Myrtle Cole, who’s running for San Diego’s District 4 council seat, sees herself as an heir to former Councilmen Charles Lewis and George Stevens.
From Lewis, who was elected in 2002 and died two years later, Cole took his vision of building a “Gaslamp East,” a mixed-used corridor of shops, housing and restaurants in the city’s southeastern neighborhoods reminiscent of downtown’s successful Gaslamp District. It’s her development plan.
From Stevens, Lewis’ predecessor who held the seat for more than a decade and died in 2006, Cole has updated his idea for fighting negative perceptions about the district. Stevens famously held a mock funeral to rid the name “Southeast” from the city’s lexicon because he believed it evoked drugs and violence. Cole wants to bury the newer shorthand “Southeastern” for the same reasons. She would like the public to identify the district’s communities by their names — Encanto, Valencia Park, Paradise Hills and 14 others.