Barbara Bry

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Barbara Bry
Barbara Bry, Headshot.jpg
President Pro Tempore
of the San Diego City Council
Assumed office
December 12, 2017
MayorKevin Faulconer
Council PresidentMyrtle Cole
Georgette Gomez
Preceded byMark Kersey
Member of the
San Diego City Council
for the First District
Assumed office
December 12, 2016
Preceded bySherri Lightner
Personal details
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Neil Senturia
ResidenceLa Jolla, California
Alma materUniversity of Pennsylvania (BS)
Harvard University (MBA)

Barbara Bry is an American elected official in San Diego, California. She serves as a member of the San Diego City Council representing City Council District 1 and as President Pro Tempore of the City Council. The district includes the communities of Carmel Valley, Del Mar Heights, Del Mar Mesa, Pacific Highlands Ranch, La Jolla, Torrey Hills, Torrey Pines, University City, and the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) campus.[1]

On January 2, 2019, Bry announced that she would run for Mayor of San Diego in the 2020 election. In announcing her campaign, Bry touted her background in high tech and support for science, technology, and arts.[2][3] Bry has stated her top priorities as mayor would be the homelessness crisis, affordable housing, and fiscal responsibility.[4]

Early life and college[edit]

Born in a suburb of Philadelphia, Bry's parents divorced when she was just a child.[5][6] Her mother, Adelaide Bry went to work full-time for an advertising agency, where she was paid less than her male colleagues for the same work.[6][7] Bry has stated that her mother's experiences with sexism throughout her professional life inspired her to empower women through various causes and organizations she has founded.[6] Bry worked her way through college and grad school, becoming one of the first women to graduate from Harvard Business School with a Master of Business Administration.[8]

Later life and career[edit]

After graduating, Bry would work as a journalist first with the The Sacramento Bee and later with the Los Angeles Times. During her time as a journalist, Bry experienced firsthand the sexism her mother dealt with. For instance, when she was pregnant with her first child, the Times refused to let her work part-time, and she had to quit.[6]

After quitting the LA Times, Bry spent more than 30 years helping to start companies and create jobs, first working at CONNECT and then becoming an entrepreneur and serving on the initial management team of companies like[9]

In 1998, inspired by her personal struggles in the business world, as well as the struggles of her mother, Bry founded Athena San Diego, an organization for women in the tech and life sciences community.[6] At the time, no such organization existed when the industry was dominated by men. Athena now helps to empower and connect women in the STEM fields and boasts a membership of over 500 individuals.[10]

In 2008, Bry founded Run Women Run, as she was concerned that women were not equally represented in elected office on the local, state, and federal levels. Run Women Run is a nonpartisan organization that inspires, recruits, and trains qualified, pro-choice women to seek elected and appointed office.The organization supports and mentors candidates to lead the charge for reproductive rights and equal representation.[11]

Bry has actively been involved in the community since she moved to San Diego in 1978.[12] She has served as President of the Board of the Children's Museum of San Diego, as Vice Chair of the San Diego Jewish Community Foundation and on the board of Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest.[13]

San Diego City Council[edit]

The 2016 San Diego City Council election for District 1 featured an open seat since incumbent Sherri Lightner was ineligible to run due to term limits. Bry, a Democrat, was expected to run against Republican Ray Ellis and Democrat Joe LaCava to replace Lightner. However, LaCava announced that he had decided not to run in January 2016.[14] In March 2016, Bruce Lightner, husband to the incumbent Sherri Lightner, and Kyle Heiskala, a policy advisor on Sherri Lightner's City Council staff, pulled papers to run for the District 1 seat.[15]

Since no candidate received a majority of the votes in the June primary, Bry and Ellis were slated to advance to the November runoff election.[16] However, on August 12, 2016 Ellis announced that he would be withdrawing from the election.[17] Despite effectively conceding the race, Ellis's name still appeared on November ballot.[18] Bry was then elected to the City Council in November.

