By Judi Curry
One of the goals I had set for myself during this mayoral election was to meet each of the candidates running for office. The only exception to this goal was a meeting with Kevin Faulconer, since he is my representative already and I know more about him than I need to know before voting.
I have met with David Alvarez – and try as I might to meet with Nathan Fletcher I was thwarted all the way. And although a Michael Aguirre supporter, I felt that he did not have a chance of winning the election and I would need to look at others running for office.
However, I received an invitation to meet and greet Mike Friday at a home in Point Loma, and decided that since I had not made my final decision yet, this was a good time to hear what Mike had to say in person.
Mike is a graduate of UC Berkeley. Perhaps I knew this, but if I did I did not remember it. I went to UC Berkeley in 1965-1966 – he came in a few years after me – and I know that the curriculum is superb.
I didn’t know much of his background before this evening but I found out that he was raised by his grandmother, who was an artist living in Mission Hills. At night, Mike and his family would look out over the bay and talk about the glorious colors that emanated from the lights. His grandfather was a prize fighter, although Mike does not remember any fights as a child growing up. His grandmother contracted polio at the age of 27, and was confined to a wheelchair, but she was able to put together dresses and accessories to sell to women that were looking for her product. Mike remembers his grandparents going into establishments and admonishing him to “keep an eye out for immigration authorities.”
His memories of San Diego are numerous, but one that he remembers well is taking the ferry across the San Diego Bay to go to Coronado. He marveled at the engineering that allowed people to drive their car onto a boat; take the fast ride across the bay, and then drive off the boat. He remembers things like smelling his first carnation.
Mike is culturally aware of what San Diego and Tijuana have to offer. He would like to see a cultural center built at the border that would house art work from the Western Hemispheres, including from the explorers that discovered the jewel of San Diego.
He feels that a lot of what is missing in the running of San Diego is the intellectual awareness necessary to make this a great city. He thinks that good decisions are not being made, and the city leaders need to act more like educated people. He says that people who run the city should do everything in their power to help the citizens of San Diego in a positive way.
Furthermore, he feels that everyone should be involved; that there should be an “open door” policy for all of the citizens and neighborhoods of San Diego. He stated that one of the candidates said we should make it more expensive for the rich people to start an initiative but he pointed out that rich people could afford to pay more; it is the “non-rich” that would be hurt by the increased fees. He said that we should never take away the rights of the people.
Mike has said many of the right things. I would love to see him go head-to-head with City Attorney Jan Goldsmith. Whether he has the monies and where-with-all to beat the other contenders is questionable. But before you mark that final square on the ballot, take a close look at what Mike has to offer the community. In my opinion, he truly offers a great deal of substance.