Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Meet Clairemont's New Representatives

Meet Clairemont's New Representatives
By Ryan Trabuco

Last month, the final effects of redistricting became the new standard. The new district boundaries along with election results have caused a significant change in representation for Clairemont/Bay Park, San Diego’s largest community. There are now four, well-respected elected officials from both parties representing Clairemont at the local, state and federal level: Congressman Scott Peters, State Senator Marty Block, Assemblyman Brian Maienschien, and City Councilman Kevin Faulconer.

Since these folks are new to Clairemont, I thought the New Year would be a good time to get to know them a bit. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make contact with Scott Peters (hopefully he is in Washington working on keeping us off that fiscal cliff!) but I did have a chance to ask the other three a couple of questions. Here’s a little background and a few thoughts about the future from the men representing our community:

Marty Block
Marty Block was elected to the State Senate representing all of Clairemont, replacing Christine Kehoe who was termed out. Throughout his 26-year career as an educator, Block worked as a professor, dean, and director at San Diego State University, where he founded the National Higher Education Law and Policy Institute. Before serving two terms in the State Assembly, Block was elected to the San Diego County Board of Education, and the San Diego Community College District. 

What prompted your interest in public service?
“For 30 years I have lived in my community and have been an active community volunteer. It was my years of service in my community that inspired me to work towards improving our education systems, economic activity, environmental health and our quality of life. Involving my community in the legislative process continues to inspire me to serve in the state legislature; the vast majority of my bills have come from conversations with my constituents.”

Are there any specific challenges are you looking forward to, or anticipating within the next year?
“Our state will be challenged by possible cuts from the federal government and particularly in our district we might see cuts to military spending that will affect local jobs. I recently authored a resolution urging Congress to stop the cuts and will continue to be a leading advocate for our local economy. My victory helped ensure a supermajority in the Senate and with a supermajority in the Assembly, we should be able to finally break the stalemate we’ve had all these years in Sacramento. This will allow us to get the job done and focus on improving our economy, improving our state, and continue to grow jobs.”

What kind of policy changes will you be championing to help benefit your constituents?
“I will build on my legislative accomplishments in the Assembly and continue to be a champion for education, the environment, and well paying jobs in our district. Education will continue to be one of my top priorities and will work to ensure that everyone has access to a quality education and will continue to be an advocate in protecting education. I will work to protect our environment and beautiful beaches while looking at innovative ways to grow our economy and ensure that San Diego is a leader in the biotech industry in order to create green jobs.”

Finally, what excites you about representing the Clairemont community?
“As your new State Senator, this will be the first time I will be representing the community of Clairemont, but I spent a substantial amount of time during the campaign getting to know Clairemont very well. I was very inspired and impressed by the diversity of Clairemont’s residents and their passion for their community. I look forward to providing the highest quality of constituent services to the community of Clairemont that my Assembly office was known for. I invite all community members to stop by my district office or give me a call with any needs, concerns, or feedback. Make sure to check for contact information.”

Brian Maienschien 
Brian Maienschien was elected to the State Assembly representing the eastern half of Clairemont, and is the first Republican to represent Clairemont in the state legislature in nearly two decades. Maienschien served two terms on the San Diego City Council, and was lauded for his leadership in rebuilding the communities he represented following the 2003 Cedar Fire and 2007 Witch Creek Fire. In 2008, he was selected as the first Commissioner of the Plan to End Chronic Homelessness at United Way. 

What prompted your interest in public service? “I have been fortunate to grow up in San Diego. I attended elementary, middle, and high school here. I'm raising my daughters here as well, and want to help make our community a great place to live.”

Are there any specific challenges are you looking forward to, or anticipating within the next year?
“I will work to promote policies to create jobs and keep businesses from leaving California. I will protect our schools, and promote public-private partnerships similar to what we accomplished with Project 25. We were able to get chronically homeless people off the streets and into permanent supportive housing while saving taxpayers millions of dollars at the same time.”

Finally, what excites you about representing the Clairemont community?

"I lived in Clairemont for several years, and loved it! It's a great community with a lot of really nice people. It's an honor to represent Clairemont in the State Assembly."

Kevin Faulconer
Kevin Faulconer has served on the San Diego City Council since January 2006, after winning a special election. With the departure of former Council President Tony Young, Faulconer became the longest-serving member of the City Council, and due to redistricting, now represents the western-half of Clairemont for the first time. Prior to his service on the city council, Faulconer worked in public affairs for more than a decade, and volunteered on the Mission Bay Park Committee.

What prompted your interest in public service?
“The opportunity to expand upon my volunteer work on the Mission Bay Park Committee and the chance to solve problems for our neighborhoods inspired me to seek public service. Like many other San Diegans, I knew we needed a new culture of transparency and accountability at City Hall. I wanted to bring forward real change that would put the City on a path to financial recovery. Every tax dollar we save through fiscal reform is a tax dollar we can return to our parks, beaches, police officers and fire fighters.”

Are there any specific challenges are you looking forward to, or anticipating within the next year? Or, what kind of policy changes will you be championing to help benefit your constituents?
“I am looking forward to working with my new colleagues on the City Council and the new mayor to keep City Hall accountable to the people. The City has made significant strides towards financial recovery, but there is still more to do. Proven measures to guard tax dollars, such as letting the private sector compete with City workers to produce efficiencies, must continue. When City Hall is leaner and more effective, the cost savings can be invested in filling pot holes and other neighborhood services. I want to work with Clairemont to solve problems and get things done for the community, such as repairing roads, water mains and sidewalks, and protecting our access to the coastline and bays.”

Finally, what excites you about representing the Clairemont community?
“Clairemont is one of San Diego’s largest, most dynamic communities, with a diverse demographic and thriving business population. I look forward to partnering with residents and small business owners to achieve real results that preserve this community’s quality of life for today and future generations.”

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