District 2 Election – Much, Much More Than a Vote for One Person

by on June 7, 2022 · 10 comments

in Election, Ocean Beach

Lori Saldaña

By Geoff Page

The purpose of this opinion piece is to highlight the real importance of the District 2 city council race. This is not just an ordinary race among a collection of local, aspiring politicians. The outcome will decide how city hall operates for the next four years.

If Jennifer Campbell is re-elected, we will have a city administration that can do what it wants, unconcerned by what the public it is supposed to serve thinks. If we vote in Lori Saldaña, we will see an administration that will be forced into the open to answer hard questions.

The mayor sorely wants to keep the super majority on the council and that means re-electing Campbell. Saldaña is also a Democrat, so electing her would still preserve the super majority but not how the mayor wants it.

Saldaña’s reputation as an independent does not jibe with the administration’s plans. This would be a good thing. Having the magic number of six yes-men and women allows the mayor to do anything, such as overturn the results of a public vote. Having only five sure votes does not get the job done.

The mayor is so concerned about losing the specific super majority he needs that he has sent his minions out to attack Saldaña. Democrats have been viciously attacking a fellow Democrat in ways we only saw used by opposing political parties in the past.

We have detailed, here in The Rag, the distortions, misinformation, and outright lies Gloria’s friends have been spreading about Saldaña. Is this the kind of mayor we want to have complete control of the city government? A mayor using trump tactics?

There are five official candidates: Mandy Havlik, Joel Day, Campbell, Saldaña, and Linda Lukacs.  The lone Republican is Lukacs. The mailers promoting Lukacs spent an equal effort bashing Saldaña instead of the incumbent Campbell. Why is that? It is because the “Democrats” led by Gloria are not really Democrats, they are beholden to the development industry.

Many Republicans would be just as happy with Campbell because they know she will vote as the mayor dictates. And the mayor will do as the establishment dictates.

Remember, the top two vote getters from the primary will compete in the fall. Even if the Republicans all vote for Lukacs, she has little chance of winning the seat. But, the total number of votes she might draw could have a major effect on the outcome.

Most people expect Campbell will be one of the two running in the fall because she has the whole machine behind her. But, you never know.

If Lukacs receives more votes than any of other three candidates, who would be splitting the Democratic vote four ways, she would run against Campbell in the fall ensuring Campbell’s re-election. In other words, a vote for Lukacs could get Republicans voting Jennifer Campbell, not a Republican.

The question would be, is that what all Republicans would like to see on the city council or would they rather see a bit of a “governor” on the administration?

Some folks may not be familiar with what a “governor” is. It is a device on an engine that does not allow the vehicle to exceed certain revolutions per minute or rpms.  This protects the engine from damage by being revved too much. When I was a kid, I first heard about these on school buses designed to make sure the drivers could not exceed the speed limit.

The idea is sound. Instead of irresponsibly racing the engine, oblivious to the damage that it may cause, it forces the operator to work at a certain maximum pace and no faster.  One can understand why some might not like a governor. Who cares about damage if won’t be seen until you are off to the next higher office?

The governor forces a reasonable pace. A reasonable pace allows for a closer review and dreaded public input, which is why a reasonable pace is not what the mayor wants. The two-party system works as a governor on the excesses of both parties. Contrary voices need to be heard and included. If we must have a one-party majority on the council, let’s at least add one who is not in lock step.

A vote for Saldaña would put a much needed “governor” on city hall.

Rather than letting Gloria drive as fast as he wants without considering the damage to the engine, Saldaña could at least be a “governor” of sorts asking the kinds of questions the mayor does not want asked or answered.

Re-electing Campbell would be a tragedy. She turned completely on her constituents when she was elected. She has been clearly drunk with power and is easily manipulated. The only reason to re-elect this person would be to support the mayor, because she brings nothing else to the seat.

The damage Campbell has done includes telling the voters she would protect the 30-foot height limit only to supporting removing it in the Midway area and telling voters she was against STVRs only to champion an ordinance that legitimized thousands of previously illegal businesses in residential neighborhoods. Her vendor ordinance is a disaster for the beaches and parks. Who needs more of this?

