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City Council President Georgette Gomez Talks Impact And Legacy In District 9

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Now that Georgette Gomez is running to replace Congresswoman Susan Davis what does that mean for District 9, which includes City Heights, where some residents say their community is often overlooked.

Speaker 1: 00:00 From environmental advocate to San Diego city council president. Now Georgette Gomez is running to replace Congresswoman Susan Davis. So what does that mean for district nine, which includes city Heights where some residents say their community is often overlooked. KPBS speaks city Heights reporter Ebony Monet sat down with Gomez to get her take.

Speaker 2: 00:20 We caught up with council president Georgette Gomez at cafe ina cafe, a new specialty coffee shop on 46th street in city Heights. Your time, of course Gomez has represented city Heights for three years and now she's running for Congress.

Speaker 3: 00:35 How did that decision come about with it all with the plan? No, it wasn't part of the plan. To me, politics was never part of the plan. It's about, for me, the plan is addressing injustices in our society. It's changing systems that are, um, that impact people's quality of life. That is part of the plan for me. How I do that is different ways. Yeah.

Speaker 2: 00:58 In 2016 while transitioning from a long time community organizer to a San Diego city council member, Gomez often spoke critically about special interest.

Speaker 3: 01:08 What have you learned about getting things done? And, um, have your, has your mind softened a bit to the idea of the, those special interests downtown and have you learned anything about why things may take time or how Oh, yes. I'm, no, I've learned a lot. Uh, since uh, coming in I, I had a perspective, um, that really has shifted completely. Now I have a much better understanding of what the council does versus what the mayor, um, the council is there to set up policies, the mayor's there to implement the policies that the council is adopting. My you, um, I didn't feel that we were introducing a lot of policies. So now as the council precedent, I'm intentionally trying to introduce policies. I'm updating the affordable housing Ornez yes, it got NITOAD right.

Speaker 2: 02:00 Mayor Kevin Faulkner recently vetoed Gomez is inclusionary housing update that would have increased fines. Developers have to pay when their projects don't meet the city's affordable housing guidelines

Speaker 3: 02:11 to uh, there said the design itself to slow down to vehicle

Speaker 2: 02:15 still as we walked around the neighborhood. Gomez says she's not giving up on her agenda, which also includes attracting business to the district. Challenge that we have is that a lot of the, uh, new businesses that want to come because it is an older community, we have infrastructure, odd deficits. Gomez says her office is making progress

Speaker 3: 02:36 working with price charities they're trying to do, they're, they're in the midst of working on doing an affordable housing development that is for seniors, but also for multifamily

Speaker 2: 02:46 Gomez has released a housing action plan that she says addresses the community's lack of affordable housing back inside. I questioned if she believes her district nine replacement can build on this momentum.

Speaker 3: 02:58 Do you believe that you started

Speaker 2: 03:00 a momentum that will continue with or without you in this leadership position? Oh, most definitely. I mean, what I've learned at city hall is that once you get the projects going, there's, there's not going to be an attorney back from the city. So I feel very confident that everything that we've started this, this during this period of my time being in council will see the light. What do you say to people who feel that they're, they're losing that support, um, by you running for the 53rd and that they're going to just be left behind? D I know that the, the residents in district nine are smart and they're going to elect that person. So it's, it shouldn't be just based on me cause I'm going to get termed out whether I leave now or in four additional years, I'll be done. So for me, my commitment to this community doesn't change. It doesn't matter where I'm at. I carry the community. I'm going to continue fighting for the community. This is why I got into government. To get the job, Gomez would need to beat out a crowded field of Democrats who've also entered the race for the 53rd, which does not include most of city Heights, Ebony Monet,K , PBS news.

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KPBS Midday Edition Segments

Maureen Cavanaugh and Jade Hindmon host KPBS Midday Edition, a daily radio news magazine keeping San Diego in the know on everything from politics to the arts.