Bry has served as Council President Pro Tem since December 2017.[19] She has taken the lead on several key issues including short term vacation rentals,[20] dockless vehicles,[21] community choice energy,[22] and establishing the Workplace Equity Initiative.[6]

She has also been supportive of an inclusive, innovative economy, urging hiring decisions to be about what a person can do, not who they know or when and where they went to school.[23]

Major issues[edit]


One of the most pressing current issues in the City of San Diego is the ongoing housing crisis. Councilmember Bry has been active in local housing policy, supporting lowering fees and loosening parking requirements for housing developments.[24] Bry consistently positioned herself as an opponent of Short-term Vacation Rentals, which many economists have stated would exacerbate the current housing shortage.[25] Bry created a plan that prohibited absentee investors from purchasing residential homes with the sole intention of renting them out for short-term tenants.[25] Bry's proposal passed the City Council, but she later supported the effort to rescind the measure in order to make sure that Airbnb could not challenge the regulations with a 2020 ballot initiative.[26][27]Bry's decision was supported by nearly all of the organizations that supported her initial plan, as they all agreed that waiting would allow STVR opponents to discuss a newer, more robust ordinance and ensure big-monied interests couldn't influence a citywide ballot initiative.[26]


Since entering the City Council in late 2016, Councilmember Bry has been a dedicated voice for women's issues on the council, as she has continued her work that started with Rune Women Run and Athena San Diego. Particularly concerned with gender equity in the workplace, Bry called together the leaders of Athena, Run Women Run, and the Lawyer's Club (Women's Bar Association) to develop a strategy to achieve genuine workplace equity between the genders.[6] As a result of this collaboration, in 2018 Bry and her allies released the Workplace Equity Initiative.[28] The Workplace Equity Initiative aims to bring together men and women to promote pay equity, respectful workplace speech, language, and conduct.[29] In 2019, an Independent Auditor found that a gender wage gap existed among San Diego city employees.[30] In response to the report, Councilmember Bry reiterated her commitment to solving wage inequities and empowering women.[31]


In response to President Donald Trump's executive orders regarding immigration, particularly Executive Order 13769 and Executive Order 13767, Councilmember Bry spoke out against the Trump Administration's discriminatory immigration policies. Bry stated that "San Diego's cross-border relationships are vital to our culture and economy," further going on to say that "the President's executive orders regarding immigration would be destructive to our economy and San Diego families."[32] Bry characterized the President's actions as little more than political posturing.[32]

In 2018, Bry and her family volunteered at a border shelter for migrants and immigrants during the recent crisis of migrants from Central America.[33] Bry and her family shared Christmas dinner with those in the shelter, which was ran by the San Diego Rapid Response Network.[33]

Committee assignments[edit]

  • Budget and Government Efficiency Committee (Chair)
    • Budget Review Committee (Chair)
  • Economic Development and Intergovernmental Relations Committee
  • Environment Committee
  • Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods Committee (Vice Chair)
  • Rules Committee (Vice Chair)[34]

Electoral performance[edit]

The following are results from the 2016 San Diego City Council election.

San Diego City Council District 1 primary election, 2016[16]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Barbara Bry 18,559 48%
Republican Ray Ellis 12,982 34%
Republican Bruce D. Lightner 3,711 10%
Nonpartisan Kyle Heiskala 2,344 6%
Nonpartisan Louis A. Rodolico 707 2%
Total votes 38,303 100%
General election
Democratic Barbara Bry 38,470 65%
Republican Ray Ellis 20,305 35%
Total votes 58,775 100%

Personal life[edit]

Bry currently resides in La Jolla, and has lived in the San Diego community for over 35 years.[13] Bry is married to entrepreneur Neil Senturia. Their blended family includes four grown children, their spouses, and many grandchildren.[13] Bry is Jewish and a proud descendant of Jewish immigrants from Central Europe.[35]


