Statement: “We have the lowest number of square footage of library space in our district,” David Alvarez, one of seven San Diego City Council District 8 candidates, said at a San Ysidro candidates forum March 31.

Determination: False

Analysis: Alvarez, a staffer for state Sen. Denise Ducheny, D-San Diego, is vying to replace outgoing Council President Ben Hueso as councilman for District 8, which represents the city’s southernmost neighborhoods. So far, Alvarez is the campaign’s money leader.

At a San Ysidro forum last week, he offered more statistics than any other candidate. The library stat, among others, was used to illustrate his point that the city doesn’t provide District 8 with enough services.

Five months ago, Alvarez would have been right when he compared library space in District 8 to other districts. Not now.

In December, the city opened a new $13.7 million, 25,000-square foot library in Logan Heights that replaced a 4,000-square foot branch.

The new branch increased library space in District 8 by more than 90 percent to 44,048 square feet. That put District 8 ahead of Districts 3 and 7.

In response, Alvarez acknowledged that the opening of the Logan Heights branch boosted District 8 out of last place.

“While that’s a great starting point, our communities in District 8 still have only three branch libraries, which is the fewest of all the council districts despite increased demand from our residents to uses facilities like this,” Alvarez said.

In case you’re wondering, Alvarez is right that District 8 does have the fewest number of libraries.

Here is the ranking of library square footage by council district, according to numbers confirmed by city officials:

  • District 2: 194,676 (Note: District 2 includes the 150,000-square foot main library).
  • District 1: 85,414
  • District 5: 78,950
  • District 6: 60,676
  • District 4: 49,173
  • District 8: 44,048
  • District 7: 36,827
  • District 3: 35,042

If you disagree with our determination or analysis, please express your thoughts in the comments section of this blog post. Explain your reasoning.

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Summer Polacek was formerly the Development Manager at Voice of San Diego.

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