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November 6, 2018 — California General Election
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Local
November 6, 2018 —California General Election

City of San Diego — ” Tommy Hough, Candidate for City Council, District 6

Photo of Tommy Hough

Tommy Hough

Broadcaster/Environmental Advocate
15,958 votes (39.2%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Rebuilding our roads, streets and aging infrastructure.
  • Finding long-term, effective, and compassionate solutions to our homeless crisis.
  • Solving our housing crisis so our kids and grandkids can stay in San Diego.

Experience

Experience

Profession:Broadcaster and Environmental Advocate
Delegate, California Democratic Party — Elected position (2015–current)
President, San Diego County Democrats for Environmental Action — Elected position (2014–2018)
Morning Host, 91X Radio (2015–2017)
Editor and Producer, Public News Service (2014–2016)
Communications Coordinator, Oregon Wild (2012–2014)
Communications Coordinator, Surfrider Foundation San Diego County Chapter (2011–2012)
Morning Host and Public Affairs Director, FM 94/9 Radio (2002–2012)

Education

Ohio University Bachelor's Degree, Communications, English, History (1992)

Community Activities

President and Co-Founder, San Diego County Democrats for Environmental Action (2014–2017)
Citizen Lobbyist, California State Parks Foundation (2010–2015)
Producer and Host, Treehuggers International (2007–2012)
Herpetology Monitoring Volunteer, Cabrillo National Monument (2006–2006)
Volunteer Coordinator, Post-Cedar Fire Earth Day Restoration Efforts, Rancho Cuyamaca State Park (2004–2005)

Biography

Best-known in San Diego for his time on the air at rock stations like FM 94/9 and 91X, Tommy Hough has been serving political and environmental causes for nearly 20 years.

Along with his citizen lobbying efforts on behalf of the California State Parks Foundation, Tommy was the founder and host of the Treehuggers International environmental affairs show on FM 94/9, and used his morning show at FM 94/9 to organize post-Cedar Fire volunteer efforts at Cuyamaca Rancho State Park and heighten awareness about state and federal hearings over the proposed toll road at Trestles and San Onofre State Beach. Tommy later served as communications coordinator for the San Diego County chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, and led media and communications efforts at Oregon Wild in Portland.

After working on several campaigns, Tommy co-founded San Diego County Democrats for Environmental Action in 2014, and served as the organization's first president. During that time, Tommy co-authored the Climate Action Plan resolution passed by the county Democratic Party that became the basis for the city's Climate Action Plan, and later co-authored a similar resolution calling for immediate implementation of the Community Choice Energy component of the Climate Action Plan.

Tommy debated and shut down an attempt by San Diego Gas and Electric to justify rate hikes on the backs of rooftop solar users and the city's poorest residents on the floor of the county party in 2015, and in 2016 joined with IBEW 569 and other stakeholders as part of the Quality of Life Coalition in opposition to the countywide SANDAG ballot measure initiative. Tommy also called out the false affordable housing claims of the Lilac Hills proposal as a leader in the opposition to countywide Measure B in 2016, and has been a vocal critic of the Trump administration's unprecedented rollback of several federal National Monuments and long-standing conservation law.

A 2017 Sierra Club FEAT Awardee, Tommy announced his candidacy for the San Diego City Council District 6 seat at the annual San Diego County Democratic Party convention in Oct. 2017. Re-building the district's roads and solving the city's homeless and housing crises have been Tommy's key priorities, along with stopping the spread of short-term vacation rentals, closing the city's fire station gap, ensuring energy choice for each resident, communitywide composting, citywide internet and revitalizing city code enforcement.

Questions & Answers

Questions from KPBS and the League of Women Voters of San Diego (5)

Should the Community Review Board on Police Practices be given subpoena power when reviewing allegations of officer misconduct? Why or why not?    
Answer from Tommy Hough:

Since all the members of the Community Review Board on Police Practices are appointed by the mayor, and since the board relies upon work done by the San Diego Police Department's public affairs unit and overwhelmingly agrees with the department's findings in case after case, then yes – anything that gives these kinds of review boards additional latitude for independence should be pursued. This isn't a matter of questioning the integrity or competence of review boards, but it's critical the public and all of our city's constituents have earned confidence in these boards to reach appropriate, fair and just decisions.

