I spend a lot of time in District 5, and recently discussed the topic of Carl DeMaio with friends and family in the Carmel Mountain Ranch/Rancho Bernardo area.
The discussion is often pretty short, with friends being able to tell me he’s going to fix San Diego’s finances followed by silence. No one can answer how DeMaio, as just one of eight votes on the City Council, is going to be able to do this. No one can tell me his plan for solving all our problems. Just that DeMaio can fix everything, as if he were magic.
The fact is that to this point DeMaio has been somewhat of a one-trick pony insisting that the solution to solving all of San Diego’s fiscal problems is by selling-off city services one-by-one. Good luck telling parents in D5 that their children can’t visit their branch library because it closed early or their child’s Little League games at Community Park or Highland Ranch Park are canceled due to poor conditions, all because the contractor has profits as higher priority than service.
Having grown up in the heart of District 5, living there until I was 25, I know there will be questions about what are DeMaio’s plans after he “fixes” city finances. This is where I think he will struggle due to the area’s ultra-conservative values.
I remember debates in my high school civics class where the majority of the class would argue, passionately, that the widow of a fallen soldier should not receive any government assistance since she was “foolish” to marry and have children if she couldn’t have been able to afford life without her husband. My senior year a fellow progressive-minded student and I searched for a teacher who would brave the stigma from ultra-conservative parents and sponsor a campus Future Democrats Club (we found a closeted gay teacher, but with just two members in a school with 2,800 students we couldn’t sustain a full club).
So I can’t help but think that, as sad as it may be in this day and age, DeMaio’s sexual orientation will be a factor in this election.
This is still an area of the city where there was more outrage that a student was asked to remove a t-shirt referring to a Bible verse than that said t-shirt was hateful towards fellow classmates.
This is the same area where a local country club recently settled an anti-discrimination lawsuit with a lesbian couple.
This is the same area where the fear of high school girls wearing the wrong type of underwear resulted in a disgraceful school dance.
It’s unfortunate, but I have to think at some point DeMaio is going to run into problems from those spouting traditional family values.