San Diego mayoral candidates face off in debate

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SAN DIEGO – Less than a year away from San Diego voting for a new mayor, three candidates took the stage Monday night at a forum hosted by SDSU College Democrats to discuss topics impacting college-aged kids.

“Affordable housing is probably my No. 1 issue on this election,” said Keith Warren, a recent graduate who attended.

“My friends were texting me asking me to ask about affordable housing,” said SDSU Junior Candace Poon.

It’s a topic all three candidates were prepared for.

“Our city clearly knows how to build luxury housing,” said Assemblymember Todd Gloria. “We have built a fair amount of low income housing. My focus and concern is the people who work extremely hard but don’t earn enough to make market housing, but earn too much to qualify for assistive programs.”

“First thing as Mayor, I want to clamp down on short-term vacation rentals which have taken 16,000 units away from San Diegans,” said Councilwoman  Barbara Bry.

The third candidate, Tasha Williamson, a community activist, argued that college tuition should be free, and that more affordable housing should be built not just for students, but for people fighting to get off the streets.

“I know what it’s like to live on the streets,” Williamson said. “I lived in a car with my autistic son understanding that there were a big gaping holes in programs.”

The three candidates touched on a handful of other issues including immigration, police pay and recruiting, transportation, and environmental concerns. A new Mayor will take office next year since Mayor Kevin Faulconer has reached his term limit.

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