This post has been updated to include more member suggestions.

TIME already crowned Pope Francis as its Person of the Year, but we thought we’d localize the contest.

Voice of San Diego CEO Scott Lewis posed the question first on Twitter, but wait — the answer then was clear. Bob Filner was hands-down the most influential person this year. We decided to move the goal posts. So in this week’s Member Report, a regular note we send out to our members, he rephrased the challenge:

Let’s make this more interesting. How about answering “Who are the top five ‘People of the Year’ in San Diego for 2013?” Let’s keep in mind that it has to do with influence, not with positive and negative feelings. And it shouldn’t revolve just around our limited vision of City Hall politics.

What about business? Science? Nonprofits? Crime? Who made a significant difference in San Diego in 2013, good or bad?

The names below are some of our early submissions. (Note: Members’ comments have been lightly edited for clarity. We also tried to highlight excerpts that introduced new names, so these aren’t necessarily each member’s nomination list in its entirety.) Leave your own suggestions in the comments.

“Here’s a thought: Fran Butler from Family Health Centers. Huge organization providing needed services throughout San Diego County. Opened new facilities this year in places greatly needed. Part of the community in which each facility is located. Incubating their own residency program in community health so they can ‘grow’ their own doctors when the shortage hits. Trained and hired navigators to help their patrons get through Covered California. Had helped put into place an incredibly diverse board.” — Mary Sessom

“To round out the top five in no particular order: Irwin JacobsPapa ‘Don’t call me Doug’ Manchester, Nathan Fletcher, Duane Roth.” — Tyler Wagner


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Todd Gloria. The iMayor has moved us forward without looking back at the past or talking about how we got here. On any number of issues, he has not just been an ‘interim’ or placeholder mayor, he has moved the city forward aggressively and positioned n his successor for great success.” — Kevin Tilden

Todd Gloria for the vision, grace and efficiency which he has demonstrated as our acting mayor. He has calmed the roiled waters and shown us that politicians need not be self-serving.”  — Maria Penny

“I would have to give a vote for (Supervisor) Dave Roberts – for changing the composition of the board and making some significant changes to the county overall.” — Cindy Burke

“My pick for non-Filner person of the year is Georgette Gomez, for her dedicated leadership (over the course of many years) regarding the Barrio Logan Community Plan. In truth, I’d broaden that to include Diane Takvorian, continuing to inspire all in her fourth decade leading the Environmental Health Coalition, and her staff. And if ‘corporations are people’ (which I’m not advocating), then let’s expand the award to include EHC itself.” — Jo Brooks

Mike Aguirre. A truly brave guy to carry the banner for pension reform knowing it would be toxic to his campaign. He did it anyway because he thought it was the right thing to do. … Bill Fulton. Although he has a City of San Diego position, he is in a position to influence what the city and the region will look like, and work like, for years to come.” — Glenn Younger

Mel Katz. Rob Quigley. Scott Lewis.” — Bink Cook

Darlene Shiley. She has long been a philanthropist of many causes and projects in San Diego. Her original donation for the actualization of the new Central Library project was capped when she opened her checkbook to donate the final million.” — Sheri Harris

Mike McCoy.” — Victor Torres

“I nominate Superior Court Judge Timothy Taylor. He disapproved SANDAG’s 2050 Regional Transportation and Sustainable Communities Plan because it does not represent the people’s interest, particularly as expressed in California environmental law. He demonstrated, and set a precedent, of judicial ability to redirect inferior long term planning by government agencies.” — Walt Brewer

James Hubbell for so many reasons. First, it is shocking to me that most San Diegans don’t know this global humanitarian and renowned artist. His work with the Pacific Rim Parks and The Colegio Esperanza should be enough but he is also building an archive and education facility that will continue his work indefinitely.” — Patti Fox

“You must have a person of the year from the various areas of San Diego, including science, economy, politics and communication. May I offer the Jacobs family and Jacobs Family Trust?” — Gary DeBusschere

Donna Frye.” — Karen Svet

“I’ll skip the political leaders and nominate Irwin Jacobs as one of the top five people of the year in San Diego. Although it ultimately failed, his plan for the Plaza de Panama got us seriously thinking about how to improve Balboa Park, and his and Joan’s $30 million donation helped open the doors of the new Central Library.” — Jeremy Ogul

    This article relates to: Members, News

    Written by Catherine Green

    Catherine Green is deputy editor at Voice of San Diego. She handles daily operations while helping to plan new long-term projects. You can contact her directly at catherine.green@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.550.5668. Follow her on Twitter: @c_s_green.

    33 comments
    Stewart A Halpern
    Stewart A Halpern

    Our Congressman, Scott Peters, should definitely be a person of the year. He has personified the kind of reasoned, pragmatic, solution-oriented and bi-partisan approach so sorely needed in Congress, and has been an immensely effective advocate on issues so important to our region and citizens, from the budget to veterans' issues to fixing the border to representing San Diego's business community.

