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Most San Diego Candidates Fail To Respond To Racial Justice Survey

Members of the San Diego chapter of Showing Up for Racial Justice hold portra...

Credit: Facebook

Above: Members of the San Diego chapter of Showing Up for Racial Justice hold portraits of Fridoon Rawshan Nehad, who was killed in a San Diego police shooting, and Michael Brown, who was killed in a St. Louis police shooting, at the San Diego Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade, Jan. 17, 2016.

A San Diego nonprofit asked all of the candidates for city office about their views on race, policing, and Syrian refugees. Only about half responded.

A new survey seeks to paint a fuller picture of where San Diego's candidates for public office stand on racial justice issues. But less than half of those on the ballot responded.

Aaryn Belfer, who heads the group behind the survey, the San Diego chapter of Showing Up for Racial Justice, said, "Unless our candidates are thinking about these issues and having real discussions, then they can't even begin to address the needs of the communities of color that are being served."

The survey asked the candidates how they'll improve education and employment opportunities in San Diego's communities of color; how they'll keep residents in diverse neighborhoods safe without over-policing; and whether San Diego should welcome Syrian refugees.

Belfer said the questions came directly from stakeholders in San Diego's communities of color, including the San Diego chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, southeastern San Diego nonprofit Pillars of the Community, and the Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans.

Thirteen of the 29 candidates who received the survey sent responses. Belfer said the candidates received plenty of reminders during the month they had to complete the survey.

Showing Up for Racial Justice does not endorse candidates. SURJ San Diego describes itself as a local chapter of a national network of groups and individuals organizing white people for racial justice.

"The issues that are facing communities of color are often overlooked by politicians and white communities in San Diego," Belfer said.

Correction: The original version of the story called the group that put out the survey "Standing Up for Racial Justice." It is Showing Up for Racial Justice. The story has been updated.

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