Just like my wife Council President Sherri Lightner, I am not, by nature, a politician. Neither of us have ambitions to use a term on City Council as a stepstool to higher office. I never even thought I would throw my hat in the ring. But our crumbling infrastructure, our dwindling City services, the increased pressure to change—even obliterate—neighborhoods in the name of progress, the deaf ear that has been turned to us from City Hall, and the lack of qualified candidates to replace Sherri has changed my mind. I am running from my own personal conviction that San Diegans deserve a better and more responsive government.
I will give priority to neighborhoods. That's where we live. We deserve basic services in our neighborhoods. I will fight to fund community-policing efforts, fix our streets, keep our parks and libraries open, and give you a real voice in your neighborhoods.
Honesty pays. Duplicitous deals, pet projects, and a lack of political courage placed our city in financial straits. We are only now beginning to recover from this---and without concerned leadership we easily slip back into what the outgoing City Council left us to fix in 2008. I will be open, candid, and forthright with citizens about the budget. Financial belt-tightening will affect the people—they should have a say in how it occurs. We must also look to the future and stop saddling our children—and their children—with our debts and failed promises. We must leave them with a better San Diego.
I will fight to preserve and enhance our quality of life. Progress does not happen in a vacuum: new development impacts our life in more ways than providing fancy new homes or a more convenient Starbucks. Increased traffic, dwindling water resources, and thinly stretched emergency services all have a negative effect on how we live. Wise planning should account for cumulative impacts, and Community Plans must be considered a blueprint for building, not a wish list.
I will protect our coastline, natural resources and open space. I will fight to protect our beaches, parks, and open space. As an engineer, I understand complex environmental and technical issues. The city needs to be proactive where it comes to environmental issues—not purely reactive when something goes wrong.
Plan for the future. The business of government is not just to keep things running, nor should it be a vehicle for short-term profit. I will not only plan in ways that better protect our environment and make San Diego a leader in the burgeoning green economy, I will also fight to prevent our children from being saddled by our own debts.
I will run my Council office as I run my campaign. I will focus on the issues and the public good. I believe that performance is a reflection of character. I do not stoop to half-truths, inaccuracies, "gotcha" moments, or smear tactics that other campaigns employ; likewise, none of these practices will have any place in my Council office. I will represent my constituents with honor, respect, integrity, and principle. The people of District 1—and all of San Diego—deserve nothing less.
I am grateful for the support my grassroots campaign has drawn. I do not have the financial might to self-fund my own campaign, nor can I count on large donations from powerful special interests or political sugar daddies. If one is so cynical to believe that no elected official can ignore his or her campaign donors, you have only to look to your neighbors to know where my loyalties lie.