Who am I?

David grew up in the Barrio Logan community of San Diego, the neighborhood on the working waterfront that has a long history of environmental degradation, high asthma rates, and industrial-residential conflicts. His childhood home was next door to a chrome plating plant, and he can trace his own asthma to the constant presence of toxic emissions affecting residential areas, school playgrounds, and parks. That experience sharpened his resolve to fight for social, economic and environmental justice.
He began his career as a social services worker and after-school teacher. In 2003, he was selected to the prestigious Capitol Fellows Program where he served under the Secretary of State.

After his return to San Diego, David worked with a company that develops new opportunities for affordable housing, and before his own election, proudly represented Senator Denise Moreno Ducheny as a community liaison to the neighborhoods he grew up in.

Elected to the San Diego City Council in 2010, David is currently Chair of the Natural Resources & Culture Committee, Vice Chair of the Land Use & Housing Committee, and a member of the Budget & Finance and Rules & Economic Development Committees. Additionally, he serves on the San Diego Regional County Airport Authority, San Diego Metropolitan Transit System Board, SANDAG Borders Committee, Otay Valley Regional Park Policy Committee, Bayshore Bikeway Working Group, and the San Diego Consortium Policy Board. He most recently joined the Board of Director’s for Local Progress: a national municipal policy network.

During his first term in office, Councilmember Alvarez has been successful in restoring vital city services in each year of the City’s budget, including funding increases for libraries, police and fire protection, more street repair and installation of street lights and reducing retiree health care costs.

Other proud achievements include the development of the long-awaited COMM22, a mixed-use, mixed-income, transit-oriented development located at Commercial and 22nd Streets in San Diego; a proposed Property Value Protection Ordinance, which fines banks to cover cleanup costs when they fail to maintain foreclosed properties; implementing the Citygate Plan to address deficiencies in the City’s fire safety levels; revitalizing commercial corridor’s in District Eight as well as focusing on economic growth and development with new projects such as Mercado del Barrio center in Barrio Logan and the expansion of Las Americas shopping facility near the border. Cross border relationships are important to David as he continues to foster working relationships with his counterparts across the border.

Why am I running?

"Born and raised in the heart of San Diego, I attended public schools, graduated from college and gave back to my community, working as an educator and a social worker."

"Now I serve on the City Council, where I've worked for all of San Diego's neighborhoods, pushing to increase funding for police and fire fighters, working to repair roads, improve our schools and leading efforts to cut red tape for small businesses."

"As Mayor of San Diego, I will walk the walk and focus on helping San Diegans in every part of the city, working to ensure that all residents have good schools, that we have healthy, safe and vibrant neighborhoods that attract new businesses and and that we make it easier for companies to grow and create good jobs."

Currently, Councilmember Alvarez is shepherding several important community plan updates to completion including Barrio Logan, Otay Mesa and San Ysidro. Plans are also underway to update the Southeast San Diego Community Plan, which will result in all community plans updated in District Eight. These plans will guide growth and redevelopment in these communities as well as balance the needs of the residents. He recently spearheaded the creation of the Barrio Logan Maintenance Assessment District which will provide much needed maintenance and services for the community of Barrio Logan.

Proudly serving as the Border Councilmember, his focus on the southern portion of his district has resulted in the approval of the Cross Border Facility which will increase new air travel opportunities, ease border waits – a critical need for the region, and act as a model for international cooperation. Councilmember Alvarez has also championed significant infrastructure needs in the district, directing millions of dollars to build a missing San Ysidro road segment serving high school students, develop the San Ysidro Library, improve Palm Avenue, design Pond 20 improvements in Otay Mesa, as well as many other vital projects.

Councilmember Alvarez is a strong advocate and supporter of arts in education and helped to restore the Penny for the Arts proposal, which doubles the City’s arts and culture funding over the next five years. His goal is to provide 1 million for education in arts by 2017. David also supports and provides funding for numerous community organization and non-profit programs, as well as local cultural festivals and events.

My Goals

Invest in Neighborhoods
Many neighborhoods have been left behind due to a lack of private and public investment. We now have the opportunity, through smart planning, careful prioritization of resources, and a better long-term vision, to rebuild San Diego into the world-class city we know it can be.

