind about whom to vote. After listening to David, after hearing his ideas and actually having plans to put them to work, the inclination to vote for him is quite strong. Listen to him; listen to the others; He needs all the neighborhood and community support he can garner. The ballots go out this week. Absentee ballots also go out this week. If you truly want a mayor that can stand up to the “old boys club” – you might just take a close look at David Alvarez.
Contact the Campaign: (619) 402-1330 or here for the website to volunteer. They can use you in many different ways.