In the end, I’m suggesting a vote for Lori Saldaña would make a lot of sense for San Diego, regardless of your politics. We will never all agree when it comes to politics. But we can agree on some common-sense issues. What makes more common sense here?

The mayor’s staff has already demonstrated an appetite for top-down administration, like springing bike lanes on unsuspecting neighborhoods or killing 100-year-old palm trees. These are signs of an administration that feels it has a mandate to do whatever it pleases, and then tell the people later. Re-electing Campbell would be a sign from the public that we are comfortable with that kind of leadership.

What makes the most common sense would be to put someone in the council seat who would at least challenge that leadership, when needed, and require transparency for the sake of the greater public. Two things the mayor does not want, challenge and transparency.

If that is what the public wants, then vote for Saldaña, it’s that simple.



{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Gravitas June 7, 2022 at 9:40 am

Great piece. Vote today for new blood.


Glenn Croc Millar June 7, 2022 at 1:31 pm


Love your writing! Here we only partially agree though. Yes, we must get rid of Jen Campbell! However, Lori Saldana may not be part of the Mayor’s machine, but she is still part of the machine. She is a politician. I’ve heard her speak multiple times and everything is in generalities. She has few really specific plans, that someone might agree or disagree with.

I believe the other candidates are running because they care about our District specifically and it’s not a stepping stone to a higher office. My favorite is Joel Day, who truly has concrete ideas and strategies for our District and our City.


Geoff Page June 7, 2022 at 4:19 pm

Thank you, Glenn. I did not think I would change everyone’s mind.

I have heard specifics from Lori but I must admit, I have not listened much to Day. How about a for instance on Day’s concrete ideas?


Glenn Croc Millar June 7, 2022 at 4:55 pm

Thanks for asking, Geoff. Here’s a few.

STVR’s – Limited to 1% per planning district, not for the entire city

Midway – No approval without infrastructure including a trolley stop.

Crime – Increase pay of police and other services so we are on par with other cities and we stop losing cops.

Street Vendors – Joel was part of an OB working group that pushed to make Campbell’s weak ordinance stronger. In his comments at city council, Joel was the only candidate to argue for a year-round moratorium in OB.?

Stopping Apartments from Being Built in People’s Backyards – Joel’s platform would be to limit these buildings to the state minimum requirement of one full size granny unit and one small unit and require them to be owner occupied, stopping investors from ruining our neighborhoods.

Homelessness – Joel put out a comprehensive plan for homelessness that I encourage you to read. https://voiceofsandiego.org/2022/03/09/ending-our-homelessness-crisis-requires-a-range-of-solutions/ ?

Communication – Will be keeping three offices open for people to walk in and speak to one of his representatives. Regular “kitchen cabinets” at people’s houses with him, open to the public.


Vern June 7, 2022 at 5:35 pm

YIMBYs – pro-developer pundits who self-describe as “YIMBY,” or “Yes in My Back Yard.

Joel Day – https://www.instagram.com/p/CZC8y_zs1AZ/

YIMBYs – https://timesofsandiego.com/opinion/2022/05/07/opinion-yimby-isnt-the-cure-for-affordable-housing-you-aint-in-club/


Geoff Page June 7, 2022 at 6:30 pm

Ok, no one can accuse The Rag of excluding different opinions. I’m very curious how things will go tonight.


Vern June 7, 2022 at 4:30 pm

No for Day.
Day is a YIMBY (or more aptly, a YIYBY – Yes In Your Back Yard).


Reader ob June 7, 2022 at 9:16 pm

Some smart LA reporter uses Wimby. Wall Street in my back yard.


Douglas Blackwood June 7, 2022 at 1:55 pm

Go Lori Go Go Lori be good! We need a rep in tune w/the people!


Tessa June 7, 2022 at 2:09 pm

I was happy to cast my vote for Lori – just what we need in City Hall.


Leave a Comment

Older Article:

Newer Article: