On Wednesday night, City of San Diego Mayoral candidates presented their stance on issues in an event organized by local Hispanic groups.
The event organized by the Latino American Political Association (LAPA), Albondigas of South County, and the San Diego County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce was held at a Cuban restaurant in San Diego.
Former San Diego City Councilmember, Ed Harris and San Diego Mayor, Kevin L. Faulconer, both candidates on the ballot for City of San Diego mayor, attended the event. Lori Saldaña, mayoral candidate and former California State Assembly member, was not present at the event.
“I’m very disappointed with her absence, especially as a Hispanic. This is an event sponsored by various Hispanic organizations and we were very much looking forward to be hearing from her,” said LAPA Vice President, Delores Chavez Harmes. “Whether her campaign miscommunicated or not, we are important, we should have a seat on the table and it seems Mr. Harris and Mayor Faulconer have given us chairs at the table. Lori Saldaña ignored us.”
During the event, candidates were asked questions by the audience, which included local leaders and members of the organizing organizations. Both Faulconer and Harris were then given two minutes to answer each question. Each of the candidates answered the questions in different segments and without the other candidate in the room.
Ed Harris, head of the City’s lifeguard union, said he is running for San Diego Mayor to focus on fixing the Emergency Department.
“I live here. I love the city, and I can stay with the lifeguards for three more years, but I have truly not seen the City in my 26 years here as I see it now,” said Harris. “Every aspect of the city is, in my opinion, melting down.”
“We cannot wait 10 minutes on the phone when we call the police department,” added Harris.
Mayor Faulconer acknowledged that the San Diego Police Department needs money to work on recruiting and retention.
Faulconer also mentioned that he is running for mayor again to keep improving the city like he has been doing for the last two years.
“We have tripled the repairs on city streets since I took office. We have expanded the hours of service at recreation centers,” said Faulconer. “I’m proud that we have our city on track again.”
Both candidates voiced their support for the San Diego Chargers to stay in the region.
Harris’ stance on the stadium project was that the football team needs to pay for their own facilities. Meanwhile, Faulconer said he is working with the team and talking about the costs of their desired location of a new stadium in Downtown San Diego.