    Sara_K
    Sara_K

    I’m a little surprised no one has yet nominated Lorena Gonzalez. In her short months as Assemblywoman for AD80, she has successfully authored and passed AB 1024 and 1159, triumphed women’s health issues, helped pass a balanced, timely budget, increased funding for every school in her district, helped increase the minimum wage, voted to regulate high capacity assault weapons, promoted responsible energy use and environmental stewardship, raised awareness about food insecurity, and remained accessible and candid with constituents and members of the public (to name a few successes).

    Lorena was one of the first to call for Filner's resignation upon hearing firsthand accounts of his damaging mistreatment of women. Throughout the abbreviated special election primary, she took many personal hits from within the divided Dem party, but patiently chose words to build and explain rather than tear down. Lorena demonstrates what a successful, impactful, dedicated Latina single mother can achieve, and fights less tangible battles on that front daily. She is a powerhouse, and deserves a nod here.

    Sara_K
    Sara_K subscribermember

    I’m a little surprised no one has yet nominated Lorena Gonzalez. In her short months as Assemblywoman for AD80, she has successfully authored and passed AB 1024 and 1159, triumphed women’s health issues, helped pass a balanced, timely budget, increased funding for every school in her district, helped increase the minimum wage, voted to regulate high capacity assault weapons, promoted responsible energy use and environmental stewardship, raised awareness about food insecurity, and remained accessible and candid with constituents and members of the public (to name a few successes).

    Lorena was one of the first to call for Filner's resignation upon hearing firsthand accounts of his damaging mistreatment of women. Throughout the abbreviated special election primary, she took many personal hits from within the divided Dem party, but patiently chose words to build and explain rather than tear down. Lorena demonstrates what a successful, impactful, dedicated Latina single mother can achieve, and fights less tangible battles on that front daily. She is a powerhouse, and deserves a nod here.

    Bill Bradshaw
    Bill Bradshaw

    I nominate Irene McCormick Jackson. If you'll think back, when the Filner flap first broke, for several weeks his supporters were talking about no one coming forward, that the whole thing was based on rumor and innuendo, and maybe even hatched by evil Republican insiders distraught with Bob's "progressive" policies (like putting a hold on tourism marketing, giving a street vendor a "permission letter" to ignore a city ordinance and taking off for Paris on the taxpayers dime).

    When Jackson, a person of obvious dignity and credibility, filed suit the whole thing changed. More women were enabled by her actions to come forward with their own stories and he finally had to resign.

    The bad news is that Jackson's suit may cost the city some money, and now others are starting to file suit as well. How many of these actions will result in payouts is unknown, but I doubt the total will amount to a lot compared to the damage Filner could have continued to cause by staying in office.

    Bill Bradshaw
    Bill Bradshaw subscribermember

    I nominate Irene McCormick Jackson. If you'll think back, when the Filner flap first broke, for several weeks his supporters were talking about no one coming forward, that the whole thing was based on rumor and innuendo, and maybe even hatched by evil Republican insiders distraught with Bob's "progressive" policies (like putting a hold on tourism marketing, giving a street vendor a "permission letter" to ignore a city ordinance and taking off for Paris on the taxpayers dime).

    When Jackson, a person of obvious dignity and credibility, filed suit the whole thing changed. More women were enabled by her actions to come forward with their own stories and he finally had to resign.

    The bad news is that Jackson's suit may cost the city some money, and now others are starting to file suit as well. How many of these actions will result in payouts is unknown, but I doubt the total will amount to a lot compared to the damage Filner could have continued to cause by staying in office.

    Christopher Crotty
    Christopher Crotty

    Bob Filner dominated the headlines and the general discourse from January to this day. His house arrest and probation are not the final chapter of the Filner saga. There will be additional City financial liability. There are continuing investigations and additional lawsuits. Filner's actions, demeanor and leadership style were national news for nine of twelve months. Individuals who never thought of City Hall or the Mayor of the City of San Diego became caught up in the freak show at which Filner was the center. His story dominated not just the news, but the general discourse of the region and beyond. There is no one who comes close to the year-long spectacle that was, and continues to be, Bob Filner.

    Jim Jones
    Jim Jones

    For the first time in my life, I'm going to vote for Bob Filner. Who better represents the general malaise of "America's Finest City"? A plastered on smile, greatness in the distant past, a long history of borderline corruption, a current ineptitude combined with an attitude of elitism, a disregard for the "lesser people" who exist only for a headlock and quick feel, an inevitable decline and all those potholes and ruts.

    It's like Bob is San Diego.

