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Tuesday June 7, 2022 — California Primary Election
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Local

City of San DiegoCandidate for City Council, District 6

Photo of Tommy Hough

Tommy Hough

San Diego County Planning Commissioner
9,461 votes (33.7%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Rebuild our broken streets and restore local infrastructure.
  • Facilitate more effective transit options for our District 6 communities.
  • Explore and pursue new opportunities for genuinely low-cost, affordable housing.

Experience

Experience

Profession:San Diego County Planning Commissioner
Planning Commissioner, County of San Diego (2021–current)
ReWild Mission Bay Campaign Coordinator and Consultant, San Diego Audubon Society (2019–2022)
Delegate, California Democratic Party (CADEM) — Elected position (2015–current)
Planning Commissioner, County of San Diego — Appointed position (2021–current)
Central Committee Member, San Diego County Democratic Party — Elected position (2014–2021)
Morning Host, 91X (2014–2017)
Editor, Public News Service (2013–2015)
Morning Host and Public Affairs Director, FM 94/9 (2002–2012)

Education

Ohio University Bachelor's Degree, Communications, with corollary studies in English and History (1992)

Community Activities

Member, San Diego Miramar Lions Club (2020–current)
Vice President, Citizens Coordinate for Century III (C3) (2018–2021)
Citizen Lobbyist, California State Parks Foundation (2007–2015)
Herpetology Monitor, Cabrillo National Monument (2005–2006)
Trail Maintenance Volunteer, Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (2004–2006)

Biography

I'm best known in San Diego for my time on the air at FM 94/9 and as the morning host at 91X, but I grew up in a labor household in Pittsburgh, graduated college from Ohio University, and began my broadcasting career in several Ohio markets before moving to Seattle in the 1990s. While in the Pacific Northwest I continued my radio work and began to lend more of my professional and personal time to environmental causes, and first moved to San Diego 20 years ago as part of the original airstaff at FM 94/9, where I hosted a variety of dayparts and served as the Public Affairs Director for the San Diego Jefferson-Pilot cluster, and later, Lincoln Financial Media.

Prior to being hired at 91X I was working at 102.1 KPRI in Sorrento Valley, so my wife and I opted to put down our roots in Mira Mesa. We lived along Gold Coast Dr. across the street from Mason Elementary School our first six years in the community, and we now live just off Flanders in the Mesa Village HOA near Wangenheim Middle School. Securing effective, local, responsive community representation has driven me in both my 2018 and 2002 campaigns for our San Diego City Council District 6 seat, and I'm determined to ensure the voices of our D6 communities are front and center in my service to you at City Hall. For nearly 15 years our D6 council seat has been co-opted by Downtown special interests, technocrats, lobbyists, and the black-tie donor class. I will be a clean break from that tradition. Our communities demand the same level of attention, responsiveness, and access to city services as La Jolla, Rancho Bernardo, or Del Cerro.


Having been appointed by Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer, I serve as a San Diego County Planning Commissioner, and I was the endorsed Democratic candidate for the San Diego City Council District 6 seat in 2018. I was the co-founder and first president of San Diego County Democrats for Envirionmental Action in 2014, until recently I served on the San Diego County Democratic Party Central Committee, and I've served as a California Democratic Party delegate since 2015. I also served as vice president of Citizens Coordinate for Century III (C3) and as the communications chair of the San Diego Surfrider chapter, and I'm a member of the San Diego-Miramar Lions Club, Filipino-American Samahan Heritage club, and the Mira Mesa Town Council.

 

As part of my record of volunteer work and advocacy in our communities, I've been long-time advocate for the now-budgeted rebuilding of Gold Coast Drive and Parkdale Ave. in Mira Mesa, I helped facilitate neighborhood support for the restorative transfer of the Mira Mesa Epicentre from the city to the county in conjunction with Supervisor Lawson-Remer's office, and more recently I alerted the media and helped galvanize community opposition following the city's bizarre realignment of traffic lanes on the west end of Gold Coast Dr. near Salk Elementary, and I oppose the rezoning of south University City.


