|36th Mayor of San Diego|
|Assumed office |
March 3, 2014
|Preceded by||Bob Filner|
|Member of San Diego City Council|
from the 2nd district
January 2006 – March 3, 2014
|Preceded by||Michael Zucchet|
|Succeeded by||Ed Harris|
Kevin Lee Faulconer
January 24, 1967
San Jose, California, U.S.
|Education||San Diego State University (BA)|
Kevin Lee Faulconer (born January 24, 1967) is the 36th and current mayor of San Diego, California. He was elected in a special election in February 2014 after the resignation of Bob Filner and served the balance of his predecessor's term, through the end of 2016. He was sworn in as mayor on March 3, 2014. On June 7, 2016, he won election to a full term.
Prior to his election as mayor, Faulconer served as a San Diego City Council member representing City Council District 2. He served on the council from January 2006 to March 2014, including two years as the council president pro tem, the number two leadership position on the council. He is a Republican, although local government positions are officially nonpartisan per California state law. San Diego is the largest city in the United States with a Republican mayor.
Life and career
Faulconer was born in San Jose, California and grew up in Oxnard, where he learned to speak Spanish in grade school. Graduating from San Diego State University with a bachelor's degree in political science in 1990, he was a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity, and served one year as Student Body President of Associated Students. He and his wife Katherine, a small business owner, live in Point Loma with their two children. Before running for office he was an executive with the public relations firm NCG Porter Novelli and volunteered on the Mission Bay Park Committee.
San Diego City Council
Faulconer ran in the 2002 city council election for district 2 but lost to Michael Zucchet in a close-fought election. After Zucchet resigned in 2005, a special election was held that November. There were 17 candidates and none got a majority, so a runoff was held on January 10, 2006, between the two top vote-getters, Faulconer and Lorena Gonzalez. Faulconer won the runoff with 51.5% of the vote.
Faulconer was elected to a full term in June 2006 and re-elected in June 2010; in both cases he won an outright majority in the primary and so did not have to run in the November general election. He was ineligible to run for re-election in 2014 per city term limits.
Although Faulconer was once a supporter of alcohol being allowed on public beaches in San Diego (his 2006 opponent Gonzalez supported a limited ban), he changed his opinion after winning election to the city council. Following an alcohol-fueled riot at Pacific Beach in 2007, he persuaded the city council to pass a trial one-year ban on alcohol at the beaches; the next year the ban was made permanent by a citywide vote. The ban has not been challenged since, with the community generally approving of cleaner beaches and fewer emergency calls, and lifeguards and police saying it has made their jobs easier. However, the long-term economic impact, claimed by one individual to be a 160,000 person reduction in attendance on holiday weekends and a 50% drop in revenue for beach businesses, has not been studied.
In the fall of 2006, over 30 bars and restaurants in Pacific Beach agreed with one another to limit the offering of discounts on alcohol drinks. Faulconer supported the price-fixing agreement and spoke at the press conference announcing the agreement.
He campaigned against a proposed sales tax increase in 2010. Other issues he promoted include the North Embarcadero Visionary Plan and more housing services for the homeless. He pushed for several years for an ordinance limiting the parking of oversize vehicles on the streets; the ordinance finally passed the city council in July 2013.
Faulconer was chair of the council's Audit Committee, which is charged with clearing out an audit backlog and restoring the city's credit rating. He was vice chair of the Rules and Economic Development Committee and a member of the Budget and Finance Committee.
Mayor of San Diego
In September 2013 Faulconer entered the special mayoral election that resulted from the resignation of Mayor Bob Filner. He was endorsed by the local Republican Party and by former Mayor Jerry Sanders, now president of the San Diego Chamber of Commerce. He campaigned both in English and Spanish.
In the election held November 19, 2013 Faulconer received 43.6 percent of the vote and advanced to a runoff election against fellow city councilmember David Alvarez (who had received 25.6 percent of the vote) on February 11, 2014. In the runoff, Faulconer was endorsed by former San Diego City Attorney Mike Aguirre, a Democratic mayoral candidate who had placed fourth in the first round of the election. Faulconer was elected mayor with 54.5 percent of the vote in the runoff. He was sworn in on March 3, 2014.
In 2015, Faulconer declared his intention to run for a full term in 2016. His opponents in the election were former state assemblywoman Lori Saldaña and former San Diego City Council member Ed Harris. Faulconer won re-election in the June 7, 2016 primary by garnering 58.2 percent of the vote.
Faulconer had been urged by state Republican leaders to run for governor in 2018, and polls showed him as the leading Republican candidate. But he had consistently said he would not run, and in June 2017 he confirmed it, saying his top priority is finishing out his term as mayor.
In August 2014, Faulconer vetoed a measure passed by the City Council which would incrementally increase the minimum wage in San Diego to $11.50 per hour from the $9.00 statewide minimum. The Council overrode his veto by a vote of 6 to 2. However, implementation of the measure was delayed by a successful signature drive led by business groups, forcing a public referendum before the measure could go into effect. On June 7, 2016, the ballot measure passed with a 63.8 percent majority vote, allowing the measure to go into effect.
