By Megan Burks
Katherine Eaton announced this morning in an email to supporters and media she is withdrawing her candidacy for the District 9 City Council seat. Araceli Martinez also told Speak City Heights she is no longer running for the position, but did not say why.
Eaton, an Azalea Park resident and member of the City Heights Redevelopment Project Area Committee, said in an email she is pulling out of the race to support Georgette Gómez.
Gómez served with Eaton on the redevelopment committee and is well-connected to nonprofit work in City Heights. She works for the Environmental Health Coalition, which addresses neighborhood and home pollutants, and has been involved with the California Endowment’s Building Healthy Communities initiative.
It seems Eaton is clearing the way to improve the neighborhood’s chances of electing a minority to office–Gómez is Latina. City Heights was recently drawn out of District 3 so a new, ninth district could more easily elect a minority representative. The new district is about 50 percent Latino and home to many refugees.
“The work to do in District 9 is a rigorous get out the vote initiative that will galvanize the larger populace of City Heights, so that a role is carved for candidates reflective of and who will be accountable to our community’s priorities,” Eaton wrote.
According to Speak City Heights partner voiceofsandiego.org, San Diego’s representatives, judges and top law enforcement officials are still predominantly white despite growing diversity. That’s, in part, because San Diego’s most diverse group is made up of those under age 18 and unable to vote.
Current District 7 Councilwoman Marti Emerald remains in the race. She has a strong base of supporters in the College Area and Rolando, which were also drawn into the new district. She typically votes with current City Heights representative Todd Gloria, has been visible in the neighborhood and is considered labor-friendly.
|I want to take a moment to thank my supporters for their encouragement of my candidacy as city council member for San Diego’s District 9. The call to emerge as a candidate was strengthened by those who recognized the value of grassroots representation; leaders who are as connected to the solutions of our communities as our neighbors are. Perhaps, more importantly, is the fact that as a newly drawn city council district we begin the formation of our regional identity in 2012, with City Heights at its core.
First and foremost, the work to do in District 9 is a rigorous get out the vote initiative that will galvanize the larger populace of City Heights, so that a role is carved for candidates reflective of and who will be accountable to our community’s priorities. This will be the precedent setting key to delivering solutions responsive to our educational, economic and environmental needs. That is why, after careful consideration, I have chosen to withdraw my candidacy for District 9 City Council and support Georgette Gomez.
I believe through Georgette’s leadership and our active participation we can advance community development opportunities, strengthen local business and improve the quality of public education in District 9. I hope you will join me in the campaign to elect Georgette Gomez for District 9 San Diego City Council 2012.
[Disclosure: Speak City Heights is funded by The California Endowment but operates as an independent, nonpartisan news collaborative.]