I spent the morning in Barrio Logan, a diverse central San Diego neighborhood known for its thriving art scene in Chicano Park, and the delicate balance between residential and industrial lands.

For many of these residents — several of whom were wearing sunglasses for a bright November day — the presidential election and education issues topped their priority list.

My first stop was the Calvary Baptist Church Hall.

There were translators fluent in Spanish, Vietnamese, Filipino, Mandarin and Cantonese to serve the ethnically diverse community. I regret not being fluent in Spanish. I was unable to speak with a few residents because of the language barrier.

One of the first people I spoke with shared her enthusiasm for the president.

Rosa Castaneda, 51, of Barrio Logan, voted for Obama. “I trust him. He couldn’t do enough in 4 yrs. This time will be better.” #sdvote

— Holly Pablo (@hollypablo) November 6, 2012

Castaneda says the presidential race is the most important on the ballot. Four more years. #SDvote. twitter.com/hollypablo/sta…

— Holly Pablo (@hollypablo) November 6, 2012

Castaneda said the presidential race was her main motivation for voting. She sympathized with the criticisms of President Barack Obama. People say he didn’t do enough to fix the economy, Castaneda said, but people can’t expect a quick solution in just four years.

The next person I spoke with was colorful in her descriptions of the mayoral candidate.

Sylvia Alvarez, Barrio Logan: “Carl Demaio looks like a used car salesman. I think he’s dishonest.” #SDvote twitter.com/hollypablo/sta…

— Holly Pablo (@hollypablo) November 6, 2012

Alvarez on Demaio: “I don’t think he has the right policies for our city. He doesn’t care about the people.” #SDvote

— Holly Pablo (@hollypablo) November 6, 2012

Alvarez, who works as a case manager with the San Diego Unified School District, also came out to support funding for education. She said she voted yes on Prop. 30 and on Prop Z. She lamented the lack of nurses to help students when they’re ill, and a high proportion of students to workers.

I spent a fair amount of time chatting with this next man, an Army veteran.

Impassioned US Army veteran Peter Colon, 56, says Obama has served his country well. #SDvote twitter.com/hollypablo/sta…

— Holly Pablo (@hollypablo) November 6, 2012

Colon on Romney: “He’s not trying to be one of us. He’s not one of us. How is he going to lead us? And to where? He has no vision.” #SDvote

— Holly Pablo (@hollypablo) November 6, 2012

“We’ve seen daylight these last four years with Obama. I know I have,” Colon said.

He shared with me his stories growing up during the Civil Rights movement. He said he’s passionate about this country and where it’s going. He voted for Bob Filner for mayor because of his background in social justice — Filner, too, was active in the Civil Rights movement.

Education was brought up repeatedly throughout the day.

Robert Rodriguez, 40, Barrio Logan: “I’m all about education.” Voted yes on Prop Z and Prop 30. twitter.com/hollypablo/sta…

— Holly Pablo (@hollypablo) November 6, 2012

It was also a big subject at Logan Elementary School, my next stop.

Arturo Guzman, 30, of Logan Heights, trusts the San Diego teachers’ endorsements. Voted Filner for mayor. #SDvote twitter.com/hollypablo/sta…

— Holly Pablo (@hollypablo) November 6, 2012

Guzman, a graphic arts student at San Diego City College, voted yes on Prop. 30 and Prop Z. He said more money is needed in education. The budget cuts to education in recent years have made it nearly impossible for students to get into the classes they need. Guzman said he gets to register early as part of the state-funded Educational Opportunity Programs and Services, but he feels for his classmates who aren’t so lucky.

I spoke with Rigo Ochoa next.

Rigo Ochoa, 29, a federal police officer, voted to eliminate the death penalty. He says it’s a waste of money. #SDvote twitter.com/hollypablo/sta…

— Holly Pablo (@hollypablo) November 6, 2012

Ochoa said that local law enforcement agencies have been making due with outdated equipment, like vests and pepper spray. He said that eliminating the death penalty would free up much-needed funds that police can use to update infrastructure.

And I met a young man who was unafraid to say he probably carried the minority opinion among his Logan Heights neighbors.

First Romney voter. Mark Komisars, 19, Logan Heights, is a fan of “aggressive” foreign policy. Thinks Obama is too “peace-loving.” #sdvote

— Holly Pablo (@hollypablo) November 6, 2012

It’s Komisars’ first time voting in a presidential election. Look at the excitement on his face. #SDvote twitter.com/hollypablo/sta…

— Holly Pablo (@hollypablo) November 6, 2012

Komisars said he agrees with Romney’s economic policies, and thinks he would be better dealing with foreign policy in areas such as Israel and Iran.

Thanks to everyone who shared their perspective. Where do you fit among the opinions these folks expressed? Did a different race or proposition stand out to you as most important? Chime in in our comments section below, and stay tuned to VOSD as we share analysis and outcomes from the election.

Holly Pablo is an investigative intern at Voice of San Diego. You can reach her at holly.pablo@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.325.0525.

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Disclosure: Voice of San Diego members and supporters may be mentioned or have a stake in the stories we cover. For a complete list of our contributors, click here.

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