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November 6, 2018 — California General Election
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City of OceansideCandidate for Council Member, District 1

Photo of Chuck Lowery

Chuck Lowery

City of Oceanside Councilmember/Businessman
3,808 votes (29.4%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Work to find more permanent solutions to homelessness.
  • Build more housing to help end the housing supply and affordability crisis.
  • Protect the environment of the City and preserve the natural assets we have.



Profession:Council Member and Local businessman.
Business Man, Self employed (1980–current)
Council Member, City of Oceanside — Elected position (2014–current)


MiraCosta College A.A., Business (1972)

Community Activities

Member, Board of Directors, Tariq Khamisa Foundation (2010–current)
Member, Board of Directors, Oceanside Charitable Foundation (2005–current)


Chuck Lowery has served as Councilmember and Deputy Mayor for the City since his election in 2014. As Deputy Mayor, Chuck has worked with Mayor Jim Wood and the other council members to keep Oceanside moving forward. When the Mayor was forced to leave as a result of a medical condition, Chuck stepped in as Acting Mayor and did that work on top of his own council job and Chair of the Medical Marijuana Ad Hoc Committee. 


Currently, Chuck is the council liaison to a number of advisory boards and commissions. He sits as liaison to the Library Board of Trustees, the Utilties Commission, the Beaches and Harbor Advisory Committee, and the Manufactured Home Fair Practices Commission. Chuck also represents the City on the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) Board of Directors and the North Coastal Region alternate representative. He also serves as City Liaison to Oceanside Unified School District and Vista Unified School District. 


He is a former board member of the Oceanside Charitable Foundation and was Chair of the Grants Committee. He is currently a Board Member of the Tariq Khamisa Foundation (TKF). The mission of TKF is to educate at-risk students about negative behavior to help prevent youth violence in San Diego County. 


Chuck was born and raised in Oceanside. He attended Ditmar School, St. Mary Star of the Sea, Oceanside High, MiraCosta College and San Diego State University.  


He worked hard as a teenager and learned the value of a dollar. He later founded his own wholesale business, Pacific Bakery, and grew it into a company with national regional distribution. Chuck eventually sold his successful twenty-two year old bakery to allow more time to serve the community. Upon election to City Council, he educated himself about the many diverse neighborhoods that make up Oceanside.


In his spare time, he enjoys showing people around his Seaside neighborhood and his native plant landscape which saves tons of drinking water while attracting unusual birds and rare, local insects. His backyard organic garden produces white and yellow peaches and all sorts of greens along with amazing string beans. Fresh food from the garden, the Thursday Farmers’ Market and family-owned stores like  Frazier Farms and Cream of the Crop in South O keep him busy cooking all week long.


Chuck is dedicated to riding his vintage-style 3-speed bicycle to the office at City Hall quite often. You’ll find him cycling on the San Luis Rey River Trail or at Yoga Oceanside continuing his thirty-five-year practice which keeps him focused and settled. He also enjoys walking around his District One neighborhood with his small rescue dog Sadie, a poodle mix recovering from a history of abuse. 


Oceanside is Chuck’s home and District One is his welcoming part of town. He enjoys the assets our beautiful city provides and looks forward to saying “hello” when you see him out-and-about.


Read more about Chuck on his website:

Questions & Answers

Questions from The League of Women Voters North County San Diego (3)

Do you support increasing the housing density in your district of Oceanside? What other options might there be for improving the City's supply of affordable housing?
Answer from Chuck Lowery:

There is a very small amout of available real estate in District One of the City of Oceanside. Increased housing density is the only way in which we will begin to provide more housing stock and affordable housing stock in District One. I worked on the Coast Highway Vision Plan and, through that work, we created a document which the City can follow to begin providing increased housing and housing density along the Coast Highway Corridor. We must focus on implementing this plan so that our future residents (those who migrate to the City along with our children who are coming of age) can have a place to live. 

I have also been the only member of the City Council, to my knowledge, who has begun to ask developers who bring projects to me for review to include affordable housing in their plans in place of just paying the in-lieu fees. While some projects are too small for anything other than the in-lieu fees to be paid, those developers who are proposing large-scale projects should work hard to place their required portion of affordable housing in their projects.