    Jim Jones
    Jim Jones subscriber

    For the first time in my life, I'm going to vote for Bob Filner. Who better represents the general malaise of "America's Finest City"? A plastered on smile, greatness in the distant past, a long history of borderline corruption, a current ineptitude combined with an attitude of elitism, a disregard for the "lesser people" who exist only for a headlock and quick feel, an inevitable decline and all those potholes and ruts.

    It's like Bob is San Diego.

    Tom McSorley
    Tom McSorley

    In my view, it really should be Todd Gloria. The big news about Todd is that he doesn't make much news. He gets the job done! By brokering the Filner resignation deal he saved us money, time and embarrassment - he got Filner to resign. Since then he has continued to serve his district and the city. He has limited powers but is moving city projects forward. He is so committed to the city that he chose not to run for mayor, I think, because it would take his focus off of the immediate job at hand. He is a guiding light, a strong person and effective manager/leader. Just because he is quiet and doesn't make many headlines, doesn't mean he hasn't wielded significant influence and quiet power.

    Tom McSorley
    Tom McSorley subscribermember

    In my view, it really should be Todd Gloria. The big news about Todd is that he doesn't make much news. He gets the job done! By brokering the Filner resignation deal he saved us money, time and embarrassment - he got Filner to resign. Since then he has continued to serve his district and the city. He has limited powers but is moving city projects forward. He is so committed to the city that he chose not to run for mayor, I think, because it would take his focus off of the immediate job at hand. He is a guiding light, a strong person and effective manager/leader. Just because he is quiet and doesn't make many headlines, doesn't mean he hasn't wielded significant influence and quiet power.

    uaplumber
    uaplumber

    Not to beat a dead horse (so to speak) but Bob Filner has to be the odds on favorite for person of the year. The most progressive mayor in decades starting in January and then a media star for months starting in August that ultimately lead to his utter downfall that still keeps on giving. The ripples will be felt for years to come and his achievements were legendary in that he was fearless in changing the direction that our city was to take. From the Balboa Park "fix" that pleased everyone (with the exception of Mr. Jacobs), to the smell abatement in La Jolla (which seemed unattainable for quite a long time), to the taking to task the tourism industry for promoting San Diego and it's long record of unaccountability, Bob was THE MAN. He will not be replaceable by either of the current "last man standing" candidates and Todd Gloria is way out of his league as he flounders at every move to try and be a leader. David Alvarez should be the number two person, as his potential to upset (as Bob did) the status quo, that had a grip on our fair city for so long, remains strong and enticing, and should Alvarez prevail he will have the mandate to further carry on the good fight if he doesn't lose sight of the of ultimate goal of striking the chord for fairness and representation of the multitudes versus the entitled few.

    Glenn Younger
    Glenn Younger

    Because I'm in district 3 I guess I take Todd Gloria for granted. He has done an amazing job and showed he has what it takes to work at a higher level. His willingness to step uo into a role and step back to serve the city is total class and good for the city.

    Glenn Younger
    Glenn Younger subscribermember

    Because I'm in district 3 I guess I take Todd Gloria for granted. He has done an amazing job and showed he has what it takes to work at a higher level. His willingness to step uo into a role and step back to serve the city is total class and good for the city.

    Mary Lydon
    Mary Lydon

    I nominate Dr. Mary Walshok, UCSD Extension Dean, whose newly published book "Invention and Reinvention" brilliantly tells the story of San Diego's DNA and how we can use this to position ourselves to thrive in an innovative global economy like no other place on the planet. Her major contributions to our region over the past 40 years are unparalleled.

    Mary Lydon
    Mary Lydon subscriber

    I nominate Dr. Mary Walshok, UCSD Extension Dean, whose newly published book "Invention and Reinvention" brilliantly tells the story of San Diego's DNA and how we can use this to position ourselves to thrive in an innovative global economy like no other place on the planet. Her major contributions to our region over the past 40 years are unparalleled.

    James Weber
    James Weber

    No one was in the news worldwide more than Bob Filner, San Diego's Man of the Year.

    James Weber
    James Weber subscriber

    No one was in the news worldwide more than Bob Filner, San Diego's Man of the Year.

    Jere Ford
    Jere Ford

    City Attorney Goldsmith at least deserves a mention. He saw Filner for the mess he was before anyone else, and led us through this disaster of a mayorship with true leadership. He helped us negotiate for Filner's resignation with the city's best interests in mind. You have to at least consider the man that was against Filner before it was cool. My vote is for the Anti-Filner Hipster: Jan Goldsmith

    Chris Brewster
    Chris Brewster

    I do not understand the point or value of this exercise. Time magazine makes a bold editorial and perhaps journalistic evaluation of who has been, “the person or persons who most affected the news and our lives, for good or ill, and embodied what was important about the year.” It's not based on popular vote.Everything You Wanted To Know about TIME's Person of the Yearhttp://poy.time.com/2013/12/10/everything-you-wanted-know-about-time-person-of-the-year/#ixzz2nmzPdPd6How long has Person of the Year been around? It has a great origin story-or maybe more of a legend. At the end of 1927, the editors of TIME looked at the year's covers and realized they had somehow failed to put Charles Lindbergh on the cover.

