Todd Gloria Loves District 3 – As Long as It’s Convenient

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Guest Commentary
by Dave McCulloch

Just the other day, Todd Gloria – City Councilmember for District 3 – tweeted his “heart is in D3 and [he] intends to serve it, in whatever configuration, for another four years.”  While this sounds noble, I question his motives.

Today, Gloria lives in Cherokee Point, a small area of City Heights that was recently (and preliminarily) redistricted out of District 3 and put into San Diego’s newest District – 9. Inconvenient for him, this also means that he would have to move further west to be able to run again in the newly-reshaped District 3 for the 2012 election, an area where he enjoys a good amount of easy support.

Yet his tweet signals a disturbing trend: no longer is it about the community. No longer is it about the neighborhoods in his district – it’s about convenience, “in whatever configuration” it may be. Call me naïve or altruistic, but I do enjoy the thought that our representatives genuinely care about our neighborhoods and communities and less about the convenience of location.

As a homeowner in District 3, I have a stake in my community; ensuring that it stays amazing is something I care deeply about, both because I simply love the area in which I live, but also because the quality of my neighborhood directly impacts me financially. I’m involved in local groups, organizations and causes because it’s my neighborhood, it’s my home and it’s where I lay my head at night when I sleep. Todd Gloria has his stake in City Heights – until it’s no longer beneficial.

What does that tell me about his care for my community? It’s a matter of convenience.

We hope our representatives don’t make decisions based solely on how easy it might be to accomplish a goal; if that were the case, we would never have gone to the moon. Should Todd Gloria end up moving, it may be an easy choice for him – he’s popular in a district in which he no longer lives – but it certainly makes me question his motives.

It’s true – if he did not move, Gloria could potentially be unemployed come 2012. And, while we all know many who are still unemployed and looking for work in our communities, we deserve a representative who is a part of our communities. We deserve a representative who lives where we do – not someone who sees an opening, moves, and then runs.

Dave McCulloch is a resident of Hillcrest, a neighborhood of today’s District 3 – and tomorrow’s.

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Comments 16

  1. If there’s one thing San Diego will never abide, it’s people who move a few blocks. But congrats on your campaign’s soft launch.

  2. The only thing I failed to mention in the article was one thing:

    It should be required to live in one’s district for *at least* a year before an election.

  3. I have no clue how you came to these conclusions. To me, “in whatever configuration” means it’s PURELY about the neighborhoods in his district. The man is willing to move his home to continue representing the people he’s been dedicated to, and worked tirelessly for, for the past 4 years. That doesn’t mean WANTS to move. But he doesn’t have any choice if he wants to keep his job. It’s disingenuous to imply that someone isn’t dedicated to their home community because they have to move out of it to keep their job–or that they’re not committed to their job because they have to move in order to keep it–a move that isn’t even their choice–especially in this economy. Yes, even politicians are affected by our horrible economy and have bills to pay. ANY district would be lucky to have Councilmember Gloria representing.

  4. What a pinhead. This guest columnist is wrong and wrong. While I do not always agree with Todd, I must say he genuinely cares about District 3. If he wants to continue to serve there and he moves into the district, why not let the people decide. It is one thing where some choses to move and another when the political lines are re-drawn. That is not his fault and if he moves to serve the district he has lived and supported, let him.

    The one year residency requirement should not apply here, This type of statement shows that someone is afraid to face him in an election. I live in City Heights and I will be in the new district and will miss Todd. I really hope he does move to support the heart of District 3.

    Just because you live in the heart of the gayborhood does not make you a better stakeholder. This article alone shows you are afraid of him and I am more than confident your record is nil compared to his. You are not a leader in my book. A true leader will welcome any challenger, present their record, and let the people decide. Wanna be politicians, gotta love them – NOT.

