Over the last week, I enjoyed reading the arguments made on behalf of the various District 3 candidates. It’s become apparent that the experience, understanding, relationships, and accountability of Stephen Whitburn is what makes him the most qualified candidate to represent the people at City Hall.

Stephen’s experience spans the corporate, non-profit, and government sectors. As an 18-year journalist, he knows the demands of business and the need to meet a bottom line. As an American Red Cross spokesperson promoting the organization’s life-saving blood drives, Stephen often builds coalitions with businesses and government. And as a community activist who serves on the North Park Planning Committee and regularly testifies at City Council meetings, he appreciates how neighborhood voices must be involved in making decisions.

He also brings a compassion and understanding to District 3 that is unparalleled. As a renter, Stephen is familiar with the struggle faced by working families who search for affordable housing. As the only fluent Spanish speaker in the race, he is best positioned to hear and understand the concerns shared by the large Spanish-speaking population in District 3. Stephen is the Red Cross’ Spanish-speaking liaison and recognizes that the only way to empower all constituencies is to guarantee they can directly communicate with their elected officials.

Crucial to getting things done at City Hall is having relationships with elected and neighborhood leaders. As president of the Democratic Club of San Diego for three years, Stephen worked with elected officials at City Hall, in the state legislature, and Congress. As a North Park Planning Committee member, he partners with community leaders who work to build vibrant business districts and safe residential areas.

Perhaps most importantly, Stephen will not be beholden to developers in making decisions that affect the city. He wants them to pay for road and sewer improvements when building new housing or commercial projects. He wants them to bear some of the costs for meeting the increased need for new police and firefighting services.

Stephen Whitburn is the reform candidate committed to making government work again for San Diegans. He’s the one with the experience, understanding, relationships, and accountability to be sure it’s the people who have a say in our government n not just the powerful downtown interests.

— SEAN WHERLEY

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