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In a city which has seen more than its recent share of political corruption and financial mismanagement, there is no better time to elect reform candidate Stephen Whitburn for City Council District 3. His understanding of government and willingness to challenge the status quo is the perfect combination for restoring the public’s trust and getting our city back on track.

I met Stephen in 2006 while I was working at the San Diego LGBT Community Center and immediately connected with him. I grew up in the same Wisconsin community where he became an award-winning journalist, and upon meeting him, I was struck by his desire to listen and his affable personality. He impressed me as the type of person who we all want to represent us in elected office: a guy who prefers open government rather than political games.

Let’s face it—we need more people who are willing to mix things up downtown. The city of San Diego is in a financial mess and too often it’s the developers and hoteliers who dictate the direction and pace of what happens in our city. If we hope to return the balance of power to our neighborhoods, then we need a strong, independent leader in District 3.

Stephen serves on the North Park Planning Committee and understands how the voice of neighborhoods can become muffled amidst the smooth handshakes of well-connected developers. Look no further than the Kensington Terrace project, or the 301 University Avenue housing project in Hillcrest—both of which were proposed against the wishes of neighborhood residents. Stephen opposed them both as they were originally designed.

As an 18-year reporter, Stephen asked elected officials the tough questions and kept them honest in the process. That’s the same integrity he wants to bring to City Hall, and why he supports an elected—not appointed—city auditor. Restoring fiscal sanity to San Diego will only begin with a bookkeeper who answers to voters—just like in America’s five largest cities—and not to the mayor or City Council.

Stephen’s agenda for District 3 is straightforward: repave our streets, repair our sidewalks, hire more police and firefighters, and reassure people that government can once again be trusted.

His brand of progressive politics helped earn Stephen the endorsement of the Sierra Club, the San Diego County Democratic Party, Congressman Bob Filner, Councilmember Donna Frye, former Senator Lucy Killea and many others who appreciate the need to challenge downtown’s entrenched interests.

Let’s make San Diego a model city once again—let’s elect Stephen Whitburn to help make that happen.

— SEAN WHERLEY

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