  5. I’ve been a constituent of D3 since 2006. I met Gloria when he was canvassing door-to-door during his city council campaign. Considering his background as an SD native and the experience gained working for various other public officials, Todd Gloria understands the needs of our city. I voted for him because he is articulate, shows discernment, and works tirelessly for the entire community (particularly those constituents he represents in District 3). Gloria would be an excellent man to represent a reconfigured D3 or even a new District 9, should he decide to run for that seat in the next election. Gloria has worked for all residents of the district – not just the wealthy snobs in Hillcrest and Banker’s Hill.
    The fact that Todd Gloria hinted he could move a few blocks west to remain eligible to continue representing District 3, I believe, demonstrates commitment and integrity. I can think of another city councilman who represents far more conspicuous carpet-baggery.
    McCulloch seems to have no idea how luck he is to have Gloria representing him at City Hall.

  6. We have every confidence that Mr. McCulloch could care little about being called sophomoric names, but we would remind commenters that this venue is about policy and political debate. Yes, as we have noted numerous times, it is much easier to call someone a name when differing with them than engaging in real discourse. But, it would take someone with intelligence higher than a pinhead to do so. We would ask that commenters at least try.

  7. I sense that these comments are not from people who normally comment on Rostra. I’m surprised that Todd Gloria cares so much about Rostra that he is sending his people to comment here.

  8. Length-of-residency requirement sounds awesome. Let’s also institute a poll tax and a literacy test. Can we also restrict running for office to men? Maybe just the ones who own property… renters obviously aren’t committed enough.

    I don’t know if you’re purposely trying to disenfranchise people or you just don’t know what you’re talking about, but I do hope that your eventual platform is about Todd Gloria’s address and insisting that poor people don’t deserve a voice in democracy.

  9. Lucas: Non-starter. Length of residency requirements are common-place nationwide. In fact, they exist in SD as well, at 30 days. Now, we can have a debate over whether one year is extreme, but comparing residency requirements to poll taxes and literacy tests is not a comparison at all. Unless you want to compare the requirement of citizenship to a poll tax, which I’m sure you don’t.

  10. Well Todd Gloria did not send me here. I am a registered Republican. But I am not a puppet of a party. I vote based on the issue and candidate. I want someone with passion and conviction. While Rostra may want to be a right wing voice, well people who respect a person or a politician regardless of party should stand up and be heard. So my insider friends, I am a voice and I am going to be heard and I am not a puppet of anyone including Todd. I just thought what the guest columnist had to say was selfish and a political move and he needed to be called on it.

    Well Thor’s Assistant chimed in. I am a man who calls it like I see it. I am honest and forthcoming. I really don’t care what you think Mr McCulloch thinks. My comments were about someone’s thoughts and potential policy. Small minded and self serving to me means pinhead. It is no worse than being called a liberal or a party of “NO”.

    Why can’t we just let the best person win. Why do we have to penalize someone that has done our district well. Why penalize someone that is moved out of the district by redistricting and not by his or her own choice. If his heart is in District 3, let him live and serve there. Me I live in the future 9, I would love to have him there, but he is a better fit for 3. If this was a veiled attempt by Dave, shame on him. Man up and run against him. But I fear he knows he would get boat raced by Todd.

    This Republican is done for now, But guess what, I have found this and I will be back.

  11. Greg, I’m sorry but one month is a substantively different matter because it’s the bare minimum residency — that is, residency cannot exist in less than a month. If you or Mr. McCulloch want to argue that residency cannot be established in less than a year, I think the public would find that fascinating.

    When you start going beyond one month, you’re actively disenfranchising people who do not or cannot stay at the same address for a wide variety of reasons, the majority of which are related to economic instability and income levels.

    In San Diego, that has the added impact of disproportionately disenfranchising young people, minorities, and the less educated. It may be incidental, but it is also substantive.

  12. I’m actually not arguing for one year. As I wrote, “we can have a debate over whether one year is extreme…”

    I was taking issue with you comparing length of residency requirements to restrictions that are UNCONSTITUTIONAL. You will find many municipalities throughout the country have one year requirements, with the courts finding them lawful. Do a search if you don’t believe it.