In addition, as part of my job at FM 94/9 I organized post-wildfire restorative efforts at Rancho Cuyamaca State Park, I served as a citizen lobbyist in Sacramento for the California State Parks Foundation, I managed communications for Oregon Wild, volunteer with the National Park Service doing herpetology monitoring at Cabrillo National Monument and trail maintenance at the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, and I've managed clean-ups at local parks around District 6 and at Miramar National Cemetery with our San Diego-Miramar Lions Club.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

As was the case when I ran as the endorsed Democratic candidate for the District 6 seat in 2018, I'm running because our D6 communities have been largely forgotten about by City Hall, and have been poorly served by last three councilmembers our communities have had representing us since 2008, who largely served the needs of Downtown lobbyists, developers, anti-labor advocates, and the political donor class through our council seat – instead of the hard-working middle class and blue collar neighbors in our district.

These are the neighbors I speak with every day in D6 who struggle to make ends meet even in an area like District 6 that was once historically more affordable than other areas of the city, and where the only means many of our neighbors have for passing along generational wealth to their children and grandchildren is through the inherited and accumulated assets within their single-family homes, where several generations may live, that many bought as affordable housing 50 years ago.

City Hall's lack of interest in our communities is seen in the poor state of our infrastructure and roads in D6 – especially Mira Mesa – the absence of recent park improvements, our lack of effective transit, overwhelming surface street congestion, and poor housing planning despite a persistent opportunity to repurpose, build, and "neighborhoodize" the area north of Miramar Rd., and new opportunities to take full advantage of the new Kearny Mesa Community Plan update. Rezoning an already built-out area like south University City, on the other hand, is completely counterintuitive – I OPPOSE the rezoning of south University City.

As an environmentalist, conservationist, and former on-air host at San Diego radio stations like 91X, KPRI and FM 94/9, I agree I'm not your average candidate for office. I speak clearly. I don't like going around in circles. I tell you what I think. And I've spoken with THOUSANDS of San Diegans over the years, both at the door and on the air, about their concerns. What I hear, more than ever, is that the dream of remaining in the middle class is not only slipping away for working San Diegans, but that living in our city and state has become completely unsustainable. Neighbors are suffering from punishing increases in the cost of living, medical bills, taxes, and a general lack of upward mobility. Tough financial decisions need to be made not at the end of every month – but every day, at every hour, at every meal.

"How will we afford the rent?"

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

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

"What if I lose my job?"

The cost of living in Southern California, financial uncertainty facing middle class San Diegans, and the inability of wages to remain consistent with the skyrocketing cost of living has become an overwheliming crisis that is strangling working San Diego families. Our middle class is no longer the anchor that could be counted on to support a family and a career even in the face of a major illness, car accident, or job loss. Today, too many of our District 6 neighbors are working two or three jobs to make ends meet, while trying to stay healthy, make time for class, and time for family. A working person's viewpoint is desperately needed at City Hall – not another voice for detached, technocratic elites.

We must have an end to the backroom deals with developers 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 to invest in Permanent Supportive Housing as part of our long-term solution to our city's homeless crisis. We must enhance our community parks and open space, we need to being developer impact fees (DIF) back to communities, and we need to pursue a real investment in affordable housing options instead of letting developers build more housing no working person can afford that undoes neighborhood zoning, while ignoring actionable areas where we could build within our built footprint near transit and jobs. We need safer roads with problem streets rebuilt and retrofitted – not recklessly repainted and realigned in the dead of night – we need to close the vacancy gap in our city departments with better wages and benefits for city employees, and we need to fully fund public safety and add more fire stations to a city that remains dangerously short of them.

I have spoken with so many of you during my years on the air, and I've met so many of you at events around our city. It has been a joy throughout my 2018 and 2022 campaigns to reconnect with so many familiar faces and friends, and I love meeting neighbors across our District 6 communities of Mira Mesa, Kearny Mesa, University City, Sorrento Valley, Miramar, and portions of Scripps Ranch.

 

I hope you'll consider our "Neighborhoods First" campaign when filling out your ballot for the ethics of good government, a cleaner environment, a more prosperous future for working San Diegans, and effective, active, and engaged representation at City Hall with the wisdom and ability to make informed citywide decisions. I'm an unbought commuinty advocate ready to fight the Downtown establishment and city hall business-as-usual to serve as your next District 6 councilmember and deliver effective, ethical, honorable representation at City Hall. I'd be honored to have your support.

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