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'It’s a Beach Community But We Could Use a Facelift': Voices of the Voters in Pacific Beach and Ocean Beach

The Mission Beach Women’s Club served as a polling place on Election Day. / Photo by Kayla Jimenez

Voters in Pacific Beach and Ocean Beach went to the polls Tuesday to weigh in on the District 2 City Council race – and, by extension, vacation rentals – as well as the future of Mission Valley. One common theme that came up a lot: lingering confusion on the plans to remake the Chargers Stadium site.

Roberta Robledo Ardalani, a Pacific Beach native, said while she and her husband often vote the same way, they filled in different bubbles when it came to the plans for the former Qualcomm Stadium, Measures E and G.

Roberta Robledo Ardalani, a longtime resident of Pacific Beach, said she brings her daughter to the polls to teach her civic duty. This year she voted at the Pacific Beach Taylor Branch Library. / Photo by Kayla Jimenez

“I was least informed about SoccerCity and SDSU West,” she said. “There was so much confusion about it. I was concerned there wasn’t enough research done for it and it felt kind of rushed. It seemed like competing interests.”

Mark Bath of Mission Beach said he voted no on both E and G.

Mission Beach resident Mark Bath, who voted for Lorie Zapf, sits in the courtyard of the Mission Beach Woman’s Club. / Photo by Kayla Jimenez

“There were lots of promises, but the language behind the initiatives didn’t guarantee that that’s what would happen,’ he said. “They both sound good, but when you really look at it, there’s no guarantee that any of it will actually happen.”

Sam Nour of Ocean Beach said he voted against both measures, but his friends who live east of the coastal area support development on the site.

Sam Nour rode his bike to the Ocean Beach Branch Library to drop off his mail-in ballot on Tuesday morning. / Photo by Kayla Jimenez

“I did not see any convincing evidence that this is going to be something that impacts the public,” he said. “I like the idea of certain things coming, but there’s already a stadium there. There’s people out here really, really suffering and a lot of that money can go to other things.”

Paige Ferguson of Mission Beach also said she voted against both measures because she thinks the city should lease the land rather than sell it.

In the tight District 2 City Council race, voters I spoke with were split on whether Republican City Councilwoman Lorie Zapf deserved another term.

Ferguson said she voted for Zapf because of her views on vacation rentals in the neighborhood.

“It’s a big deal for me to try to prevent people from just having Airbnbs everywhere, and she’s been a pretty good supporter of that,” she said.

Paige Ferguson voted for incumbent Lorie Zapf at the Mission Beach Women’s Club. / Photo by Kayla Jimenez

Nour said he voted for Democrat Jen Campbell because he noticed a lack of infrastructure solutions in the community under Zapf’s leadership.

“There’s a lot of projects I feel that should have happened a lot of sooner that have been discussed here, especially in terms of renovation,” he said. “Simple renovation — like getting stairs down to beach walkways. Some really, really bad kind of infrastructure things. It’s a beach community but we could use a facelift here and there.”

Voters I spoke with said they weren’t just motivated to come out to the polls because of a particular race or measure, but because the political climate made it seem vital that their views were being represented.

“A lot of rhetoric in politics right now is really bad right now,” Ferguson said. “And I think it’s important everyone votes and make sure that you’re voting for stuff you want to happen and that even at the local level people are representing you.”

Eleanor Mudac, 20, a first-time voter and resident of Point Loma, said it was important for her to vote because she hears a lot of people say one vote doesn’t make a difference.

Eleanor Muduc, a first-time voter, stands outside the Korean United Presbyterian Church in Point Loma. / Photo by Kayla Jimenez

“But that’s like a million people saying one vote doesn’t make a difference, and that’s then a million votes,” she said. “I just think it’s really important for people to vote if they really want change.”

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