Should the city eliminate minimum parking requirements for new housing near public transit? Why or why not?
Answer from Tommy Hough:

Building parking for high denisty developments can be expensive because you typically have to go underground, and if you're required to put in minimum parking you may be forcing a renter or buyer to purchase parking they don't necessarily need. However, I would only support the elimination of minimum parking requirements if new housing is demonstrably located near public transit – but we need to be very careful about where and how we would apply this. Getting rid of parking spaces doesn't get rid of cars, and there's no denying such parking requirements would impact long-term residents who've been in the area before the arrival of new housing or meaningful public transit. Once the city has more comprehensive transit and more walkable neighborhoods we may be better able to eliminate minimum parking requirements, but the suburban communities of D-6 were built entirely after World War II, and as a result are heavily geared towards the automobile. Effective and affordable bus transit will be the best, most immediate option to get people put of their cars in D-6.

Would you support a tax increase that would fund housing and services to the homeless? Why or why not?
Answer from Tommy Hough:

I would support a tax increase only if it was part of a genuine effort at the city level to address our homeless crisis, and only if all attempts to procure federal funds from the county had failed. From the beginning of my campaign I've stressed that council must actively lead on finding long-term, effective, and compassionate solutions to our homeless crisis, and not acquiesce to short-term fixes by writing them off as being "good for now." Homelessness isn't just a crisis Downtown, but throughout the city, and the city must acknowledge the different varieties of homeless situations in order to develop solutions and best practices, and acknowledge the dynamics that will always make San Diego a city with a transient population – and from there we can begin to plan for the future. Tent cities are not the answer, and band-aid remedies won't get us closer to the long-term solutions our homeless neighbors need. We can apply the best practices and lessons that the cities of Salt Lake City, Houston and Albuquerque found in their supportive housing efforts, but the mayor must be pressured to make more beds available, and the city must have a meaningful way to direct homeless veterans toward the federal resources they are entitled to.

Do you support increasing housing density in your council district? Why or why not?
Answer from Tommy Hough:

As an environmentalist, I'm wary of new construction – but the numbers don't lie. We know we're going to need a greater amount of housing for the forseeable future. The question is whether the city will force developers to build affordable and fair-market housing, or continue to build housing that is demonstrably out of reach for most working San Diegans. I support utilizing infill development for new housing in order to avoid backcountry sprawl, and in District 6 we have the best opportunity north of I-8 to do so. However, new housing must be built in a responsible manner that doesn't infringe on our parks or open space, or harm our canyons, mesas and surviving vernal pools. We must also re-purpose and re-utilize existing structures because we're not going to solely build our way out of the problem, and unless we're tying in meaningful and effective transit options along with infill and density, we're only going to make our traffic problems worse. Developers must be brought to bear to build what we need instead of what they want – and a greater percentage of affordable housing availability in new construction is needed than the current level of 10 percent.

Do you support either of the plans on the November ballot that would sell the Mission Valley stadium site? Why or why not?
Answer from Tommy Hough:

I'm opposed to the Soccer City proposal for a variety of reasons, most notably because the project would not be required to adhere to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), but also because the plan isn't about the soccer stadium so much as it's about a La Jolla investment group using city-owned property to build and operate commercial enterprises. While I support responsible expansion of San Diego State University, I'm concerned about the so-called SDSU West proposal because of the volume of traffic that would be expected to go in and out of that location every day. In addition, one of the reasons the site was selected for the construction of Jack Murphy Stadium in the 1960s was because the area along the San Diego River is a floodplain – the stadium trolley stop was built as an elevated station with that expectation – and I'm dubious of claims that the local hydrology can be tamed. I believe it's environmentally unsound to build more homes or businesses in such close proximity to the river, even with a larger river park to serve as a buffer. I could support the best iteration of the SDSU West proposal, but I'd prefer to leave the area as is until we come to a solution we can all agree on, or renovate the stadium in a manner to accomodate MLS, the NFL, and Aztecs football.

Political Beliefs

As an environmentalist and a former on-air host at San Diego radio stations like 91X, KPRI and FM 94/9, I'm not your average candidate for office.

