Latino voters stand behind Alvarez’s campaign for mayor

November 22, 2013

Featured

By Pablo J. Sáinz

David Alvarez

David Alvarez

David Alvarez is one step closer to becoming the first mayor of Mexican origin in San Diego.

The once relatively unknown Democrat councilmember, placed second in the Nov. 19th special mayoral election to replace Bob Filner, with 25 percent of the vote. He now will face Republican Councilmember Kevin Faulconer in another election early next year.

“The next campaign starts tonight,” said Alvarez after the election at a party in Barrio Logan, one of the areas he represents in the city council, and the place where he was raised. “We are moving this city forward in a way that represents all of us.”

That “all of us” includes, of course, Latinos, who have never seen a Latino mayor in the city, and usually had to settle to the District 8 councilmember to be their only voice in the San Diego City Council.

Without a doubt, the Latino vote was an important factor in getting Alvarez into the runoff against Faulconer. From San Ysidro to Barrio Logan, and from Otay Mesa to Sherman Heights, Alvarez’s District 8’s Latino majority supported Alvarez throughout the race, even though there were two other major Democrats running, former Assemblymember Nathan Fletcher (who placed in third place and has already given his endorsement to Alvarez) and former City Attorney Mike Aguirre, who was also the other Latino in the race.

Alvarez also had the endorsement of major organizations and individuals with strong Latino ties, including the San Diego County Democratic Party, San Diego Unified School District Board Member Richard Barrera, former California Assemblymember Lori Saldaña, and the San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association.

Perhaps the biggest boost came from several unions with many Latinos in their ranks, such as The Homecare Providers Union, Union Yes, and the California Nurses Association.

The Environmental Health & Justice Campaign, a non-profit that’s very active in areas with high concentrations of Latinos, was one of the most vocal Alvarez supporters.

“While ethnically diverse, the residents of these communities are largely Latino and these are the people who worked hard to advance David’s candidacy,” said Diane Takvorian, executive director for the EHJC. “We heard over and over again from voters that this is our time to elect a leader who has emerged from San Diego’s communities to guide our region into the next decade with a new way of thinking. For too long our communities have shouldered the burden of environmental injustice and Alvarez represents a sea change for the entire region.”

In addition to the traditional candidate forums and community presentations, Alvarez’s campaign had a strong social media presence during the special election. That will continue through the election early next year.

On his Facebook page, supporters poured in to post comments of encouragement, and to congratulate Alvarez on his victory.

State Senator Marty Block wrote: “Congratulations to Councilman David Alvarez for winning a spot in the runoff election for Mayor. I’m looking forward to a spirited runoff ahead, and know David will be focused on a positive future for San Diego.”

Supporter Liana Carbón wrote: “So excited you made the run-off!!! Voted for you early ballot and will keep spreading the word!”

Another supporter, Leticia Ayala, posted the following: “We are so proud of YOU!!! Last night we made history!! This is only the beginning!! Un fuerte abrazo.”

Alvarez truly made history this week. Born to a working, Mexican immigrant family, he was raised in Barrio Logan and attended local schools, graduating from San Diego State University. For Alvarez, all things were against him growing up: He was even homeless for a while during high school. But after graduating from college, he became involved in local and state politics, and in 2010, he was elected to the San Diego City Council.

With the Latino community’s strong support for Alvarez’s candidacy, the phrase “Si se puede!” takes on a completely different meaning, one that reaffirms that Latinos are becoming a major force in California politics.

For more information on David Alvarez, visit www.alvarezformayor.com.

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4 Responses to “Latino voters stand behind Alvarez’s campaign for mayor”

  1. Kevin Says:

    God bless David and his journey through life so far. But it is so sad that socialism/communism, bigger and bigger failing government, higher and higher taxes, and out of control spending which are the very thing that kills the dreams of so many Latinos around the world is the what David and his Latino voters continue to cling to!

  2. Carmen Gutierrez Says:

    I don’t think people are looking for Socialism, but to be respected and valued as part of the community.

    Of course wasteful spending should be cut, and I don’t think anyone wants higher taxes, but wealth is not being distributed appropriately. Many of our citizens are not getting the basic education and safety that all humans deserve. There are many groups treated as sub-human when some of us believe that everyone of us matters.

    Until we all start to recognize that what makes us all different, is valuable to each and every one of us, our world will not become any better than it is. It is not that we should be treated equally (because we are not the same), but valued for our differences.

    I think we are well aware that we have a failing government, but what can we do to fix things? I think Mr. Alvarez’s success is one answer (of many). One of his strengths is that he can see that all of us are stronger united, than divided.

    By electing more people who have a genuine interest in helping all of us reach our potential, we hope to create space for learning and progress.

    We need people who can appreciate that the strength of corporations is in their efficiency to turn profits (minus the greed), and the strength of government is to make legislation to protect our basic human rights (without the waste and infringement of corporations). A delicate balance that no one has perfected.

    But I have confidence in the people of our nation (and the world) to see that we can do this better united, than divided. We are nowhere near that point of balance, but getting the leaders who want to make a positive difference in our world, is Step 1.

  3. La Prensa San Diego Says:

    Ms Guiterrez: I couldn’t have said it any better.Your response was right on! With the short time frame before election I believe it is important to continue the positive effort put forth in the primary that propelled Mr Alvarez into the runoff. Only by voting will we actually affect change.
    Sincerely
    Daniel Munoz
    Editor

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  1. 2013 Year End Review | La Prensa San Diego - January 3, 2014

    [...] power and gumption was able to make himself a viable candidate. On the other hand, City Councilman David Alvarez, who had proven himself to be a capable leader and with the support of the Unions had a huge amount [...]

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