As District 8 City Councilmember David Alvarez completes his two terms, voters will have the opportunity to choose a new champion for our community.

At EHC’s first-ever candidate forum, community members packed the Sherman Heights Community Center to meet Antonio Martinez, Vivian Moreno and Christian Ramirez, the City Council candidates for District 8. District 8 includes Barrio Logan, Sherman Heights, Logan Heights and more, and is one of EHC's core neighborhoods.

Candidate Forum Panorama

For two hours, our leaders asked each candidate important questions about how they intend to make our communities healthy and safe places to live, work and play. Together we discussed the Barrio Logan community plan update, access to affordable transportation as well as safe places to walk and bike, equity in the City's climate action plan, the increase in temporary homeless shelters, protecting families from displacement and policies that would mediate community air pollution and route trucks out of our neighborhoods. 

  • Panchito, Barrio Logan leader: In order for change in underserved communities to be sustained over time, we need to maintain a pipeline of leadership in all sectors that will continue to champion the causes of our community. How will you create an environment in District 8 that encourages and/or prepares youth to be the leaders of tomorrow focused on building better communities?

  • Silvia, Sherman Heights leader: The issue of affordable housing, homelessness and how to provide supportive services to homeless individuals is directly impacting many residents of District 8. How will you address this community concern?

  • Philomena, Barrio Logan leader: Residents in District 8 deal with many burdens due to close proximity to both the Port of San Diego and the Naval Base. One of these is the impact of limited parking in the community due to shipyard and Navy workers parking throughout the community due to lack of designated parking at their workplaces. . What would you do to solve this ongoing issue?

  • Roddy, City Heights leader: The City of San Diego passed a Climate Action Plan in 2015 with a strong requirement for social equity that EHC members fought hard for. What would you do to prioritize Climate Justice in the implementation of this plan?

  • Maria, Barrio Logan leader: Land use and zoning that allows industries to locate next to homes results in health and safety issues If elected what would be your strategy and plan to address this issue?

Toward the end of the two-hour event, candidates were given the rapid-fire questions on the chart below and the options to choose yes, no or give a 15-second explanation. Candidate initials were marked in the columns for their chosen answers.

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Each of the candidates said yes to:

  • Meeting with the EHC Community Action Teams in Sherman Heights and Barrio Logan within 90 days of assuming office and attending at least two meetings each per year after that
  • Supporting the 2013 community-developed Barrio Logan community plan update
  • Supporting the Children’s Right to Lead-Safe Housing Ordinance Amendment to make housing lead safe at the point of sale
  • Hiring a climate justice staffer to support the City climate action plan
  • Supporting the Barrio Logan clean air and safe streets ordinance to set strictly enforced truck routes
  • Opposing the expansion of the 94 freeway
  • Supporting a free youth transit pass policy in San Diego
  • Standing against community threats from Border Patrol or Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
  • Supporting community members when they say they need a street light or a stop sign
  • Fighting for better bus and transit stops that include shelter and shade for people waiting
  • Opposing the continuation of temporary homeless shelters being disproportionately placed in District 8
  • Advocating for better retention practices in the San Diego Police Department
  • Supporting a joint-use park at Perkins Elementary School

Throughout the evening, community members shared their thoughts and takeaways on Twitter

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Thank you to each candidate, to our moderator and Barrio Logan College Institute CEO Jose Cruz and our fearless community leaders and volunteers who made this evening possible.

Don’t forget to use your voice and vote for our next community champion on June 5. If you have any questions about how to vote, contact Jorge Gonzalez at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 619-474-0220 x 122.

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With our vote, we are powerful.

One of the most powerful votes we can cast is for our San Diego City Council member. Our City Council directs how our cities run, including the policies that shape healthy and safe neighborhoods for our families.

In District 8, which includes Barrio Logan, Sherman Heights, San Ysidro and more, we have the opportunity to choose a new community champion.

On Thursday, March 15, EHC proudly hosts a public forum at the Sherman Heights Community Center (2258 Island Ave, San Diego, 92102) for City Council’s District 8 candidates. Join us at 5:30 p.m. to ask Antonio Martinez, Vivian Moreno and Christian Ramirez about how they plan to address important issues in our communities.

The District 8 Candidates Forum will be moderated by Jose Cruz, the chief executive officer of Barrio Logan College Institute, and light refreshments will be provided.

If you plan to attend the event or participate in the Facebook live stream, please RSVP on Facebook.

By: Giuliana Schroeder – Individual Giving Director

Recently I sat down with Franco Garcia, EHC’s associate director of organizing, to talk about civic engagement and what it means for our communities.

Franco, why is civic engagement in our communities important?

Historically, low-income families of color are unlikely to vote. When we vote, we can positively impact election results. When we don’t vote, we give up the opportunity to create a safer and healthier environment for our families.

How many people in our communities vote?

The chart below shows that 60 percent of California is made up of communities of color, yet only 35 percent of us vote. To ensure the policies that will build #healthyhoods win, we have to change this picture.

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What does EHC hope to accomplish with its civic engagement work in 2018?

Ultimately, we want voting to represent the community voice. We want to empower our residents to go to the polls so we can ensure the policies that pass reflect our needs and what we know will build #healthyhoods.

EHC has a track record of impacting elections and the culture of voting. Every investment in EHC enables us to provide resources to empower the most marginalized communities to find their voice and use it at the polls.

To learn more about our civic engagement efforts or to get involved, please contact Franco at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

EHC election blog

The morning of November 9 was bittersweet.

Locally, we felt strong as we celebrated major victories for our communities, including the election of Georgette Gomez to City Council. Nationally, we felt a mountain grow in front of us.

As 2016 comes to a close, we want to share a message of hope and courage. We invite you to join us as we celebrate our local victories while we march forward as an unwavering and unstoppable charge for justice.

Get involved in our neighborhoods, explore environmental justice job opportunities, follow our movement on social media and remember that in 2017 and beyond, we stand united.
 

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“It’s okay to feel upset, angry and scared. We’re all feeling that way. Let’s take comfort in a network of allies that care about justice and will come together stronger than ever.”
Dominique Navarro, Fund Development Associate

 

   

Franco Garcia

“Do not be discouraged. Our victories at the local level were really important. I can’t emphasize enough that San Diego had one of the highest voter turnouts of any major county in California. Everything EHC supported locally went our way. We’re happy, but we’re not resting on it.”
Franco Garcia, Associate Director of Organizing

  

Lilia Escalante
“After the election, people’s attitudes were very grey. If at any point we were disconnected, now is the time for us to unite. The way I see it, if you’re angry or upset, channel it into something good.”
Lilia Escalante, Fiscal Manager

 

  

When we speak in unison, we stay strong, and our communities cannot be ignored. To make election day easy on November 8, we’ve put together this voting guide to highlight the most important propositions for justice in our neighborhoods.

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No on Measure A: Protect our children’s health

Say no to a deceptive 40-year tax increase that pays for freeway expansion and air pollution.

No on Measure C: No Downtown Stadium

Say no to a $1 billion tax dollar giveaway. Put our neighborhoods first!

No on Measure D: Protect Our Neighborhoods

Say no to a stadium or convention center on top of residential neighborhoods.

Yes on K: Restore Democracy

Vote yes to prevent insiders from controlling City Hall. Voters should choose their city representatives from the top two vote getters.

Yes on L: Full Voter Participation

Vote yes to allow San Diego voters to decide on propositions in November, when most people vote.

Pledge to use your voice, and your vote, on November 8, 2016.

Click here to learn about registering to vote.

Learn more about EHC's voter empowerment efforts and how to use your voice for justice on election day.