By Dr. John E. Warren
By next week this time, San Diego will have a new Mayor. There will be political winners and losers. This is the very nature of politics. But what the community cannot afford is anything less than unity after the election. The person elected as Mayor has an obligation to serve all the people and anything less than that is malfeasance in office. Simply stated this means that if the person elected to office were to say “ I will not represent you because you didn’t vote for me,” one could file a complaint with the state Attorney General. But of course this wouldn’t happen.
What is real is the fact that neither person has held the office of Mayor before and both have sat equally on the City Council. Both men have identified interest supporting them. This is the nature of American politics. Organized Labor is as much a special interest as Business in San Diego. Both candidates have pledged to put the interest of the people first. The question becomes one of who do you believe after hearing, meeting and talking with each candidate.
There is an assumption among some that because Alvarez is Latino and supported by labor identifying as the working class, that African Americans will rally to his team. The reality is that African Americans will vote for their perceived interest, regardless of which camp that interest is found in. There are African Americans in San Diego with business interest as well as business owners. The bottom line is that each person should decided for themselves next week based upon what they have seen in the candidates and what they expect of the man once in office. That vote should not be tied to the political interest of other people; you should vote for a person because you think they are the best one and not because someone told you to do so. The important thing is that you vote; the important thing is that you realize that people are counting on you not voting; that people have written many of us off because of out past lack of voter participation.
The consideration of the candidates can only be balanced by your personal decision making and not decisions made for you by others. After the vote is over, let us come together and get about the business of developing an agenda for the new mayor to address that represents what we want and not what others tell us they want for us.