San Diego Chargers
A major issue during his first term was a bid by the San Diego Chargers to move to the Los Angeles area. Faulconer campaigned to keep the Chargers in San Diego and proposed that the city build a new stadium, financed in part by the city and county governments. Faulconer later endorsed a ballot measure sponsored by the Chargers that would raise the hotel tax to pay for a stadium. The ballot measure failed with only 43 percent of the vote in favor. In January 2017, the Chargers announced that they would be relocating from San Diego to Los Angeles.
Faulconer supports a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who live in the United States.
Faulconer has vowed to reduce the growing number of people who are street homeless in San Diego. Despite claiming to have done more than previous mayors on the issue, street homelessness in San Diego increased by 31 percent from the beginning of his tenure in 2014 to the latest count in April 2017.
Convention center expansion
In 2017, Faulconer put forth a measure that would fund the expansion of the San Diego Convention Center by increasing the hotel tax, but the City Council declined to call for a special election. In 2018, Faulconer supported a citizen's initiative that would accomplish the same thing as his original measure. The measure qualified, but too late to be included on the 2018 ballot. The initiative will be on the November 2020 ballot unless the Mayor and City Council call a special election earlier.
Opposition to NIMBYism
Faulconer has been an outspoken opponent of the "Not In My BackYard" mentality (also known as NIMBYism). He has called for scrapping restrictions on housing development, such as building height limits near public transit and parking requirements, as well as various restrictions on dense housing (including affordable housing). He has called for streamlining of the approvals process. Faulconer said these reforms were needed to combat San Diego's housing crisis, reduce homelessness and improve the environment.
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- City Council biography page
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- Primary election results June 2006
- Primary election results June 2010
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- Schwab, Dave (September 2013). "A look at the beach booze ban six years later". San Diego Community Newspaper Group. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
- Pacific Beach Business Wave (Fall 2006). "Councilmember Faulconer, Chief Lansdowne, and business community support Community Covenant" (Volume 3, Issue 5).
- De La Rosa, Christian (July 8, 2013). "City Council passes oversized vehicle restrictions". Fox 5 San Diego. Retrieved November 4, 2013.
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- Willon, Phil (February 11, 2016). "Q&A San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer provides a glimmer of hope for a Republican revival in California". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 11, 2016.
- "San Diego mayor race: Alvarez, Faulconer expected to meet in runoff". ABC 10 News. November 19, 2013. Retrieved November 20, 2013.
- August, J. W. (October 30, 2010). "Kevin Faulconer campaign commercial uses face familiar to San Diegans". ABC 10 News. Archived from the original on November 4, 2013. Retrieved November 3, 2013.
- Garrick, David (October 26, 2015). "Democrat challenging Faulconer's re-election". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
- Garrick, David (January 25, 2016). "Saldana challenging Faulconer for re-election". The San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
- "Democrat Ed Harris Enters San Diego Mayor's Race". KPBS. March 1, 2016. Retrieved 23 March 2016.
- Garrick, David (June 8, 2016). "Faulconer re-elected; Bry, Ellis in council runoff". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
- Cadelago, Christopher (June 30, 2017). "California's top Republican won't be running for governor". Sacramento Bee. Retrieved 3 July 2017.
- Perry, Tony (August 19, 2014). "San Diego City Council overrides mayor's veto of minimum-wage hike". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
- "Enough Signatures Gathered To Force San Diego Minimum Wage Hike To Ballot". KPBS. October 16, 2014. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
- "City of San Diego Ballot Measures 2010-2019" (PDF). City of San Diego. Retrieved February 18, 2017.
- "Mayor offers $350M of public funding for new Chargers stadium". Fox 5 San Diego. August 10, 2015. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
- Garrick, David (October 3, 2016). "Faulconer endorses Chargers stadium measure". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
- Fenno, Sam Farmer, Nathan; Fenno, Nathan (January 12, 2017). "Double-teamed: Chargers make move to Los Angeles official". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
- "Major Action on Homelessness Remains Elusive for Faulconer - Voice of San Diego". Voice of San Diego. 2017-06-30. Retrieved 2017-07-03.
- "Comic-Con to remain in San Diego through 2021". fox5sandiego.com. 2017-06-30. Retrieved 2017-07-03.
- Weisberg, Lori (September 20, 2018). "Initiative to expand convention center has enough signatures to qualify for ballot — but not in 2018". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
- "Lack of middle-income housing construction". KGTV. 2018-10-03. Retrieved 2019-01-19.
- Finn, Pat. "Roundtable: San Diego's New YIMBY Mayor". KPBS Public Media. Retrieved 2019-01-19.
- Avitabile, Rafael. "Mayor Focuses on Homelessness in 2019 State of the City Address". NBC 7 San Diego. Retrieved 2019-01-19.
Media related to Kevin Faulconer at Wikimedia Commons
| Mayor of San Diego