The Chula Vista City Council on Tuesday will decide which of the 17 qualified applicants for the District 3 seat will be interviewed.
The applicants seek to serve the remaining two years left behind by Councilman Steve Padilla, who successfully ran for California Senator in November to represent District 18. The city council declared the District 3 seat vacant last month and had the option to either appoint someone or let voters decide in a special election in November when the city attorney will be selected.
The applicants will be interviewed in public, according to a press release. The term of this City Council seat is from the date the appointee takes the oath of office until December 2024.
Learn more about each applicant:
Nimpa Akana is a real estate agent and board member of the Bonita Museum and Cultural Center. She has served in the city’s International Friendship commission from 2014 through 2022. Akana highlighted in her application that she would like to “make Chula Vista the gem of San Diego County,” and would “like to see a four-year college develop as a coveted educational system”. She said she would also like to include the Filipino Community in city programs.
Denova Almagro is the Director of Communications for the office of County Supervisor Nora Vargas. She has about two decades of working at the intersection of communications, community, and politics. As a council member, Almagro said she would like to see “a safe, sustainable and thriving city that provides an opportunity to all Chula Vistans” by creating more civic engagement, addressing housing affordability, and building a more resilient economy.
Griselda Delgado is the director of State and federal programs for the Sweetwater Union High School District. She served as a principal at several local schools before 2018 and since 2014 has served as a Southwestern Community College board member. She plans to collaborate with council members to plan for establishing a university, and affordable housing for low and middle-income residents, address landfill issues and mitigate traffic congestion.
David Diaz is an Outreach Lead for the County of San Diego Registrar of Voters and a board member of the state Selective Service System. Diaz said he wants to “focus on internationalizing Chula Vista” by leveraging international contracts. He said he will work tirelessly to help solve the city’s homelessness and housing crisis.
Alejandro Galicia is a Navy and Army Veteran, and small buisness owner of a plumbing company based in Chula Vista. Galicia has served on the Bonita Museum board of directors and has served on the city’s Veterans Advisory Commission from 2009 through 2013. He wants to create a veteran- and microbusiness-friendly city, encourage the construction of affordable housing, and strengthen the police force.
Gian Ghio is an office manager at First Lego and owns a photography business. In his application, he identifies as fiscally conservative and socially liberal. Ghio said his primary objective would be “addressing homelessness with a multi-pronged approach of building a permanent shelter, increasing affordable housing options, providing mental health outreach services, and taking a more proactive approach to helping citizens in need”. He said he would like to see more green spaces and parks in West Chula Vista, mass transit expansion into East Chula Vista, road repairs along Main Street, elimination of the 125 tolls, and promote small business incentives.
Alonzo Gonzalez is a Broker at Pac Pro Real Estate and a former deputy chief of staff for the San Diego City Council from 2006 through 2009. He was also a land-use analyst for former San Diego mayor Jerry Sanders. Gonzalez said he is an “advocate for vibrant communities that favor inclusion over single-family zoning”.
Christos Korgan is a sustainability consultant for the nonprofit organization South Bay Sustainable Communities, A commissioner of Sustainability for the City of Chula Vista. He wants to advance Chula Vista’s economic development initiatives, promote local and public safety, and continue to grow into a welcoming city identity. He also wants to support environmental and social sustainabilities, and help achieve the common goal of seeding a local university.
Victor Lopez is the owner of Imperio Strategies LLC, which specializes in Latino voter outreach. He is also the executive director of the Lincoln Club of San Diego County. In His application, he highlights wanting to bring more businesses and attractions to “make people want to stay in Chula Vista”. He says by being able to promote major businesses will be “a key approach to bringing in more revenue, jobs, and relevance to the city”. Lopez said he wants to push forward the building of a multi-use sports facility to attract youth/high school level club sports to Chula Vista. He said he wants to find ways to maximize the city’s operating budget while minimizing overhead by working with the city’s manager.
Daniel Rice (Vazquez) a product manager at Brooks Automation said he wants to work with the City Council, the mayor, and communities to improve the city’s economic development, mitigation or abatement of homelessness, and advocacy in support of safety and law enforcement.
Sophia Rodriguez is a social worker for the County of San Diego. She has served as the chair of the Technology and Privacy Task Force. In her application, she said she hopes to “continue the legacy of meaningful community-based progress laid out by current or previous elected officials and city staff”, adding that she wants to ensure that the connection between residents, advocacy groups, and city departments remains intact.
Tamara Rodriquez is the Chief Operating Officer at Entralta PLLC, a local intellectual property management property. She said she would focus on promoting tourism and economic growth.
Frank Salaiz has retired from a long career in law enforcement. He was a Chula Vista Police officer between 1993 and 1999 and has worked for regional and federal agencies. In his application, he said he would support small businesses thriving and bringing high-paying industries to the city. He said he wants to address the housing issue and find ways to increase public safety staffing.
Ida Spector is a Chiropractor with the Joint Chiropractic Corp who said she will continue to enhance Chula Vista’s growth with an emphasis on serving the needs of its residents. She also said she will continue to allow current businesses to thrive while encouraging and welcoming new businesses, visitors, and newcomer residents.
Diego Vargas is an Operations Manager and Implementation Specialist at FedEx Ground in Otay Mesa. He says he would like to work with the other Council members to “responsibly represent Chula Vista with integrity”.
Tanya Williams is the founder of Courage Christian Academy. She has years of experience in education, child development, and nonprofits. She has served the United States Navy for more than 10 years as a culinary specialist. She said she would “like to be a voice for the people in the community.”
Douglas Wolf is the owner of Mathnasium of Eastlake. He has volunteered for the Chula Vista Fire Department and as a volunteer coach for a middle school girls’ volleyball league at New Hope Community Church. He wants a fully staffed police substation on the east side and more businesses and jobs.