I have also connected with a company which is currently rehabilitating very old apartments in District One who is looking to find a place to build a 300 - 400 unit affordable housing project. My availability to developers, my willingness to work with them and help them to help the City of Oceanside, is what is key to promoting these type of projects and finding solutions to the housing problems in the city.

Do you approve of the City's current approach to addressing the problems of homelessness in Oceanside? What specific changes, if any, would you make?
Answer from Chuck Lowery:

Currently, the City of Oceanside has dedicated resources to the Homeless Outreach Team through the Oceanside Police Department. We also have, in a smaller capacity, worked with Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) like Interfaith Community Services and Solutions for Change to help with finding a more-permanent answer to the homelessness problem. But we, I feel, as a city, need to do more. 

Working the the NGOs is a big step in getting immediate services to those individuals who need them. Our job is becoming increasingly difficult because of the closing of the Tri-City Hospital mental health department. As a result, there will be a greater drain on our public safety services. We must find solutions to this problem by starting with the agencies who are in the business of helping homeless individuals. If we can support these NGOs, either financially or legislatively, we can begin to get some of these people off of the streets.

It will also take innovative ideas on the part of the council. As the City's representative to Washington D.C. during annual appropriations visits for three of the four years I've been on council, I was the first to ask the Veterans Administration for vouchers which, when awarded, will provide housing and connection to resources for homeless veterans. The City was able to secure 40 VASH (Veterans Administration Supportive Housing) vouchers the first year and 45 the next year. We continue to support our homeless veterans with these vouchers. We, as a Council and City Staff, need to look for opportunities like these to help find a permanent solution to the homeless problem.

Do you advocate any changes to the City's current policies regarding recreational and medical cannabis businesses? Please explain.
Answer from Chuck Lowery:

I was the Chair of the City of Oceanside's Medical Marijuana Ad-hoc Committee. Two council members and two members of the public, along with City Staff, worked to craft regulations for medicinal cannabis use and businesses in the City of Oceanside. Currently, we have approved cannabis businesses such as distributors, manufacturers, and testing labs along with cultivation and nursery operations. We also have approved the issuance of two "delivery-only", Type 9 dispensaries in the City.

The original premise for the ad-hoc committee's formation was to provide access to a product which, while the Federal Government says is harmful, many people find helpful and curative. I voted against both Proposition 215 (Medical Marijuana) and Proposition 64 (Recreational Marijuana), but after having witnessed first-hand the degree to which medicinal cannabis aided and improved the quality of life for many of my constituents, I was unable to remain opposed.

The current regulations for cannabis businesses in Oceanside are restrictive. I believe we should be more supportive of the cannabis industry and relax the regulations. I believe we will begin to relax the regulations as we have greater experiences with the businesses in our City. A couple of my colleagues asked for the City to wait to "see what other cities in North County would do." In my opinion, there was no time to wait on the issue and we needed to be the leader in North County. This will not only be good for our city as new businesses begin to set up shop, but it will be very good for the residents of Oceanside who use medicinal cannabis as a means to improve the quality of their lives.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

Chuck is a life-long Democrat. He supports the ideals which make up the Democratic Party, but he also has learned he needs to be willing to compromise with members of other parties to accomplish the work he feels needs to be done for the City of Oceanside.


Currently, Oceanside's City Council is comprised of two Democrats and three Republicans. To accomplish any of his goals, Chuck has learned he must reach out to at lease one member of the opposite party to get legislation passed. He has established a very good working relationship with all of his council colleagues and is willing to hear them out, discuss topics and find agreement and consensus.


From his work with the Tariq Khamisa Foundation, he has learned to avoid confrontation and put into practice an environment of cooperation and give-and-take which is not found often in the current political climate. For this, he has experienced negativity from both the opposite side of the aisle and from fellow Democrats. Chuck understands that a narrow, my-way-or-the-highway approach to politics does not allow for the work of the City to be done.

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