Electing Barbara Bry as Mayor Will Keep San Diego On a ‘Human Scale’

by on September 1, 2020 · 19 comments

in Election, Ocean Beach, San Diego

By Colleen O’Connor / Times of San Diego / August 31, 2020

What are the things that you love about San Diego?

Once upon a time, it was the beauty of its neighborhoods and parks — its human scale.

It was “Camelot by the Sea,” as San Diego was once described, a city bounded by water.

Its neighborhoods hung together in scope, scale and solidarity. Roads were maintained and improved. Trash was picked up. Freeways and traffic flowed.

In short, San Diego had a reputation for being “safe, clean and prosperous.”

What happened? When did San Diego get so ugly?

We all know the culprits: Lego-like high-rises downtown, pre-fab infill projects in old stock neighborhoods, neglected park lands, polluted beaches, and a City Council-majority in lock-step supporting more of the same.

The presidency may be about fighting for the “soul of America,” but the Mayor’s race is about fighting for “the survival of San Diego.”

Seriously, look around: shuttered stores, high unemployment, massive public debt, underfunded pensions, government by ballot initiative, vacant malls reduced to Amazon warehouses, filthy streets, and, of course, corruption.

Consider the 101 Ash Street fraud. That bogus lease-to-own deal will cost city taxpayers $127 million, plus another $20 million in cost overruns for tenant improvements. We’ve been paying $18,000 a day since 2016 for this mistake.

But wait — there’s more. No one from the city formally inspected the property before then City Councilmember, now mayoral candidate Todd Gloria made the motion to purchase this white elephant.

That explains the first reason why Barbara Bry is the better choice for Mayor. As chair of the council’s budget committee, she can count.

She holds an MBA from Harvard University and became a wealthy entrepreneur, making her independent of outside pressures. And she will not use the office of Mayor as simply a stepping stone to higher office.

The second reason she is the better choice is her tech savvy. Our city needs that knowledge to navigate and advance the best for San Diegans in the coming economic revolution based on artificial intelligence, robotics, 5G communications and the associated educational demands.

She has pledged, repeatedly, to make the city’s progress in these high-tech challenges fair and accessible across all districts.

The third reason to vote for Bry is her fight to preserve neighborhoods from the Airbnb chaos and protect residents from dockless scooters. Short-term rentals have engulfed so much of San Diego’s beautiful beach and bay communities, while the scooter invasion has created a major safety issue.

The fourth reason is perhaps the most important. Bry opposes elimination of the longstanding 30-foot height limit west of Interstate 5. That limit is being picked away in the Midway area via a ballot initiative this fall.

Supported overwhelming by the people of San Diego nearly 50 years ago, the height limit was designed to preserve “the unique and beautiful character of the coastal zone of San Diego,” and to prohibit buildings that obstructed “ocean breezes, sky and sunshine.”

Who wants to live in a cement jungle of sunless high-rise buildings in the midst of a pandemic? New York, anyone?

Finally, a fifth reason to vote for Bry is to consider the local leaders endorsing her. They include Father Joe Carroll, former Councilmember Donna Frye, Supervisor Dianne Jacob and community and environmental activists like Ann Dynes, David Lundin and Richard Ybarra.

The question for San Diego voters in November is simple. Who will reclaim the city’s beauty, its character, and its preeminence in biotech, education, the arts, and all-around livability?

The short answer is Barbara Bry.

She will not use the Mayor’s office as a stepping stone to yet another office.

She will solve the problems. Not create more.


{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Frank J September 1, 2020 at 3:27 pm

From ‘America’s Finest City’ to America’s Fiscal Pity. Barbara Bry will have my vote.


Thomas September 1, 2020 at 3:54 pm

I do research on education issues and I noticed that three San Diego politicians get money from anti-public education billionaires and the California Charter Schools Association; Ben Hueso, Susan Weber and Todd Gloria. I cannot articulate it well but there is an aura about Gloria that makes my skin crawl. Not that excited about Bry but I think she would do a better job than we have had for a long time.


Frank Gormlie September 1, 2020 at 4:07 pm

Supposedly, Channel 10 has a new poll it’s about to publish, which has Bry at 37%, 34% for Todd, and 29%– undecided.


Donald Rottencrotch September 1, 2020 at 6:22 pm

And she’s a suburban non-notnotwhite, so we conservatives will reluctantly accept a woman under the circumstances. She’ll know what to cut by golly.


