Experience of San Diego District 6 Candidates Goes Beyond Campaign Slogans

Mailers, flyers, pamphlets, yard signs, and door hangers serve as ‘campaign literature’ to reach and sway voters before election day. With a limited amount of space, and targeting a limited amount of allotted voter-attention, these pieces of literature are like flash cards containing bullet points of interests that assume a greater knowledge of the issues they address.

Key to these tools for outreach is a simple yet strong message that is designed to attract the most voters and will be embedded into their minds until they go to the ballot box. To provide a little depth and profile, the answers from interviews and debate forums will directly rely on and explain what these promoted slogans mean.

In the race for San Diego City Council District 6, Chris Cate is running as, “A Proven Taxpayer Advocate.” Cate, a former vice president of the San Diego County Taxpayers Association (SDCTA), played a leading role in the association’s public policy and advocacy efforts. He successfully passed legislation during his time with the SDCTA, including changes to managed competition and comprehensive pension reform, and wants to “make sure they are implemented.”

 

More at Stake in San Diego District 6 Race Than Voters Realize

 

Prior to serving as SDCTA’s vice president, Cate served as policy director for San Diego City Councilman Kevin Faulconer. Here he oversaw issues relating to the city’s budget, as well as the implementation of reform measures, such as managed competition and outsourcing.

Faulconer and Cate remain close. Faulconer went with him when he applied to run for city council. Cate feels that such contacts do not hinder him as an effective city council member, as those who have accused him of “coat-tailing” suggest, but rather such contacts assist Cate in having “relationships of honest dialogue” within City Hall.

Cate is confident in his experience dealing with the bureaucracy of local government, explaining that he has “done business with City Hall, making it easier to deal with the city, permits, and city licensing.” From this experience, Cate feels he “has the most experience in City Hall, and how to navigate through the process of city issues” compared to the other candidates.

Carol Kim, “unlike [her] opponents, is not a career politician and has never worked in politics before.” She is running because she believes that someone like her, an “ordinary” community member, can and should run for office.

Their role, their experiences, and their contributions go beyond the spaces of campaign literature slid into gates and under door maps.
Nancy Phung, IVN contributor
Having served as a teacher, health educator, and community organizer, Kim’s role has led to the slogan: “Connecting Communities.” A proud Democrat with “progressive views and values,” she hopes to continue her role as a service member and wants “government and politics to be inclusive and representative of all communities in the district.”

To connect communities, Kim looks at something that every constituent in district 6 has in common: concerns for the future.

With a grassroots approach, her campaign has reached out and started the dialogue of where it sees San Diego in 10 years, sharing Kim’s vision as well as asking people for their hopes and ideas. It’s a conversation Kim hopes will lead to engagement, participation, and a real voice for the community.

If elected, Kim has plans “for civic engagement initiatives that will include door-to-door canvassing and ‘The Council Member is In’ talking tours that go out into the local community.”

With a distinguished list of endorsements, awards, and recognitions, independent candidate Mitz Lee has undoubtedly made her bed and has no hesitation in laying in it — and has no reason to. Her support comes not only within district 6, but from all over San Diego.

When asked how effective she would be at building a coalition with the other districts, and outside the Asian Pacific Islander community, Mitz explains that she “has built relationships throughout the city, and the other eight council members know that.”

Running on her slogan, “Putting Neighborhoods First,” Lee feels that contributing to a better living standard for the community is only possible “if everyone is contributing.” It takes work and effort from all aspects of a community, and leadership from ‘elders’ such as herself — leaders she says deserve and need the recognition and respect from young leaders.

With all her influence and experience, however, Mitz has no intention of a political career. She is running because she “cares, and wants the best for the community: safe neighborhoods, proficient library hours, and clean parks.”

Their role, their experiences, and their contributions go beyond the spaces of campaign literature slid into gates and under door maps. The primary elections are being held on Tuesday in California. The impact of the vote, on both ends, goes beyond the mere need to increase turnout: voting is a right, not because a person is political, but because they are a citizen.

Editor’s Note: Polls for the 2014 primary elections are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. If you do not know where your nearest polling location is, you can find it on the IVN Polling Place Finder. Don’t forget to vote.

Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images