Put San DIegans Back to Work
San Diego’s economy suffered during the recession, and the road back to prosperity will require public and private partnerships that invest in industries that add middle class jobs. We must also encourage and support entrepreneurs and small businesses that make up the backbone of San Diego’s economy.

Support Our Schools
David Alvarez is a product of San Diego public schools. He was the first in his family to graduate from high school and go onto college and graduate. There is so much potential in our school system to change the future for our kids. Much like the City, the school district has been through a very rough budget situation during the past few years. As a former after-school teacher and mentor, Councilmember Alvarez knows how important it is to invest in education and after-school programs.

My DFA Values

Engage and listen to residents: The City has been able to pave hundreds of miles of roads over the last few years and repair many facilities that had deteriorated to unacceptable levels. However, we still have a long way to go and it is critical that as we move forward in addressing our infrastructure needs, City Hall engages with the public regarding what projects should have the highest priority. As Mayor, David Alvarez will ensure a fair, open, and transparent process to listen to resident needs.

Hold slumlords accountable with proven enforcement tools: San Diegans have pride in their communities, but when a bad property owner chooses to neglect his or her property, it impacts the whole neighborhood, driving down property values and often attracting crime which leads to increased police presence and additional costs to all taxpayers. Housing code violations affect renters, homeowners, and businesses across the city. Renters’ health suffers when slumlords fail to make properties habitable and safe. As mayor, David Alvarez will initiate a proactive Neighborhood Protection Program to routinely inspect all multifamily residential rental properties to ensure housing code
compliance. Slumlords who refuse to bring their properties up to acceptable standards will be held accountable by two new programs: a rent escrow account program that redirects tenants’ rent money to be used to repair slum properties and a receivership program where the City can seek a receivership over problem properties from the courts.

Invest in fire and emergency service upgrades to keep San Diegans safe: In 2011 the City paid independent experts to evaluate the City’s fire and emergency preparedness. What the experts found was troubling: critical gaps in coverage that make it impossible for our fire and life safety personnel to meet acceptable response times (7:30 minute response 90% of the time). The only way to solve this problem is to invest in critically needed equipment and personnel, including 19 new fire stations across San Diego.

Prevent and alleviate the root causes of homelessness: We must get more serious about addressing the many root causes of homelessness. We must improve mental health services, improve resources to help victims of domestic violence, we must invest in better transition support for veterans in our region, and we must ensure that there are enough quality jobs to keep people off the streets in the first place or help them get back on their feet when circumstances cause them to stumble. As our economy continues to recover, resources must be invested in these critical areas of prevention and alleviation. As mayor, I will continue working with stakeholders to improve wraparound support and prevention services.

My Campaign is People Powered!

Over the years the City has again and again cut back room deals with downtown special interests - making decisions that affect all of us out of public view. Making decisions without a healthy public dialogue and community input is counterproductive to moving forward as a strong, open and transparent City. When all members of our community have a voice in city decisions, we have a government that includes and works for everyone - not just the few.

Voice support


  • Susan Levine, CA
  • Xochitl Miramontes
  • Karen Bernal, CA
  • Roland Bleu, CA
  • Mary pat Changus, CA
  • Allison Richards
  • Trinh Le
  • Ken Fowler
  • Jennifer Spencer, CA
  • Ben Reidenbaugh
...and 168 more.

About the Endorsement Process

The driving force behind all DFA endorsements is our members. We recognize that all politics is local and that what is considered progressive in Los Angeles may be very different from what's considered progressive in Louisville. For this reason, DFA does not have a litmus test of specific progressive positions for which a candidate must stand. Our endorsement is heavily weighted based on these questions:

• Will the candidate move the progressive movement forward in their community?
• Does the candidate have substantial support from our local members?
• Do the candidate's positions and policies fit into the broader progressive movement?
• Is the campaign people-powered and the candidate working to win?

If you have questions, or want to let us know about a candidate in your neighborhood, please call us at (802) 651-3200 or email us at [email protected] .

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