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City Council President Tony Young Will Lead Red Cross

by Michael Higham, published
Credit: Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies,

Tony Young

In a post-election 2012, many government leaders prepare for new roles. Among the leaders assuming new roles is San Diego City Council President Tony Young. Councilman Young was not up for reelection this year, but will be leaving his post at the city council to become CEO of the Red Cross San Diego-Imperial County division.

As a consequence of Councilman Tony Young's departure, the city will have a special election for the seat within 90 days of vacancy. Tony Young has been representing city district 4 for the past eight years and has served as council president since 2010. District 4 encompasses the southeast San Diego and includes Paradise Hills, Encanto, Valencia Park, and Skyline.

Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Red Cross lent his support to Tony Young:

"This is a great day for the Red Cross. Tony is the perfect choice to lead the chapter. We truly believe he will help further the Red Cross mission within our community as the organization continues to provide food and shelter in emergencies, assist members of our armed forces and their families, teach lifesaving skills and more."

In his acceptance of the position, Tony Young expressed his excitement and focus on leading the local chapter:

"I’m honored and humbled to accept this position and look forward to serving the needs of our community. We know many San Diegans are not prepared for an emergency or major disaster. I intend to focus on our chapter’s vision of community preparedness."

An aspect of the move that has stirred some controversy is the cost of the special election. The upcoming race is estimated to cost the city around $350,000 according to the County Registrar of Voters. That cost could come down by $100,000 if it is joined with the special election for Sen. Juan Vargas' state Senate seat.

Before serving as a city council member, Tony Young taught at O'Farrell Middle School in the southeast of San Diego. He also served as the chief of staff for the late Charles Lewis, the preceding councilman for district 4 for San Diego. Tony Young was voted into city council on a special election in 2005, and won every reelection for district 4 convincingly.

Although officially a non-partisan office, city council currently has a 5-4 majority in Democrat affiliation. The majority is not expected to shift with Young's departure as district 4 is historically Democratic.

Tony Young will continue to serve the community, but in a different capacity. Although he will be experiencing a higher salary, he let everyone know, "If you look back at my history, it has not been about salary, it's been about service."

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