Press Release (ePRNews.com) - SAN DIEGO - Feb 21, 2020 - The Greater San Diego Association of REALTORS® (SDAR) and San Diego MLS hosted back-to-back candidate debates on Friday, February 14, for California’s 50th Congressional District and City of San Diego Mayor. Matthew T. Hall, editorial and opinion director at The San Diego Union-Tribune, moderated both debates in front of a packed room of more than 300 people at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel.
With the March 3 primary election less than two weeks away, candidates in these high-profile races discussed issues most important to their region, including the housing supply, rent control and homelessness.
“The Greater San Diego Association of REALTORS® (SDAR) and SDMLS are proud to have supported this dialogue on the most important issues to our region, including housing and other property issues that are relevant to our members,” said SDAR president Carla Farley.
The first debate featured 50th Congressional District candidates Ammar Campa-Najjar (D), business owner/educator; Carl DeMaio (R), taxpayer advocate/businessman; Helen Horvath (NPP), organizational development consultant; Darrell Issa (R), retired Congress member; Brian Jones (R), State Senator/business owner; and Henry Alan Ota (NPP), loan officer/farmer. The hot topics of discussion included affordable housing, homelessness, and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
The moderator, Hall, opened the debate with the question, “What would you do to make housing more affordable for the residents of your district, and be specific?”
DeMaio responded, “We’re going to fight Prop. 13’s repeal, the split roll initiative, in November, because don’t make any mistake about it, they’re not going to end with the industrial commercial properties — they’re coming after single-family residential. I’m going to fight to make sure that our gas tax money is actually going to the infrastructure to support housing projects. I’m going to look at the effort as I’m doing right now against restrictive mandates being imposed at the ballot box by defeating Measure A on this year’s ballot.”
After the Congressional candidate debate, the City of San Diego’s nonpartisan Mayoral candidates Gita Appelbaum, family nurse practitioner; Barbara Bry, City Councilmember/businesswoman; Todd Gloria, Assemblymember; Rich Riel, computer tech; Scott Sherman, City Councilmember; and Tasha Williamson, nonprofit executive, took the stage in the second debate on issues surrounding middle-income housing, law enforcement’s role in homelessness, rent control and Measure A.
Hall asked the candidates about what they would do beyond attempting to build more units to make homes and apartments more affordable. Gloria said, “I think that what we can do is legislation I’ve done at the state level, is to go from a per-unit basis of assessing the fees to a square-footage basis. I think that would incentivize the construction of more homes that are smaller.”
Hall then brought up the controversial Measure A, a ballot measure that would require an election to approve housing developments of six or more units in parts of San Diego County. Bry was undecided while Gloria declared he opposes Measure A. Sherman weighed in, saying he was absolutely against the measure, and added, “We have a housing crisis. We have a housing affordability crisis. And if you really want to put anything with six units or more in front of the voters to be approved, that’s just going to increase the cost even more. It doesn’t make any sense to me. It’s just going to increase costs on housing.”
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Greater San Diego Association of REALTORS