Get to know new District 2 Councilmember Dr. Jennifer Campbell
Published - 01/14/19 - 08:54 AM | 4894 views | 1 1 comments | 48 48 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dr. Jennifer Campbell
Dr. Jennifer Campbell
Dr. Jennifer Campbell grew up in a working-class family and studied history at George Washington University, where she got involved in civil rights, marching with Martin Luther King Jr. and against the Vietnam War.

Activism inspired her to attend the University of Pittsburgh Medical School. In her first year, she became a single mother, continued her education, raised her children, earned her medical degree and completed her residency specializing in family medicine.

She’s practiced and taught medicine for 37 years. Campbell moved to San Diego 13 years ago, settling in Bay Ho, where she has been civically active serving on the executive boards of the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation, Clairemont Town Council and San Diego County Democratic Party’s Central Committee.

At her first community coffee Jan. 5, Campbell, District 2’s new council rep, introduced herself to her constituency, hitting the ground running with her top priorities, which include reigning in short-term vacation rentals and motorized scooters, while finding answers to the housing and climate-change crises.

Council District 2 includes Pacific and Mission beaches, the Peninsula including Point Loma, Ocean Beach and the Midway District, as well as portions of Clairemont, Mission Bay and Linda Vista.

Campbell’s tenure comes at a crossroads time in city government. The new, nine-member City Council is now more representative of San Diego’s ethnic and cultural diversity. The City Council boasts six Democrats versus three Republicans. Five of its members are female. Two members are LGTBQ.

Campbell said the impetus for her successful City Council run was the mishandling by the city of the 2017 hepatitis a virus outbreak, caused by fecal exposure, that killed 20 people and sickened more than 600 mostly homeless people and/or drug users.

About the lack of affordable housing, Campbell noted, “We don’t have enough, especially not at the middle- and lower-class levels. If you’re very rich, you’re ok. Otherwise, forget it. So we need to fix that.”

But Campbell offered this caveat on housing, “We have to make sure we don’t go overboard on trying to construct housing that we don’t have the infrastructure for.”

Campbell said it helps that she has been appointed to serve on the City’s environment, housing and audit committees. She also is an alternate on the Metropolitan Transit Service board.

“Mass transit is another very big issue for us,” said Campbell adding it’s also essential to “keep our beach neighborhoods clean and safe while improving them.

“It’s a very scary issue for everybody on our planet,” said Campbell of climate change. “Our city has been a leader in trying to fight that. We need to continue that.”

Discussing homelessness, Campbell said a lot of work has been done in other cities on this issue that San Diego could learn from. She added the city will need to work closely with the county to help resolve homelessness.

“I’m glad Nathan (Fletcher) got elected (supervisor),” Campbell said. “We’ve worked together closely and he has really good ideas. We need to get the county to help the city out. Half the homeless in the county are right here in the city.”

Campbell disagrees with the way dockless electric scooters have been handled.

“This is just one of many examples of poor governance,” Campbell said. “Other cities do not allow companies to just come in and drop things on their city.

“They (dockless companies) should have asked permission to come in, and the city should have made an arrangement with them as to how many scooters were going to be allowed, where and what the rules for them were going to be. Worst of all, those companies are not indemnified (insured). It should not be our responsibility. The whole thing was mishandled from day one.”

Regarding immigration, Campbell said, “It’s such a shame. It’s been a tremendous burden on our city. It’s a federal problem. We need to deal with it as best we can.”

Of so-called “Dreamers,” Campbell commented, “If you grew up here … now you’re a citizen.”

Asked if she had a message to deliver to her constituents, Campbell said, “Give us a call.”

Councilmember Campbell’s staff includes:

- Venus Molina: Chief of staff

- Liezl Gloria: Policy advisor

- Seamus Kennedy: Policy advisor

(Mission Beach, Ocean Beach)

- Jordan Beane: Communications

director/policy advisor

- Monica Eslamian: Community

representative (Pacific Beach)

- Carrie Munson: Community

representative (Clairemont, Morena)

- Miller Saltzman: Community

representative (Point Loma, Midway)

- Ruth Torres: Scheduler/executive

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Davis S
May 18, 2020
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