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March 3, 2020 — Primary Election
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County

San Diego CountyCandidate for Supervisor, District 3

Photo of Olga Diaz

Olga Diaz

Councilmember/College Dean
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Make San Diego a leader on climate action: overhaul of the county’s Climate Action Plan, increase mass transit options to reduce carbon emissions, support aggressive clean air and water polices, preserve open space, and expand tree canopy.
  • Reduce chronic homelessness: increase intake space, add emergency beds, expand social services and PERT teams around the clock, increase training and support for mental health/addiction in county jails, and ensure funding for mental health programs.
  • Increase housing to promote affordability: advocate for infill housing, ensure future development considers proximity to transit and employment centers, and encourage local government to work with developers on land use.

Experience

Experience

Profession:Councilmember / College Dean
Dean of Counseling, Palomar College (2018–current)
City Councilmember, Escondido City Council — Elected position (2008–current)
Member, San Dieguito River Park Joint Powers Authority — Appointed position (2008–current)
Member, Community Advisory Council for San Diego Gas & Electric — Appointed position (2017–current)
Representative, City of Escondido, League of California Cities — Appointed position (2019–current)
Director of Student Success & Equity, Palomar College (2015–2018)
Alternate to Supervisor Greg Cox, California Coastal Commission — Elected position (2013–2016)
Director of Employment Services, Interfaith Community Services (2012–2014)
Owner of an independent coffee house with two locations, Blue Mug (2002–2010)
Audit and Business Advisory Services Associate, PricewaterhouseCoopers (1999–1999)

Education

San Diego State University Masters in Public Administration (2018)
Santa Clara University B.A. in Accounting (1998)

Biography

Over the course of three terms on the Escondido City Council, Olga Diaz has earned a reputation as a tireless advocate for open space, parks, trails, libraries, arts, and core services that make Escondido a city with soul where families thrive and businesses grow. Her long record of community involvement also includes having served on the CSU San Marcos President’s Advisory Committee, the San Diego Union-Tribune Latino Advisory Board, the Voice of San Diego’s Board of Directors, and San Diego Gas & Electric’s Community Advisory Council. Olga also serves on the San Dieguito River Park Joint Powers Authority, and she previously served as an alternate on the California Coastal Commission.
 
The daughter of immigrants, Diaz was raised in a home that required every member of the family to roll up their sleeves and contribute.  She believes her experience growing up in a bi-cultural and bi-lingual family taught her the importance of hard work and perseverance. "As three term Escondido City Councilmember, my experience in local government and in a tough political climate has prepared me for this challenge. I first ran for office to push back against a City Council that did not care about social justice and equality, and I knew I had to do something about it. Now, more than a decade later, I’m proud of the transformation we’ve achieved in Escondido, and I’m ready to bring my passion for helping people and 10+ years of local governing experience to the county level," said Diaz.

 
Professionally, Diaz has worked in the fields of public accounting, data analysis, and research. She owned a local small business for ten years, and she currently works as the Interim Dean of Counseling at Palomar Community College. Diaz received a Bachelor’s degree in accounting from Santa Clara University and a Master’s of Public Administration degree from San Diego State University. She and her husband, a retired Escondido police Lieutenant and best-selling crime fiction author, live in Escondido. She is a proud mother of four children.

San Diego’s 3rd Supervisorial District includes Del Mar, Encinitas, Escondido, Solana Beach, and numerous neighborhoods in the City of San Diego.

 

Who supports this candidate?

Elected Officials (33)

Questions & Answers

Questions from The League of Women Voters San Diego (LWVSD) and the League of Women Voters of North County San Diego (LWVNCSD) (1)

What are the three biggest challenges facing this region in the 2020s, and how can you use this office to help our community prepare for (and meet) those challenges?
Answer from Olga Diaz:

Climate Crisis: As a county supervisor, I would prioritize rewriting the climate action plan to aggressively reduce emissions and set climate stabilization goals. 

 

Homelessness: I would work to reduce chronic homelessness by increasing intake space, emergency bed space and adding social services available 24/7.

 

Lack of Affordable Housing: I would also work on increasing housing stock by enhancing transparency and accountability in administrative functions like planning department functions to address land use issues and focus on infill development.

 

 

Questions from The League of Women Voters of San Diego (LWVSD) and the League of Women Voters of North County San Diego (LWVNCSD) (1)

What action (personal or professional) that you have taken most exemplifies how you will execute the duties of this office in the coming term, if you are elected to it?
Answer from Olga Diaz:

Over my decade of public service, there are many examples of my leadership style and successful results. I choose to work on difficult issues that require imagination, collaboration and determination.

 

I am especially proud of my efforts to initiate the Escondido Creek restoration project.  This project encompasses improvements in the area of environment, public safety, public art, pedestrian/bicycle mobility and economic development. 

Against all odds, a small team of community members joined me to bring much needed attention to the once neglected creek and trail. What began more than a decade ago as a trail bike ride with creek clean up efforts has evolved into a fully embraced civic project to enhance access, safety and beauty of the Escondido Creek bike path.  Investments in lighting, pocket parks, undercrossing have resulted in more public use of the trail.  In addition, businesses along the trail have embraced and adopted their segment. In time there will be investments in creek restoration that will positively impact water quality throughout the Escondido Creek Watershed from Lake Wohlford to the San Elijo Lagoon. 

 

Once unthinkable, this visionary project has a diverse base of advocates to guide ongoing work. 

Questions from The League of Women Voters of San Diego and the League of Women Voters of North County San Diego (1)

How will you make this office transparent to your constituents in terms of how policy decisions are made, public funds allocated, and public servants hired?
Answer from Olga Diaz:

I believe transparency is the foundation of trust.  As a three-term elected official, I have consistently been diligent about studying issues and arriving at a conclusion based on facts as well as legal and financial considerations. I share thorough comments with constituents before I cast a public so my position is well understood when I cast a vote. I have also been accessible and responsive to media interviews, constituent meetings and public forums.  

 

The fiscal process in local agencies should allow for broad participation. I believe public budgets are moral documents that should reflect the values of our community. As a Supervisor, I will support and host budget workshops in my district to ensure the greatest level of information and participation is achieved.

The hiring process is rigorous at public agencies. I look forward to working with County staff on a plan to diversify the employee base as well as to ensure that high level leadership positions are opened to a wide externals search to ensure top talent is recruited.

 

Videos (1)

— January 21, 2020 Olga Diaz for County Supervisor 2020

Meet Olga Diaz for San Diego County Supervisor, D3

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