    You may disagree with such requirements in those areas, but they are local policy decisions. I’m not even disagreeing with you that such policies may disenfranchise many, I’m just saying they have been ruled constitutional in many cases.

    The ultimate residency requirement is 14 years, by the way, the amount of time the POTUS must live in the U.S. Not a comparison to local office, of course, but to point out the constitutionality in that situation.

  13. apparently the “wrath of mcculloch” is short-lived. it’s been “crickets” since he got smacked down…

  14. Mr. Quient’s defense of Todd Gloria’s motives in the redistricting shuffle is really sweet. A lot of folks overlook a lot of things (edited out by Rostra admin — it was clear cut personal innuendo, irrelevant to the rest of this comment, in our opinion). But here are some facts about Todd Gloria’s behavior during the redistricting process.
    Todd Gloria lives in City Heights. The LGBT Redistricting Task Force suggested a new district 3 that did not include City Heights. A new ethnic empowerment district was to be created which centered around City Heights. A new LGBT district was to be created that most folks agreed strengthened the LGBT community of interest. Todd did not like this, because Todd did not want to move out of City Heights.
    On May 2, 2011, Todd spoke at the District 3 Redistricting Commission hearing. According to one journalist, he “pretty much begged the commissioners to keep District 3 largely intact. He then sat through a sizable contingent from the LGBT [and Latino] community who asked that City Heights be removed from the district and the boundaries be moved west to include the more gay-marriage-friendly communities of Mission Hills, Bankers Hill, Middletown, Little Italy and a portion of Downtown.”
    Todd’s performance at the hearing raised a few eyebrows. It just wasn’t seemly for a council member to so overtly try to manipulate a process that had been specifically removed from City Council jurisdiction to avoid exactly what Todd was trying to do.
    So, Todd needed someone to say the things appearances, and the law, precluded him from saying. Nicole Murray Ramirez had done some dirty work for Todd in the past. Remember Claw gate? Nicole undertook an impassioned defense of City Heights and the statistical diversity it brings to D3. This newfound infatuation for all things City Heights had a few folks scratching their heads because it was just last August that Nicole called City Heights a “seedy ghetto” , observed many of the inhabitants had “little to no table manners” and suggested a good restaurant “if you can get beyond the cultural environment”.
    But Todd does not want to move. So, Nicole lashes out at the “mostly all white so-called LGBT Redistricting Committee … [who] would kick out our first gay person of color elected to the city council.”
    Nicole gets nastier in his column in the LGBT Weekly. Phone calls are made to task force member’s employers and civic organizations. Task force members are investigated. Character assassination is the order of the day.
    Then, as quickly as the attacks started, they stop. Nicole disappears from the redistricting stage.
    Heads up Mr. Quient: fact check.
    The new Congressional redistricting lines were leaked around June 5, 2011. Nicole immediately stops talking about his new found affection for City Heights. Here’s why. Every single square inch of City Heights, including the part that used to be in Susan Davis’ Congressional District, is now in the new 51st Congressional District. That district has been already been claimed by more powerful Democrat politicians. It will not be available for a long time. City Heights has just become pretty much irrelevant to Todd’s well known ambition to run for Susan Davis’ congressional seat.
    The new district 3 is now much more useful (and wealthier). Todd’s political ambitions dictate that he start currying favor with voters in the newly designed District 3. Quicker than you can say “lily-white works for me”, the city council district that Nicole has been excoriating as “lily white” and elitist, is looking pretty darn good. Suddenly, because it suits his political ambitions, Todd wants to move. Todd’s self-serving admonitions that “the strength of D3 is its diversity” are ringing a little hollow at this point. 46% of the current D3 will be in the new D9. The new D9 will be the most diverse district in the city. But D9 does not have is any real usefulness to Todd’s congressional ambitions. Todd is moving on out.
    Political observers have been shaking their heads for months at how Todd has behaved in this process. You may be OK with this, you may not. But don’t think for an instant that Todd’s moving or staying is dictated by anything other than his own personal ambition.

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