A Self-Made Success Story, Barbara Bry Should Be San Diego's Next Mayor

Created: 19 October, 2020
Updated: 14 August, 2022
5 min read

This is an independent opinion. Have one of your own? Email it to hoa@ivn.us

The first time I met City Council President Pro Tem Barbara Bry was on March 3, 2019 in the Council chambers. I was immediately impressed by her. When you listen to Barbara and hear her speak, you know exactly where she stands.

Barbara  is the competent, honest, independent, new, refreshingly strong voice in San Diego politics — not another career politician compromised by corrupt, incestuous relationships with longstanding political cronies and owned the corporate special interests.

There are a lot of important issues facing voters in 2020, but nothing will be accomplished without first restoring accountability and transparency in City Hall. Reform is the centerpiece of her mayoral campaign and she is the only candidate in the race with the credibility to strive to achieve such a lofty goal.

The Mayor Bry Administration will not be filled with political operatives, Instead, City Hall will be filled with regular people who are committed to working to make sure City Hall works for you.

Let me tell you about Barbara’s background. She’s a collaborator, a self-made success story. Barbara went to Harvard and Penn, and raised two kids as a single mom. She worked as an investigative journalist, writing for The Los Angeles Times and The Sacramento Bee, challenging corruption in government. She was the first editor-in-chief of Voice of San Diego.

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Barbara transitioned to tech entrepreneurship and co-founded ProFlowers where she created jobs and met payrolls. Barbara counseled minority-owned women start-ups and launched the nonprofits, Athena San Diego empowering women in the tech industry, and the nonpartisan Run Women Run, empowering women to run for public office.

Until 2016, Barbara was working in the private sector but fearlessly decided to run for City Council, representing District 1, because the road in front of her office still hadn’t been repaved after repeated requests.

Upon joining the City Council in 2017, Barbara discovered first-hand how badly mismanaged San Diego has been the last eight years, a city that sometimes resembles a Third World country, not the eighth largest city in America:

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— Crumbling Balboa Park without routine maintenance the past 12 years. There’s even a hole in the ceiling of the Air and Space Museum

— San Diego water customers were overcharged by more than two million dollars, thanks to City Hall incompetence

— The 2016 City Council paid $60 million dollars over the appraisal value of the functionally obsolete 101 Ash Street building, which Moody’s Investors Service recently described as a ‘governance breakdown.’ Barbara says ‘taxpayers should be furious’ and she’s absolutely right

Now after seven months of COVID-19, with an economy limping toward recovery, our city needs a smart business person with smart policy ideas and experience like Barbara.

Barbara knows how to rebuild San Diego’s economy to bring back tourism, re-open our small businesses, modernize downtown, rethink city transportation and smartly, wisely plan for our future, not for just the City Hall insiders. 

This is why Father Joe endorses Barbara’s plan for assisting homelessness, treating each person individually, on a case by case basis. Studies show drug addiction and mental illness are root causes for chronic homelessness.

This is why on housing Barbara believes in inclusionary zoning, tax credits, streamlined permitting and increased densities as solutions. She also advocates that land use authority for single family zoning should remain locally, in the hands of the Mayor, the City Council and stakeholders. Most voters agree with Barbara that land use authority should remain local.

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This is why Barbara will enforce existing municipal zoning codes on Short Term Vacation Rentals (STVRs) and make more housing stock available for our unsheltered neighbors.

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And this is why the special interests fear Barbara. They see her as a threat to their cozy, back-room, secret deal culture that has served San Diego so badly for so long. We know the millions upon of dollars of special interest money raised by Political Action Committees (PACs) and Independent Expenditures (IE’s) that are spending to defeat her and lie about her. They know she’s a tough manager.

Like former Chargers Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson used to say, "Make a plan and execute the plan." Barbara plans. And Mayor Barbara Bry will execute on behalf of taxpayers. 

Barbara’s vast understanding of capital markets, the innovation economy, and the role local governments can play will lure more higher wage jobs and broaden the City’s tax base, qualifying her to be San Diego’s next Mayor.

She is the only choice for Mayor because she isn’t beholden to anyone. She can’t be bought. It’s not about her. It’s about what’s best for you and San Diego.

Barbara continually sticks up for the will of the voters against the career politicians, most recently on Measure C, the Convention Center "expansion."

She cares about public safety and was the only one to call for regulation on those annoying and dangerous e-scooters that became a national joke.

Barbara will be the Mayor who will finally fix the roads! And she fearlessly calls out bias, racism, sexism and wrongdoing with the forcefulness and strength of a true leader, not the knee-jerk pandering of typical politicians. 

On behalf of Barbara, I’m asking for your vote for the only candidate for mayor: Barbara Bry. Not for the sake of identity politics — even though Barbara is a Jewish woman — but because she is honest, she never stops working and she’s been extraordinarily successful her entire career.

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