By Tina Rynberg and Jeff Benesch
Cory Briggs, an influential, and some would say controversial, thorn in the side of developers, hoteliers and local government, has thrown his hat into the ring in the San Diego mayoral race.
On Wednesday, March 6, Briggs returns to the La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club where he has proven to be a popular advocate of open government, environmental protection and women’s rights. Briggs has decided to run on a platform that includes fighting Mayor Kevin Faulkner’s initiative to waive height restrictions and other regulations for housing developments near transit centers. Framed to help San Diego meet its Climate Action Plan goals by building dense housing near public transit, therefore reducing the reliance on cars, Briggs thinks it’s all just a favor for the Republican mayor’s developer friends and supporters.
So where does this put conscientious developers that truly are building and planning units to provide access for first-time homebuyers to buy affordable housing? What about the fact that a majority of San Diegans cannot afford to purchase housing within acceptable commuting distance to their jobs? What about the many progressive politicians that are listing affordable housing, public transit and climate action goals near the top of their campaign promises?
These questions and more will be discussed by Briggs, and Ginger Hitzke, president of Hitzke Development, a real estate development company specializing in in-fill, redevelopment, transit-oriented, mixed-use, eco-friendly affordable housing. Hitzke has her own affordable housing story, and her past experiences have shaped her current opinions, as well as her career goals, philanthropy, interests and many accomplishments.
La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club meets the first Wednesday of each month at the La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Drive, La Mesa. Meetings start at 6:30 p.m. For more information, visit lamesafoothillsdemcoraticclub.com.
—Tina Rynberg is president and Jeff Benesch is vice president of programming of La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club.