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KPBS Midday Edition

San Diego Councilman Chris Ward Discusses Priorities

San Diego City Councilman Chris Ward sits at the dais, Dec. 12, 2016.
Milan Kovacevic
San Diego City Councilman Chris Ward sits at the dais, Dec. 12, 2016.

San Diego Councilman Chris Ward Discusses Priorities
San Diego Councilman Chris Ward Discusses Priorities GUEST: Chris Ward, councilman, City of San Diego

San Diego city Council has three new faces on the dais we went to talk to all of them on midday edition of the next few days that we start today with Chris Ward replaces outgoing City Councilman Todd Gloria representing districts three which include San Diego's downtown Hillcrest, Old Town, University Heights and varied inner-city district. Thank you. You are taken over from a very able politician who made his mark on city politics by advocating for affordable housing and taken measures for climate change. Do you plan to follow on his legacy or do you have a different set of priorities. I would like to say he has left his mark for many of our communities that we have a lot of work to do on homelessness and the situation is got really challenging for a lot of our communities not just downtown but many of our San Diego communities most of which fall in the third Council District. I have a special need to focus my attention there as well as work on the really challenging but necessary work that we have to do and the visionary work we want to see for the next 30 years. What he said that working at the state level will help you with the challenges that have a lot to do with housing at the city level? I think so. One of the things I read on was my ability to read -- understand the federal government regional partners and many other necessary stakeholders that are contributors to achieve at the city and I think the web of information is that there will be effective. You have a background in urban planning. You have one from John F. Kennedy school of Government. How would that help you thread the needle between growth and character which is such a challenge. I think constant communication and making sure that all people especially those that are nervous about growth and are at the table and will help me find areas of compromise and ability to be able to bring new housing and public opportunities into the district while still maintaining the character as a quick intent to oversimplify some of the development questions by just talking about density or height. A lot of these heights are achievable through smart urban design and other ways that you can actually get the kinds of product that you need in the community to help our communities thrive and grow and accommodate more people without sacrificing the character and the chime that make many of our communities special. One of the biggest challenges is finding money for affordable housing sensory development money disappeared a few years back. How you stimulate that market because it is not just affordable housing at the bottom end of the marking I think a lot of middle-class people are very frustrated. You are spot on. I think Councilman Sherman said it correctly. We have affordable housing and financing tools that are provided for the lower income segments but there is workforce housing and housing that is affordable for the most of us. That is really a challenge for me when I got many of our neighbors that are starting to become very unaffordable for a first-time homeowner to break in with 700 $300,000 for a property. I think a lot of this is on the supply side to be able to help provide and help stymie the market and people will actually get into the neighborhoods that they want to live at the price points they can afford. I have a renewed sense of optimism. There are a lot of people that are going to be at the table that was not a priority for them a year ago. There are a number of leaders that wanted to contribute because it is impacting the business. We open the door again to talk about that so I hope have a conversation for an opportunity like that that there would be a lot of money on the table that we could even bond against to make things happen today. I am hoping to succeed Todd on the chair and I will be meeting with the board tomorrow and I hope I will be successful. I will also bring other people to the table for this solution. You had actually backed David Alvarez did not get to be that Council vote. Do you feel like that will affect the progress that you might make to make some progressive candidate. She has supported me and I have supported her and I think she is a great councilmember I had a chance to meet with both of them beforehand and while I had a slight chance I regret the way that the boat -- but had to come down. If we can to sleep and said okay who would your choice be I party had a conversation with Councilman President called 90 we will be able to work together well. He said he wanted to stand up to the Trump administration. You made a statement to that effects. We had elected officials and city leaders that say we will not be able to be sworn to protect certain challenges. People are scared for their lives. We have students right here at San Diego State openly participating that were brought here as a child and are able to actually access the dream. To throw them across the border at a barter economy we felt very strongly about many of the issues that are playing out at the national stage. We wanted a firm message to the people that we represent that we will support them and offend them and adopt them as part of the legislative platform. Maybe we'll haven't opportunity to include those and the city resources. Certainly helping as many people off the streets as possible. The number is rising we will have a revised census in January during a point in time can't. I will have Phil -- felt that I did a strong get. That is Chris Ward who is the new city councilmember for district 3. For a longer interview can go to our website KPBS.org under the programs menu.

Chris Ward is one of three new San Diego City Council members who took their oath of office on Monday.

Ward replaces councilman Todd Gloria in San Diego’s District 3, which encompasses neighborhoods south of Interstate 8 from Normal Heights to downtown. Gloria was termed out and elected to the state assembly.

Ward previously served as former State Sen. Marty Block’s chief of staff. His background also includes urban planning, which he said can help the city tackle issues of development and affordable housing.

In the coming weeks, Midday Edition will interview the new members of the city council about their priorities.

Ward joins Midday Edition Wednesday to discuss what he believes are the biggest issues facing his district.

What questions do you have about the Statewide General Election coming up on Nov. 8? Submit your questions here, and we'll try to answer them in our reporting.