Mayor Bob Filner made lots of promises to San Diegans before he took the city’s most powerful office.

He said he’d work to increase city planning efforts, fight homelessness and to make government more open and accessible by being available three Saturdays a month for one-on-one meetings with constituents.

Will he follow through?

We’ll be watching. We’ll regularly revisit these and other pledges to check his progress. Our project will be similar to PolitiFact’s Obameter, an effort to regularly evaluate President Barack Obama’s ability to keep his promises. We plan to measure Filner’s successes and failures using specific categories similar to those featured on our popular Fact Check blog.

Documenting Filner’s ability to keep his promises will serve as a way to gauge the new mayor’s performance and provide more background on both his triumphs and the roadblocks he faces as he tries to make improvements.

To prepare for this effort, we compiled a list of nearly 60 pledges Filner during the mayoral campaign. We may add more throughout Filner’s four-year term. You can check out our spreadsheet here.

We’re hoping to get more details about these goals and how he plans to accomplish them from Filner himself. A scheduled interview with VOSD was canceled by Filner’s staff and has not been rescheduled.

The particulars behind each promise matter.

We’ve already examined three of Filner’s key promises in greater detail: his plans for an expansion of the Unified Port of San Diego’s cargo terminals, diversifying the city’s power structure and solar powering all city and school buildings.

Achieving these goals won’t be as clear-cut as it might seem. That goes for other big pledges, too.

Filner recently acknowledged a handful of unknowns could hit the city’s budget, leaving him with less cash to achieve his goals.

Filner hasn’t always clearly laid out details on his plans for the city — a factor that could cloud certain promises.

Take his pledge to create 50,000 jobs in the city by 2020. Sounds simple, right? Dig a little deeper, though, and the complications emerge. Does Filner mean 50,000 more San Diegans will be employed seven years from now or that 50,000 more jobs will exist in the city regardless of where the workers live? Evaluating Filner’s policy decisions to assess whether he’s delivered on the promise depends on the answer.

We’ll be analyzing the best ways to evaluate how well the new mayor has delivered on his pledges to San Diegans.

Have a promise you think we should consider, or more details on one of the pledges we’ve detailed in our spreadsheet? Please email with the subject line “Mayor’s Promises” and be sure to include links to specific statements, audio recordings or videos if you have them.

Lisa Halverstadt and Liam Dillon are reporters at Voice of San Diego. Know of something they should check out? You can contact them directly at or

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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.

Lisa is a senior investigative reporter who digs into some of San Diego's biggest challenges including homelessness, city real estate debacles, the region's...

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