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Racial Justice and Social Equity

Henry Foster III sworn in as District 4 city councilmember

Henry Foster III became San Diego’s new District 4 councilmember Monday, bringing the City Council back to its full nine members.

He now represents Southeast San Diego neighborhoods stretching from Oak Park to Paradise Hills and Mountain View to Skyline.

When former councilmember Monica Montgomery Steppe took her seat on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors in December, it left City Council District 4 without representation.


Then, a January storm overwhelmed their drainage system and flooded neighborhoods.

Foster said his first focus is the ongoing recovery.

“We still have some community members that are hurting,” he said, “and we need to make sure that we do what we need to do to get them through the recovery process, and I'm committed to do that.”

Formerly Monica Montgomery Steppe’s chief of staff, Foster said he plans to continue the work he started with her: affordable housing, economic development, and “livable, safe neighborhoods.”

District 4 was formerly redlined. Today, it has a higher concentration of poverty and Black and Latino residents.


Foster said the flood highlighted the city’s history of underinvestment in the district.

“For too long, certain neighborhoods in our city have been overlooked and underserved,” he told the room after taking his oath of office. “Generations have passed without adequate investment in their infrastructure, economic opportunities, and quality of life.”

“We will change that practice,” he said. “I promise that.”

He said he knows the road will not be easy, “But as a man who was raised in Valencia Park, graduated from Lincoln High School, and a Hampton University alum, I have a story that tells nothing has been easy.”

The council is currently deciding the city budget for next year, with a final vote in June.