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District 9 City Councilwoman Georgette Gomez Elected City Council President

San Diego City Councilwoman Georgette Gomez speaks during a council meeting, ...

Photo by Milan Kovacevic

Above: San Diego City Councilwoman Georgette Gomez speaks during a council meeting, Dec. 12, 2016.

District 9 City Councilwoman Georgette Gomez Elected City Council President

GUEST:

Georgette Gomez, city council president, San Diego

Transcript

The San Diego City Council on Monday unanimously selected District 9 Councilwoman Georgette Gomez to be the new council president.

Gomez was selected on a 9-0 vote to succeed former Councilwoman Myrtle Cole, who lost her re-election bid on Nov. 6.

"This is a turning point for San Diego," Gomez said just before the vote. "We have the opportunity to change the course of our city and create an equitable government that works for every single one. I can't wait and I am looking forward to getting this done with all of us."

Gomez takes over at a time when the council continues to move further left. Democrats on the technically nonpartisan council now hold a supermajority and Gomez, one of the council's more progressive members, will now wield significant power over the issues the council rules on going forward.

"My values are no secret: I look towards equity, inclusiveness, transparency and accountability," she said. "I believe that San Diego should be equitable and we must invest time and resources into communities with the most need. I believe in inclusion and that all voices should be at the table and not left behind."

District 1 City Councilwoman and President Pro Tem Barbara Bry, who has also been floated as a possible mayoral candidate in 2020, nominated Gomez for the council presidency.

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"I know you will be a strong council president who will represent our interests with our mayor and who will work well with our city attorney, city auditor and our independent budget analyst," Bry told Gomez at this afternoon's council meeting. "You will always stand up for the best interests of all San Diegans and I am honored to nominate you."

In voicing their support, council members Scott Sherman and Chris Cate, both Republicans, praised Gomez for her transparency in spite of their disagreements on myriad issues.

"Councilmember Gomez has been upfront and honest with me since the day she got here," Sherman said. "In this business, that's saying something."

Gomez takes the council president seat on the eve of her third year representing District 9. Gomez won her seat in 2016 after Marti Emerald decided against seeking re-election.

Gomez is the chair of the City Council's Smart Growth and Land Use committee and chairs the Metropolitan Transit System Board of Directors. As council president, Gomez is also automatically granted a seat on the board of directors of the San Diego Association of Governments, or SANDAG, which controls much of San Diego County's transportation spending.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer is also guaranteed a seat on the SANDAG board, though he rarely attends meetings. Gomez said she would soon meet with Faulconer to discuss who could serve as his alternate, and that she wanted a strong advocate for biking, walking and public transit to serve alongside her.

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