I've spoken to thousands of San Diegans over the years about their concerns, and I what I hear more than ever is a concern that the middle class is slipping away for working San Diegans who have to make tough financial decisions not at the end of every month – but every week.

"Can we put money away for the college fund?"

"Can we get the car worked on this week?"

"What if I lose my job?"

Despite California's on-paper prosperity, the cost of living in Southern California and financial uncertainty facing middle class San Diegans is very real. Compared to even 20 years ago, the middle class is much more fragile today, and is no longer the solid anchor that could be reliably counted upon to support a family and a career. Today, too many of our neighbors are working two or three jobs to make ends meet, while trying to making time for classes and time for family.

We must have an end to the backroom deals to corporations that land squarely on the backs of working San Diegans. We need to break the cycle of loser leases and cronyism that leave San Diego taxpayers coming up short.

We need a long-term solution to our homeless crisis that is effective, smart, and compassionate. We need to move towards utilizing infill as a component in addressing our shortfall of affordable housing, while enhancing our community parks and open space.

We desperately need to streamline our city's bureaucracy to become more effective and less cumbersome, so San diegans don't have to wait weeks to put an addition on their home or solar panels on their roof. We need safer roads with problem streets re-built, not slurry-sealed over again and again. We need to add more fire stations to a city that is still dangerously short of them. And our small business craft brewers deserve more than photo ops to protect them from conglomerates like Anheuser Busch and Coors, which threaten our local brewers with phony "San Diego" Trojan Horse breweries.

I have spoken to so many of you during my years on the air, and have met so many of you at events around our city. This campaign has been a joy of re-connecting with familiar faces and meeting new neighbors and friends in our District 6 communities of Clairemont, Mira Mesa, Kearny Mesa, Sorrento Valley, Miramar and the southern Rancho Peñasquitos – for the ethics of good government, a cleaner environment, a more prosperous future for working San Diegans, and effective representation at City Hall.



I'm ready to fight the Downtown establishment and city hall business-as-usual to serve as your next District 6 councilmember for the ethics of good government, a cleaner environment, a more prosperous future for working San Diegans, and effective, ethical, honorable representation at City Hall.

Official Statement

Researched by Voter’s Edge
Source: San Diego County Registrar of Voters

CITY OF SAN DIEGO
City Council – District No. 6

TOMMY HOUGH

Ethical, Effective Leadership

Tommy Hough is the ethical and effective choice for District 6.

Our communities need a trusted neighbor who will never betray your interests and will always protect classified city information.

Tommy isn't afraid to lead on critical issues and has the record to prove it.

Fighting For:

  • Rebuilding roads and vital infrastructure
  • Ensure San Diegans have a choice in their energy provider
  • Applying innovative approaches to solving our housing crisis
  • Stopping the spread of short-term vacation rentals
  • Finding long-term, effective, and compassionate solutions to our homeless crisis
  • Ensuring public safety by closing our fire station gap
  • Preserving and enhancing our parks and open space

Endorsed By:

  • Sierra Club
  • California Senate President pro tem Toni Atkins
  • Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher
  • Assemblymember Todd Gloria
  • San Diego City Councilmember Barbara Bry
  • San Diego City Councilmember David Alvarez
  • Former California Senator Christine Kehoe
  • Former San Diego City Councilmember Marti Emerald
  • Fire Captain Jeff Griffith, Cal Fire
  • SDUSB President Kevin Beiser
  • Community Activist Matt Valenti
  • Save Our San Diego Neighborhoods

As a policy advocate, environmentalist and former on-air host at 91X and FM 94/9, I'm ready to serve as your voice on San Diego City Council.

www.votetommy2018.com

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The statement above was entered into Voter's Edge on 10/15/2018 by a League of Women Voters volunteer, using the PDF version of a sample ballot prepared by the San Diego County Registrar of Voters: https://www2.sdcounty.ca.gov/rov/Sample_Ballots/Eng/SB-ENG-443.pdf

That might not be your version of the sample ballot, though. To find your own sample ballot version, containing all the candidates and measures on your own ballot, please use the ROV's sample ballot look-up tool at https://www2.sdcounty.ca.gov/rov/Eng/ballot.asp .

Candidate Contact Info

Email campaign@votetommy2018.com
Email tommy@votetommy2018.com

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