Alvarez Wins Newsom Endorsement at UCSD

A TRITON WELCOME
California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced his support for San Diego City Councilman David Alvarez’s mayoral campaign in a rally in Price Center Plaza Feb. 6. For the Guardian’s mayoral endorsement, see OPINION
A TRITON WELCOME California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced his support for San Diego City Councilman David Alvarez’s mayoral campaign in a rally in Price Center Plaza Feb. 6. For the Guardian’s mayoral endorsement, see OPINION
A TRITON WELCOME California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced his support for San Diego City Councilman David Alvarez’s mayoral campaign in a rally in Price Center Plaza Feb. 6. For the Guardian’s mayoral endorsement, see OPINION
Photo by Austin Song/Guardian

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom joined several college groups to endorse San Diego Councilman David Alvarez for mayor on Feb. 6 at Price Center Plaza. Representatives from the College Democrats and the California Public Interest Research Group spoke at the rally hosted by the Student Organized Voter Access Committee.

The event focused primarily on student issues such as jobs and access to education, as well as participation in the political process as San Diego’s mayoral race headed into its last few days.

Alex Acuna of CALPIRG opened the rally by bringing attention to the importance of getting involved.

“As students, it’s important to make our voice heard,” Acuna said. “We need to get up and participate by engaging in issues but also by going through the election box.”
President of the College Democrats, Ellen Spicer, echoed Acuna’s statement and emphasized the need for opportunities for emerging leaders to enter the workforce. She and her organization endorsed Alvarez as the candidate who provides the best solution to that issue.

In an interview with the Guardian, Newsom said that the biggest challenge facing UC colleges is increasing costs.

“There’s been substantial budget cuts and doubling in tuition since 2007, and the impact is disproportionate to the middle class,” Newsom said. “We’ve also got the issue of access and quality of education — it’s more difficult now than ever to graduate on time with all the classes you need.”

Alvarez believes that creating jobs for college students within San Diego is an essential step in his growth plan.

“It’s important to start creating more small business opportunities because small businesses really impact the economy as a whole,” Alvarez said. “We also need to focus on our cross-border economy, which is one of the things we really haven’t tapped into in this region, and it’s an opportunity waiting to be taken.”

Both the councilman and the lieutenant governor expressed support for the idea behind the bill to raise California’s minimum wage to $13. Alvarez stated that he plans to put an initiative on the ballot in November to increase the minimum wage above $10 in San Diego before a similar state initiative takes effect in 2016.

Alvarez is also endorsed by California’s U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, as well as Speaker of the Assembly Toni Atkins (D-78th). On Feb. 8, President Obama also endorsed Alvarez.

Alvarez is criticized by his opposition for accepting over $4 million in campaign money, primarily from large labor groups. Out-of-town money continues to be an issue in San Diego elections as several local politicians are being investigated for accepting money from a foreign national.

Alvarez’s Republican opponent and fellow Councilman, Kevin Faulconer, has led in recent polls from 10 News/U-T San Diego by a margin of between five and eight points.
Faulconer is running as a vocal supporter of San Diego businesses.

“I’m going to bring my eight years of experience of turning this city around to making sure we’re continuing financial reform at City Hall so we have the dollars to invest in our neighborhoods,” Faulconer said to CBS 8.

Faulconer boasts a list of local endorsements, including those by the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce and the San Diego County Hotel-Motel Association. Former City Attorney Mike Aguirre, who ran for mayor in the special election last year, recently crossed party lines to endorse Faulconer as well. Faulconer’s business lean means he is often cast as a candidate representing the special interests of downtown.

The election is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, Feb. 11, and campus polling booths will be open at Earl Warren College, Muir College and Eleanor Roosevelt College. Students who live in Sixth College, Thurgood Marshall College, Revelle College or the Village will vote at Price Center.

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