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VOSD Podcast: The Differences Between Two Dems Running to Represent District 8

Vivian Moreno and Antonio Martinez are vying to represent District 8, which covers the city’s southern neighborhoods, on the City Council. Andrew Keatts, Sara Libby and Scott Lewis parse the two candidates’ takes on some of the biggest issues in the district and pinpoint where they differ.

Vivian Moreno (left) and Antonio Martinez (right) are running to represent District 8 on the San Diego City Council. / Photos by Adriana Heldiz

A City Council seat is up for grabs in District 8.

Councilman David Alvarez is termed out, and two Democrats are vying to replace him.

Vivian Moreno is Alvarez’s community representative. Her opponent Antonio Martinez is a San Ysidro School District school board member who works at a community health clinic in Nestor. Both say they they’re ready to take on the biggest issues impacting city’s southern neighborhoods – Barrio Logan, Greater Logan Heights, San Ysidro and Otay Mesa.

Moreno and Martinez don’t differ much on most major policy issues. Both are liberal Democrats. But on this week’s podcast, hosts Andrew Keatts, Sara Libby and Scott Lewis parse the two candidates’ takes on some of the biggest issues in the district and pinpoint where they differ.

One hot topic in District 8 is the future of Barrio Logan’s community plan. Community plans spell out what type of building can happen and where. There’s long been a rift between the residents of Barrio Logan and the shipbuilding industry operating there. Residents say the businesses pollute and need to stop operating so closely to homes. The industry wants to stay put.

Neither candidate had clear ideas on whether a compromise between the two sides is possible, or how the issue might be resolved.

Both candidates said they are upset about homelessness and how much of the burden to shelter homeless people has fallen on their district. Moreno, though, is more of a vocal supporter of building a lot more housing. It seems like one area where she would really stand out – she was endorsed by the new YIMBY Democrats, who advocate for building more dense housing.

Another area where the candidates diverged was on vacation rentals. Moreno didn’t say much about the city’s new vacation rental regulations. In contrast, Martinez supports strict regulations on vacation rentals.

One more notable difference: the labor groups backing the candidates. The splintered support is the result of a long-running rivalry that was renewed back when Alravez ran for the seat. Moreno has the endorsement of the San Diego Municipal Employees Association. Martinez landed the endorsement this week of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council. SEIU Local 221, the union of mostly county employees, also endorsed Martinez.

Correction: An earlier version of this post included an incorrect endorsement for Moreno. We also updated the post to include the endorsement of SEIU Local 221 for Martinez.

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