  1. ^ "Communities | City of San Diego Official Website". Retrieved 2018-08-23.
  2. ^ City News Service (January 2, 2019). "Councilwoman Barbara Bry announces 2020 bid for San Diego mayor". Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  3. ^ Jennewein, Chris (January 3, 2019). "Barbara Bry Promises to Bring High Tech Experience to Mayor's Job". Times of San Diego. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  4. ^ Jennewein, Chris (2019-01-02). "Councilwoman Barbara Bry Makes 2020 San Diego Mayoral Run Official". Times of San Diego. Retrieved 2019-05-10.
  5. ^ Levitan, Corey. "Meet La Jollan and City Council member Barbara Bry". Retrieved 2019-05-07.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g "How I'm Empowering Women in the Workplace". San Diego Magazine. Retrieved 2019-05-07.
  7. ^ SDNN, Barbara Bry- (2010-03-02). "Bry: My mother's best lesson". San Diego Gay and Lesbian News. Retrieved 2019-05-09.
  8. ^ "San Diego Regional Chamber". SD Regional Chamber. Retrieved 2019-05-07.
  9. ^ "Barbara Bry for City Council 2016". Barbara Bry for City Council 2016. Retrieved 2018-08-23.
  10. ^ Fair, Karin. "About Athena". Retrieved 2018-08-23.
  11. ^ "About - Run Women Run". Run Women Run. Retrieved 2018-08-23.
  12. ^ Levitan, Corey. "Meet La Jollan and City Council member Barbara Bry". Retrieved 2019-05-07.
  13. ^ a b c "About Councilmember Barbara Bry". Retrieved 2019-05-07.
  14. ^ Srikrishnan, Maya (January 8, 2016). "Joe LaCava Bows Out of City Council Race". Voice of San Diego. Retrieved January 24, 2016.
  15. ^ Bowen, Andrew. "Lightner Staffer Moves To Enter District 1 City Council Race". KPBS Public Media. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  16. ^ a b "Election History - Council District 1" (PDF). City of San Diego. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  17. ^ Jenkins, Logan (August 12, 2016). "Ellis concedes council race to Bry". The San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved August 12, 2016.
  18. ^ Bowen, Andrew; Ruth, Brooke (August 12, 2016). "Ray Ellis Drops Out Of District 1 San Diego City Council Race". KPBS. Retrieved August 16, 2016.
  19. ^ Nguyen, Alexander (December 17, 2018). "City Council Re-Appoints Bry as Pro Tem, Approves Committee Rosters". Times of San Diego. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
  20. ^ BRY, BARBARA. "Why San Diego needs limits on vacation rentals". Retrieved 2018-08-23.
  21. ^ Garrick, David. "San Diego considering crackdown on dockless bikes, including fees, new rules". Retrieved 2018-08-23.
  22. ^ "You searched for "rayman khan" - Voice of San Diego". Voice of San Diego. Retrieved 2018-08-23.
  23. ^ SHEN, BARBARA BRY & JI. "How San Diego is growing local tech talent". Retrieved 2018-08-23.
  24. ^ Mackin-Solomon, Ashley. "Council member Bry reflects on 2018: Looks to focus on small business, climate change in 2019". Retrieved 2019-05-09.
  25. ^ a b
  26. ^ a b Levitan, Corey. "RESCISSION DECISION Why Council members Bry/Zapf split on rescinding short-term rental regulations in San Diego". Retrieved 2019-05-09.
  27. ^
  28. ^ Mackin-Solomon, Ashley. "La Jolla's Barbara Bry hosts second State of the District: Focuses on City efforts, public safety". Retrieved 2019-05-09.
  29. ^ "Initiatives - Lawyers Club of San Diego". Retrieved 2019-05-09.
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^ a b
  33. ^ a b
  34. ^ Office of the City Clerk
  35. ^ Levitan, Corey. "Meet La Jollan and City Council member Barbara Bry". Retrieved 2019-05-07.

External links[edit]