By Mitz Lee

There is a reason why election to the City Council is by district and non-partisan. It is because neighborhood roots matter.

The citizens of San Diego established a City Council to ensure they would have the necessary infrastructure for a good quality of life to live, to work, relax, and raise their families. The writers of the election code sought to ensure that council members are driven by neither special interests nor party ideology but by an understanding and appreciation of the needs, priorities and values of the people they represent.

Mitz Lee files papers for the City Council race. Campaign photo

Instead, San Diego has built up a backlog of neighborhood repairs estimated to cost more than $1 billion. This includes pothole-filled streets, water mains that break on a regular basis, city facilities that are in disrepair, parks that are not maintained, sidewalks that are cracked, streetlights that are missing, libraries that have been neglected, recreation and senior centers that have been ignored, and a multitude of other parts of neighborhood infrastructure that are falling apart.

Too often we have been told that there is no money to address the shortfalls that directly impact our great neighborhoods. On the other hand, downtown has received an abundance of city resources over the last two decades.

It is time we put our neighborhoods first and “get back to basics” by fully funding police, fire and emergency services; fixing potholes and streets; opening libraries and parks; and ensuring San Diego enjoys an economy and environment that allows its residents to thrive.

A council member is also the voice, as well as the eyes and ears, of the community at City Hall. Faithfully representing your constituents requires knowing your district. The council member must work in partnership with people in the community to help define and chart its future and to ensure development is in accordance with their needs, priorities and neighborhood values. The council member must translate this vision into deeds and programs that are actionable today.

Having lived and worked in District 6 for 30 years, I have deep roots here, and as the U-T San Diego stated, I know District 6 “inside-out.” I have devoted my life to serving our community and have a record of bringing people together to get things done.

While on the school board, I was a strong voice for students and families, fiscal restraint and accountability. I strengthened the district’s fraud investigation capability and balanced billion-dollar budgets protecting taxpayers. My work to improve the school district’s science program was recognized in a front-page article in the Wall Street Journal.

My supporters are not city hall lobbyists. They are neighborhood and community leaders, grassroots supporters, moms and dads, retirees and other wonderful people that worked with me in the past and helped win battles for better schools, balanced budgets, fair redistricting and accountable government. I am honored and proud to have them by my side in this election campaign. I’m excited, energized and ready to keep fighting for our neighborhoods in the City Council.

I am Mitz Lee, candidate for City Council, asking for your vote on June 3.

Mitz Lee is a former trustee of the San Diego Board of Education and currently serves on the San Diego Human Relations Commission. She has lived and worked in District 6 for 30 years, raising two sons who are now college graduates.

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