Monday, May 7, 2012
It is with great deal of pride and humility that I announce my candidacy for San Diego City Council, District 7. I recognize how difficult it is to entrust someone, as your representative, make the right choices for you and your community. I know it is even more challenging to know who that person should be. If I am chosen to be your representative, I can’t say how I will vote on each issue that will come up during my term, but I can promise to make thoughtful, reasonable and considered decisions based on what is right for all the people in District 7.
Born in Yugoslavia, to a Croatian father and Czech mother, I am the child of two parents who fled to this country to escape totalitarian regimes and to provide a better life for their children. My recent ancestors were well educated, politically aware individuals; some even sacrificed their lives for the greater good. Because my parents lived under oppressive regimes as young people, they instilled in me the strong belief that American democracy, and the freedoms we have, cannot be taken for granted. We all share a personal responsibility to protect our freedoms.
I am not a political insider, but I am extremely passionate about doing my part to ensure that future generations enjoy the same opportunity to live as safe and prosperous life as we live today.
I was two years old when we arrived in the United States, and I spent most of my youth in St. Louis, Missouri. I attended public schools and went on to study at St. Louis University and University of Missouri. I recognize the value of a good education and believe that our children deserve the best public education we can provide.
I have spent the majority of my professional career in construction management. I worked as a General Contractor, running my own home remodeling business. I went on to work with some of the largest builders in the country to manage housing developments in Arizona and 2 to 3 hundred million dollar condominium projects in San Diego and Orange County. During that time in my career, I became an expert at balancing the needs of multiple stakeholders with different, and often conflicting, needs to ensure that projects were completed safely, on-time and within budget, without ever sacrificing quality. I was able to do this by building open lines of communication and strong relationships with executives, owner groups, architects and engineers, city officials, inspectors, subcontractors and laborers, resulting in productive and efficient resolution of issues. These skills will serve me well in a political environment, where the ability to quickly build relationships, and the capacity to listen, negotiate and moderate are required to end up with the best possible result for all parties involved.
In 2009, like many in building and construction, and around the nation, I was down-sized from my job. My wife, Phyllis, and I made the decision to restructure our lives, and I have been a stay at home dad ever since. I have three beautiful girls, and it has been the greatest joy of my life to be able to stay home with them and be an instrumental part of their lives for the last three years. Through the experience of losing my livelihood, our family home, and taking on the responsibilities of a stay at home dad, I have learned patience, humility, compassion, perseverance and empathy. It is these traits, along with my professional experience, that will serve me best as your representative in City Council.
I believe in taking care of our families, young and old, and in preserving and strengthening our communities. I want to create an environment in which our children can grow and prosper.
I want to champion efforts to make our public schools second to none. I want to maintain and expand the parks and green spaces to provide healthy recreational opportunities for all San Diego families.
I volunteered with Big Brothers of America during college and worked on Blitz Build projects for Habitat for Humanity because I believe in being an active member of the community. I also believe in preserving our natural resources, through conservations efforts, for the benefit of future generations.
I believe our families are the building blocks of our communities and our children are the foundation for our future.
I believe in protecting and preserving our freedoms, our families and our communities. If we do these things, we are preserving our future.
I believe in freedom. I believe in family. I believe in our future.
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