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Candidates Vivian Moreno And Antonio Martinez On Race For City Council District 8

City Council District 8 candidates Vivian Moreno and Antonio Martinez, vying ...

Credit: Courtesy of the Vivian Moreno and Antonio Martinez campaigns.

Above: City Council District 8 candidates Vivian Moreno and Antonio Martinez, vying to replace termed-out council member David Alvarez, are seen in these undated photos.

Candidates Vivian Moreno And Antonio Martinez On Race For City Council District 8

GUESTS:

Vivian Moreno, candidate, San Diego City District 8

Antonio Martinez, candidate, San Diego City Council District 8

Transcript

Next month, voters in San Diego City Council District 8 will decide who will represent them at City Hall.

David Alvarez has been on the council since 2010 and has termed out.

His staffer, Vivian Moreno, a Democrat, is running to replace him. She won the June primary.

Antonio Martinez, also a Democrat, came in second. He is a board member of the San Ysidro School District.

They both spoke with KPBS metro reporter, Andrew Bowen.

Vivian Moreno

Q: Some residents of Logan Heights have fought against a storage center for homeless people to keep their belongings. Do you think that project has been a success — and what else should the city be doing to get people off the streets?

A: Well my understanding is that 50 to 80 percent of the homeless population currently have mental health issues. The homeless situation in the city of San Diego is the responsibility of everybody not just residents of District 8. I feel that district has received a lot of the burden of alleviating this situation and to be honest, I think that the situation should be dealt with at a regional level.

Q: Where do you think the city should be building more housing and should more of it be going into District 8?

A: I think that the future of housing for all the city of San Diego is along the transit oriented districts for our community. I think it's commercial. Commercial is the prime example of where we should be putting housing at San Diego. Again, I think we need to also change our thinking of what a house is. I don't think a house is a three bedroom two bathroom on a quarter acre. I think we need to start looking at condos and apartments and town homes, and I think transit oriented districts are perfect places to put housing. Barrio Logan has been stuck with a very outdated community plan since voters overturned an update of that community plan in 2014.

Q: You have said that recruiting and retaining police officers is one of your top priorities. What if anything should the city be doing differently to fix this problem?

A: Well I think that one of the things that we can be doing is looking within our community. I think that our police officers should come from within our community. We have a great community relations officer in the South Bay that has been with us in our whole eight year tenure, which has been phenomenal. I don't know if the rest of the city of San Diego has that. I know that we've had numerous captains in the southern part of our district and it's one of the top priorities that I've heard when I've been knocking on doors, is they want to see more police officers. They want more patrolling.

Antonio Martinez

Q: Some residents of Logan heights have fought against a storage facility for homeless folks to keep their belongings. Do you think that that project has been a success. And what more do you think the city needs to be doing to combat homelessness?

A: The city has failed when it comes to homelessness. Twenty people have died because the Hep A outbreak. So in my opinion that's a failure in and of itself. But when it comes to the homeless storage facility the concern we've always had as residents is that we never get an opinion as to where these projects are going to happen, or where they're located. And the issue is that we, at least, that the residents there face, is that it's one block away from an elementary school. If that were any other community, that wouldn't have happened. So when it comes to a storage facility I think that's also been in terms of what they're trying to do with it a failure from the city, because in my opinion it should never have been located that close to a school. Good idea bad location.

Q: Where do you think the city should be building more housing and should more of it be going into District 8?

A: I think that when it comes to housing we have to address that it has to be both affordable and essentially for individuals that are middle class because when it comes down to it, those are the individuals that normally can't afford it. When it comes to it, I would like to see development in every part of every district of the city, and essentially deal with it strategically so that we can deal with the homeless crisis but also with affordability. Housing in general in Barrio Logan has been stuck with a community growth plan that's very outdated.

Q: You have said that one of your top priorities is fighting for the communities fair share of road repair, clean streets and more parks. Ultimately the mayor is the one to put together a budget. You, if you're elected, would be one vote out of nine on the City Council to approve or reject that budget. How do you make sure that District 8 actually gets its fair share knowing you're just one city council member?

A: Well I want to be a consensus builder. I think when it comes down to it, I want to come in with a clean slate and work with all Council members, but also address the issue that a lot of the things that we are asking for in district, other communities take for granted. We ask for sidewalks to walk safely to school. We ask for lighting so our homes don't get vandalised. We want more parks so we can be physically active and healthy. In fact there's some parks where kids actually play soccer in a basketball court. It's pretty creative. Wouldn't it be nice though if they actually had real soccer fields to play in, and basically enjoy the community around them. And really that's what we're asking for, and I hope that going into city hall we want to be that consensus builder, to bring those resources directly to the community.

Editor's Note: This story was updated to include party affiliations.

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