San Diego’s District 9, which includes neighborhoods like Mt. Hope, Kensington, City Heights, Talmadge and Rolando, is the most diverse region in the city.
Both City Council candidates vying to represent the area say arts and culture are inherently important and can boost the quality of life for residents. They also agree that art and culture can stimulate the local economy and attract tourists, but they differ on a few key points.
Ricardo Flores, who’s a staffer for current Councilwoman Marti Emerald, said he thinks of himself as an artist. He went to film school at UCLA and produced a short film that’s won a few awards. He said he wants to raise San Diego’s profile when it comes to art and culture, and is particularly interested in helping bring back the Film Commission.
Georgette Gomez, a community advocate, said the arts are a big part of her life. She said she loves local music and neighborhood galleries and is committed to supporting San Diego’s diverse art scene.
Saying you support the arts, though, is easy. I asked them both whether they’d vote to fully fund the city’s Penny for the Arts plan, which was passed in 2012 and envisioned putting 9.5 percent of the city’s hotel tax collections toward the Commission for Arts and Culture. The current City Council boosted the arts commission’s funding, but it still doesn’t receive the full 9.5 percent.
Flores didn’t make any promises.