    Chris Brewster
    Chris Brewster

    OK, it's not a vote. What is it? Are you going to name anyone? Or is this: If VOSD were going to name a person or persons of the year, but we aren't, then who should it be?

    Scott Lewis
    Scott Lewis

    As I said, it was an attempt to solicit suggestions. I think we're going to try to launch a new tradition, yes. I have appreciated the submissions so far and I wouldn't have thought of some of them. Not sure why asking is so objectionable.

    Chris Brewster
    Chris Brewster

    It's not objectionable and clearly people are enjoying the chance to promote their favorites. I was wondering if there was an endpoint. Meantime, my I offer, for your consideration: Jim Jones.

    Scott Lewis
    Scott Lewis

    Not sure what you mean. I asked members for suggestions. I didn't put it to a vote. They've made good suggestions.

    Randy Dotinga
    Randy Dotinga

    I don't think it's up for popular vote because I would stack the ballot box in my favor and win in a walk (whatever that means). It's true! OK, true-ish. OK, true-adjacent. OK, it can see truth from here.

    Time Magazine does ask readers whom they think should be person of the year. So it's not unusual to get readers involved.

    Chris Brewster
    Chris Brewster subscribermember

    I do not understand the point or value of this exercise. Time magazine makes a bold editorial and perhaps journalistic evaluation of who has been, “the person or persons who most affected the news and our lives, for good or ill, and embodied what was important about the year.” It's not based on popular vote.Everything You Wanted To Know about TIME's Person of the Yearhttp://poy.time.com/2013/12/10/everything-you-wanted-know-about-time-person-of-the-year/#ixzz2nmzPdPd6How long has Person of the Year been around? It has a great origin story-or maybe more of a legend. At the end of 1927, the editors of TIME looked at the year's covers and realized they had somehow failed to put Charles Lindbergh on the cover.

    Scott Lewis
    Scott Lewis administrator

    Not sure what you mean. I asked members for suggestions. I didn't put it to a vote. They've made good suggestions.

    Randy Dotinga
    Randy Dotinga memberauthor

    I don't think it's up for popular vote because I would stack the ballot box in my favor and win in a walk (whatever that means). It's true! OK, true-ish. OK, true-adjacent. OK, it can see truth from here.

    Time Magazine does ask readers whom they think should be person of the year. So it's not unusual to get readers involved.

    Scott Lewis
    Scott Lewis administrator

    As I said, it was an attempt to solicit suggestions. I think we're going to try to launch a new tradition, yes. I have appreciated the submissions so far and I wouldn't have thought of some of them. Not sure why asking is so objectionable.

    Chris Brewster
    Chris Brewster subscribermember

    It's not objectionable and clearly people are enjoying the chance to promote their favorites. I was wondering if there was an endpoint. Meantime, my I offer, for your consideration: Jim Jones.

    Chris Brewster
    Chris Brewster subscribermember

    OK, it's not a vote. What is it? Are you going to name anyone? Or is this: If VOSD were going to name a person or persons of the year, but we aren't, then who should it be?

    Andy Kopp
    Andy Kopp

    My vote for San Diego's Person of the Year goes to Superior Court Judge Timothy Taylor. If this 'contest' can allow a little latitude on the year behind us (given this wasn't a discussion in 2012), then perhaps no one has been as influential as Judge Taylor when one considers his rulings on the SANDAG 40 year Regional Transportation Plan, and the 'Jacobs Plan' for Balboa Park. Those two rulings alone impacted us massively in both the short and long term, with regional environment, infrastructure, and city governance in mind. And no matter where one might come down on these issues, no one can say they weren't effected by them.

    Andy Kopp
    Andy Kopp subscribermember

    My vote for San Diego's Person of the Year goes to Superior Court Judge Timothy Taylor. If this 'contest' can allow a little latitude on the year behind us (given this wasn't a discussion in 2012), then perhaps no one has been as influential as Judge Taylor when one considers his rulings on the SANDAG 40 year Regional Transportation Plan, and the 'Jacobs Plan' for Balboa Park. Those two rulings alone impacted us massively in both the short and long term, with regional environment, infrastructure, and city governance in mind. And no matter where one might come down on these issues, no one can say they weren't effected by them.

    jmelvin
    jmelvin

    Personally, I think Jan Goldsmith did a great job for the city. He helped lead us through the whole Filner debacle with poise and grace. Jan helped the city keep it's dignity after electing a man who self-proclaimed he had a monster inside himself. Jan has great integrity and will always do what is best for San Diego. I vote Jan Goldsmith!!