The Dilemma of the Progressive Voter in San Diego City Council District 2

by on September 6, 2022 · 7 comments

in Election, Ocean Beach

Progressive voters in San Diego’s City Council District 2 are in a dilemma. There are at least two items on November’s ballot that are throwing them in a quandary.

Who to vote for in the council seat and what to do about Measure C, the proposed elimination of the 30-foot height limit in the Midway.

But, wait, you may ask: what makes a “progressive voter” or what is “progressive”?

The Urban Dictionary defines “progressive” as:

“A political platform defined usually by, but not limited to, the developmental advancement of American society through pragmatic and practical means. Contrary to right wing beliefs, Progressives are not the second coming of communism and the russians, instead they seek to improve the lifestyles of the vast majority of Americans by providing tax funded benefits that would help the country grow as a whole.”

Briefly, I would also add that a progressive is someone who is compassionate about their fellow humans, is against racism and sexism, and is downright angered by the state of our climate crisis. But also, a progressive voter in San Diego is not down with developers and corporations taking over the Establishment wing of the local Democratic Party.

City Council

Obviously, Jen Campbell, the incumbent, is running for her second term for D2. But, many of her constituents are fed up with her. Her “compromise” on short-term vacation rentals and her pushing for the elimination of the Midway height limit are two huge reasons why she is not loved in the coastal areas — and even in Clairemont, her home base.

Progressives are done with Campbell. They have seen how she has harnessed herself to the Establishment and pro-developer wing of the local Democrats, the Gloria wing. They watched as the Gloria wing threw fellow-Democrat Lori Saldana under the bus and financed campaign flyers full of lies about her. They even published a flyer in support of Lukacs to confuse voters even more.

And lots of locals are totally dissatisfied with Campbell as she sold their neighborhoods down the river by allowing STVR billion-dollar corporations to hold sway.

Just look at the results of the June Primary:

Campbell, again running as the incumbent, didn’t even take a third of the Democratic vote, with only 29.8%. Over 40% of Democratic voters voted for somebody else (Saldana, Day and Havlik). That is extremely telling – and unprecedented — for an incumbent to garner so little of the vote.

And look at the results of the General Election of 2020 on Measure E for District 2 voters.

This map shows that most of D2 voters voted against Measure E (dark red) to eliminate the height limit (it passed city-wide, but ruled invalid). And correctly, many saw Campbell as instrumental in going against her word and placing the measure on the ballot.

So, what are progressive voters in D2 to do? Many are loath to vote for Campbell.

But will they vote for the Republican, Linda Lukacs? As some life-long Democrats have peeled off and now back Lukacs, many other Democrats and progressive voters cannot bring themselves to vote for a member of the party of Trump. Despite the fact that not all Republicans are Trumpians and that there is some evidence that Lukacs doesn’t like Trump – and does supports a woman’s right to choose.

Is there a third option? “Write-In’s” are prohibited on current ballots, so that’s not an option.

At a dinner party last night with a small group of little over half a dozen OB progressive voters and during a discussion of who to vote for, not one said they would vote for Campbell and not one would vote for Lukacs. Most if not all did say they’d probably just leave the ballot blank for the District 2 election.

So, yes, there is a third option for progressives: leave it blank (not the entire ballot, just for D2). It is doubtful that so many voters would leave it blank that it would throw the election to the Republican — but it just may scare Campbell and the Establishment Democratic machine.

DeMaio and Measure C

The other issue that can be confusing for progressive voters is what to do about Measure C now that Carl DeMaio is leading the charge against it? Measure C, on the November ballot, would eliminate the 30-foot height limit over the entire Midway district planning area.

The group, Save Our Access, has aligned itself with the extremist right-wing Trumpian DeMaio. Many Democrats and progressives are loath to be in any alliance with such an election-denier as DeMaio. Some obviously — the few members of SOA – have no trouble doing so.

Yet, opposition to Measure C is more important than DeMaio or SOA, and progressive voters who greatly dislike the Establishment Dems shoving the redevelopment of the Midway down everybody’s’ throats still must vote “no,” despite the other guys.

The OB Rag had earlier drawn a line in the proverbial sand and we will refuse to support this unholy alliance between San Diego’s Trumpiest of Trumps and a group that calls themselves “environmental.”

But we continue to steadfastly oppose the destruction of the 30-foot height limit.

In fact, the 50th anniversary of the passage of the 30-foot height limit is coming up (November 1972) and it would be wonderful if we all celebrated it.


{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

UnwashedwalMaRTthong September 6, 2022 at 5:33 pm

Next time around, nobody votes for Campbell. Vote Saldana (can’t find the
damn enye on my keyboard. Apologies). Joel, Mandy, & Daniel bow out, if they can be persuaded; if they are on the ballot.
I never vote right wing, Lil Linda is out.
The right has been wrong since Viet Nam.


Frank Gormlie September 6, 2022 at 7:05 pm

No, this is the General Election and there are only 2 names for the D2 race: Campbell and Lukacs.


unwashedwalmartthonG September 9, 2022 at 2:39 pm

Thank you.


unwashedwalmartThonG September 6, 2022 at 5:36 pm

* Saldaña!
Found it!


kh September 6, 2022 at 7:53 pm

This highlights the benefits of ranked-choice voting, that we don’t have.

We saw this work in Alaska where Sarah Palin ironically is claiming it disenfrashised voters. When in fact, despite finishing 2nd in the initial count and splitting some R votes with another candidate, she still had less 1st and 2nd place votes than the D candidate.

It turns the primary into a top 4 event, or however many is needed to trim the fat, then has a runoff for the remaining 4. It removes the option of electing an unpopular candidate due to split votes, allows for candidates of the same party to compete against each other in a general, and minimizes BS games like propping up certain opposing candidates to push other challengers out.


FRances O'Neill Zimmerman September 7, 2022 at 10:57 am

Being doctrinaire limits intelligent choice: sometimes odious conservative/libertarians like Carl DeMaio are correct on an issue.
DeMaio was opposition architect to the Jerry Brown-engineered huge gas tax of a few years ago that has increased annually and has caused all Californians continuing pain at the pump in our post-pandemic inflation.

I supported the No effort, opposed that regressive gas tax, lost at election time, and along with everyone else, am poorer for it today. Less serious collateral damage came from being put on DeMaio’s mailing lists, but that was easily remedied by clicking “unsubscribe.”


Gravitas September 29, 2022 at 11:52 am

The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Lucas NOT Campbell. 30 foot height limit must be restored. And NO on C!!

One party rule is unhealthy for all. Just look around the city for proof.


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