Barbara on KUSI: Why I’m Running for Mayor

June 27, 2019

Who is Barbara Bry?

How do you define your campaign? How do you describe yourself as a politician?

I’m a businesswoman who has built and led organizations. I have signed the front of the paycheck. I understand what it takes to lead a diverse group of people. I have a track record of challenging the status-quo, standing up for others and getting things done. I don't like labels.

It was just over four years ago, I set out to run for City Council, never expecting that four years later I’d be running for Mayor.

I got to City Hall and what I found is something every resident has a right to know – City Hall is a mess.

Barbara Bry is NOT a Career Politician

Running has an outsider certainly worked for the White House in 2016.

Can it work for the mayoral election in 2020, when you're going to be up against a well-funded opponent?

I’m not the political insider in this race. I'm a businesswoman. I've built and led nonprofit organizations.

What I'm finding as I go all over the city is that my message really resonates. The mayor has to run City Hall and deliver basic services to every community.

At the same time we need a strong economy or not going to be able to pay our bills.

I have a vision of building a technology and arts hub downtown and to move more good jobs closer to where people live.

In the morning the commute going north is terrible and the reverse in the afternoon, and that's because more of the good jobs are in the north.

I'm also going to focus on how we're going to make sure the children who are growing up south of interstate 8 have access to the jobs in the innovation economy, which are the highest paying jobs.

Dockless Scooters

With the headlines of a recent death of a 48-year old man from a collision on a scooter and the number of emergency room visits, where do you stand in getting more regulation around electric scooters in our city?

The scooters are just one example about how we have not been proactive enough in addressing new technology.

The minute the scooters arrived on our streets, I went to the mayor (about a year-and-a-half ago) and I said,

“Please put a moratorium on. Do what other Mayors have done... (only the mayor could do that)... Let's do an RFP [request for proposal] similar to what other cities have done!”

For the last year-and-a-half, we've had no idea how many scooters there are… where they go… even how many accidents there are… Because it doesn't get reported accurately.

So we do have an ordinance going into effect July 1, which take some steps in terms of imposing fees – remember they've been using our infrastructure for free – has places corrales where they need to be staged in the morning, or staged on a sidewalk in an appropriate way.

We'll have some enforcement. It's not enough.

I am going to be calling for a ban on the beach boardwalks – something I tried to get last summer and couldn’t. We didn't have the votes on the City Council.

Now we do have more data about accidents. So in the next few days, I am working on the legal way that I am going to be able to get a beach boardwalk ban.

What Separates Barbara Bry

Your well-funded opponent, Todd Gloria, is obviously well-known to residents here in San Diego, and has been endorsed by former Governor Jerry Brown.

You're both Democrats – what are the biggest differences in your platform?  Where do you hope to take the city of San Diego in the future?

I am very much about keeping land use planning local. I'm about keeping planning local and not letting Sacramento dictate to us.

There are bills going through the State Legislature that would take away our local ability to choose what gets developed where.

I believe in the value of local community planning groups.

I believe in the value of updating community plans which is what we're doing at the City Council right now. Every resident gets to participate.

In the next year, we will be doing Mission Valley, Morena Boulevard and Kearny Mesa – all areas along transit, where it will be appropriate to add more density with community input.

When we vote on these plans, we may not make everyone happy, but everyone will have had a chance to participate.

Pure Water Program

Council member, Scott Sherman, was here yesterday talking about the Judge overruling the Council's decision regarding Prop A on the Pure Water Program. The judge said in his decision that it seemed that the Council didn’t take into account that voters overwhelmingly approved within projects to not only use union workers, but to have it be more competitive field and to use non-union workers as well.

What’s your take on the issue?

I believe that to build a big project today (and the Airport Authority made a similar vote) you need to do what's called a “Project Labor Agreement” so that you can have certainty about your costs so you know you have access to the labor when you need it. In a Project Labor Agreement, non-union companies can also participate in bidding.


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