The upcoming mayoral race is very interesting for several reasons. First, the offenses brought against former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner called for a special election. Additionally, the amount of national attention towards San Diego increased with national news sites documenting every moment of the scandal. Second, both candidates, Kevin Faulconer and David Alvarez, seem to have a lot in common and are both- in my opinion- moderate. It is easy to see their similarities by looking at their main goals and past achievements; however, I believe that candidate David Alvarez is the best option for mayor when it comes to the specifics of these areas such as neighborhoods and sources of funding.
My opinion is in no way intended to bash candidate Faulconer. With that said, the issue of polling needs to be addressed, especially at a university that tends to lean conservative. This is no surprise considering we go to a Christian university. Even when driving around Point Loma, also very conservative, it appears that Faulconer dominates most of the front yards. A poll released by UT San Diego a few weeks ago showed Faulconer to lead the race by 16%. On January 26, SurveryUSA on behalf of 10News and UT San Diego showed Alvarez leading 49% to 44%. Other surveys show the two neck and neck. Because of this, it is impossible to guess the outcome of the race.
Another reason this race will be very close is due to the amount of money that continues to pour in on both sides. The candidates have used this money to increase awareness of their achievements. Both have explicitly shown on their websites support for an increased funding for neighborhood safety, street fixing, the economy, and of course the environment. When we start to look more closely at what each candidate specifically supports, there are some distinctions. Alvarez is more for local neighborhoods while Faulconer favors the downtown region.
Alvarez’s campaign funding is due to his achievements with neighborhoods, one of which is the place Alvarez was born, Barrio Logan. Alvarez has successfully reformed much of this area and plans to continue the reformation in many lower-income and middle-class areas. This reformation ranges from education for youth, additional school programs, and police enforcement. Faulconer’s website, on the other hand, states a plan to increase funding for police in these areas. I personally prefer Alvarez’s approach in preventing this from happening by stopping it at its core.
Because of his focus, Alvarez has received large donations from many organized unions. By the end of January, Alvarez was receiving “astounding” donations after his presentation of how to fix gender equality in the city government. An independent campaign committee for Faulconer has received almost all of their funding from different businesses and development groups. Though not funded “exclusively” by downtown houses and businesses, I believe that this serves as an indication of how and where future actions will be executed since this is a focus point for businesses and development groups.
I do not think horrible things are going to happen to San Diego if Faulconer wins. Both candidates have had successful careers in city council and share similar beliefs. However, I believe David Alvarez will execute action where it is needed. Regardless of whom you are voting for, please get out and vote on February 11.
Frank Daniel is a junior political science major and President of the College Democrats club. After graduation, he plans on taking a couple of years off to work before he studies constitutional law.