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Lemon Grove Mayor Hopes To Attract More Business In 2018

The city of Lemon Grove's Giant Lemon sits on Main St, in Lemon Grove, Dec. 2...

Photo by Kris Arciaga

Above: The city of Lemon Grove's Giant Lemon sits on Main St, in Lemon Grove, Dec. 20, 2017.

The citrus trees that gave the city of Lemon Grove its name are gone. But the small-town pride of the community of 25,000 people lives on.

Lemon Grove Mayor Racquel Vasquez became San Diego County's first female African-American mayor when elected in 2016. She represents the city on the board of SANDAG, the San Diego Association of Governments, which addresses regional planning and transportation issues.

Vasquez spoke with Evening Edition anchor Ebone Monet about her first year in office and what's ahead for the city in 2018.

Q: What highlights come to mind from your first year as mayor of Lemon Grove?

A: We’ve fixed more roads, we’ve had many community workshops bringing in the diversity of our community — not just residents but the business community as well — to provide input in terms of what our vision is for the city of Lemon Grove. We have more people volunteering for community cleanups and we have implemented a few new construction projects.

Q: How does it make you feel being San Diego County’s first African- American woman mayor?

A: When I ran for office, I ran because of my passion for service not knowing we would be making history. But now that we are here, it truly is an honor to be recognized as the first African-American woman mayor in San Diego County.

Q: How did you develop your passion for service?

A: My grandmother would take me to the polls with her every election season and we’d walk around the corner and during this time she would talk about it’s important that we vote in honor of the many African-American women and men who died so we can have that right to vote but also for those who championed the women’s suffrage movement.

Q: What’s next for Lemon Grove?

A: Our goal is to attract more businesses and the one thing that I like to say is 'Lemon Grove — we have appeal.' We are on the cusp of a renaissance. When I say that Lemon Grove is changing, we’re implementing construction projects, staff is working diligently to identify the funding sources to make those projects happen, we’re reaching out to the community asking them to get involved and engaged.


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