Doug Blackwood September 1, 2020 at 7:01 pm

Yes: BRY for Mayor! Finally a candidate with integrity, and savvy for the residents of San Diego!
Go Barbara Go!
Very well written logical article.
Vote Bry!


Don September 1, 2020 at 8:23 pm

Barbara Bry’s subject line in email on increasing affordable housing supply in July 2020: “There Goes the Neighborhood”


Remember, PB tried to push out one of the only black teachers in the city in the 40s: https://www.voiceofsandiego.org/topics/education/the-learning-curve-the-forgotten-stories-of-san-diegos-first-black-teachers/


Judy Collier September 2, 2020 at 6:49 am

Don. Thank you for those links. They helped me clarify my vague feelings of unease about Bry and hopeful optimism about Gloria. I think Gloria will be more open to steps toward systemic change, rather than “business as usual.”


Frank Gormlie September 2, 2020 at 9:31 am

The comment you responded to Judy was certainly a hit piece against Bry. It is wrong and even racist to think it’s just white people who care about maintaining single family residences in their neighborhoods. But, hey, we need open discussion and thank you for helping it move.


Don September 2, 2020 at 10:09 am

The history of single-family zoning in SD is directly tied to racial segregation. C’mon man!

“Nationwide, single-family zoning was created just after the Supreme Court outlawed cities from adopting zoning plans that segregated areas explicitly by race. Historians and housing experts have outlined the ways in which the zoning we know today was adopted as a replacement that could achieve the same result, and it has persisted ever since.”



Frank Gormlie September 2, 2020 at 10:16 am

I’m talking today, man! There are plenty of African American families who value their single-family residences neighborhoods. See today’s LA Times or this Yahoo News account: https://www.yahoo.com/news/bid-allow-duplexes-most-california-132106344.html


Paul Webb September 2, 2020 at 3:06 pm

There is one thing for which I will never forgive Todd Gloria: he authored a bill rescinding the requirement for scooter users to wear helmets. Absolutely irresponsible from a safety perspective, not to mention adding to the proliferation these pests.

I have to say that I was really inclined to like Gloria, but this and several other specific actions have turned me the other way,


obpeg September 2, 2020 at 7:34 am

Bry called for reopening beaches in April. She sure seems to bend with whatever wind is blowing.


Frank Gormlie September 2, 2020 at 9:33 am

Okay, and what about Gloria? He wants to destroy the 30 foot height limit in the Midway. Neither candidate is scar-free.


Peter from South O September 2, 2020 at 10:45 am

And that’s the rub: why do we have so much talent in this County, yet we cannot seem to get candidates for Mayor that are for the people? Going back over the years we have had some real nut-cases in charge. Maybe not as bad as the DC crackhead, but come on now. Filner, O’Connor (and her husband Richard Silberman), Hedgecock . . .
Now we have a slippery eel of a lame-duck politician trying to push substantial changes through while everyone else is concentrating on the pandemic.
We SHOULD be better than this.


Tyler September 2, 2020 at 2:46 pm

Pretty hilarious watching “progressives” in favor of the more conservative candidate here based on single issue (housing). Reminds me of evangelicals voting for Trump cause of the courts.


Frank Gormlie September 2, 2020 at 3:29 pm

Tyler, you ought to know progressives are not monolithic. Read the post on the polls and you’ll find many of Bry’s supporters are those most dissatisfied with your Republican mayor. How does that figure in your broad sweep?


Don September 2, 2020 at 3:40 pm

Bry’s path to victory is the 36% of city of SD voters who said they would vote for Trump in recent poll + voters in single-family zoned communities who want to preserve their community’s character. Why should affordable housing only be east of the 5?


Frank Gormlie September 2, 2020 at 6:56 pm

Don, if you did any research, you’d find lots of affordable housing west of 5. Not only that you’re equating defeating the 30 ft ht limit with affordable housing. I don’t where you got that but it’s not in stone anywhere.


cv October 13, 2020 at 1:15 pm

“No one from the city formally inspected the property before then City Councilmember, now mayoral candidate Todd Gloria made the motion to purchase this white elephant.”

This is simply not true.


And of course, no mention of Faulconer’s ties to Manchester, previous co-owner of said building.


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