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March 3, 2020 — Primary Election
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Local

City of San DiegoCandidate for City Council, District 7

Photo of Raul Campillo

Raul Campillo

Deputy City Attorney
15,025 votes (35.9%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Making Housing Affordable and Battling Homelessness - Streamline permitting to reduce costs and delays; Focus on low-income and workforce/middle class housing; Provide targetted services and supportive housing for our homeless population.
  • Making Public Transit Faster and Safer, Reducing Traffic, and Protecting the Environment - Increase the number of trolley cars; support SANDAG's expansion of trolley lines; and invest in technology to keep the San Diego River clean
  • Investing in Public Safety and Fixing our Infrastructure - Focus on benefits for first responders to recruit and retain them; Invest in undergrounding of electrical wires, replacing old sewer lines, and repaving roads and repouring sidewalks

Experience

Experience

Profession:Deputy City Attorney / Prosecutor
Deputy City Attorney / Prosecutor (Gun Violence Prevention Unit), City of San Diego (2018–current)
Deputy City Attorney, San Diego City Attorney's Office — Appointed position (2018–current)
Associate, O'Melveny & Myers LLP (2014–2018)
Vetting Specialist, Hillary for America (2016 Presidential Campaign Operation Team) (2016–2016)
Resident Tutor, Harvard University (2011–2014)
5th Grade Teacher, Clark County School District - Gwendolyn Woolley Elementary School (2009–2011)

Education

Harvard Law School Juris Doctor (2014)
University of Nevada, Las Vegas Master of Education, Curriculum and Instruction (2011)
Harvard University Bachelor of Arts, Government (2009)
University of San Diego High School (Uni High) Diploma (2005)

Community Activities

Lector/Reader, Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala (2018–current)
Mock Trial Coach with Crawford High School, San Diego City Attorney's Association (2018–2019)

Biography

Raul is a former public elementary school teacher born and raised in San Diego to local business owners who taught him the value of hard work and honesty. After graduating Linda Vista’s Uni High and Harvard, Raul went to work teaching in one of America’s poorest public school districts before returning to Harvard for Law School. He worked to re-elect President Obama in 2012 and for Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Today, as a Prosecutor in the City Attorney’s office, Raul is keeping us safe. He’s one of only 4 Deputy City Attorneys authorized to obtain Gun Violence Restraining Orders to get guns out of the hands of domestic abusers or others who threaten our safety or their own. And when he lost his only brother to the opioid epidemic, Raul honored his memory by fighting to give a voice to every family and every victim touched by drugs or violence. No wonder he’s endorsed by the California and San Diego County Democratic Party. Join Raul and Renew Our City.

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Democratic Party (San Diego County Democratic Party & California Democratic Party)
  • San Diego City Firefighters Local 145
  • Planned Parenthood Action Fund of the Pacific Southwest

Organizations (23)

  • San Diego City Firefighters Local 145
  • Democratic Woman's Club of San Diego County
  • Democratic Party (San Diego County Democratic Party & California Democratic Party)
  • Sierra Club
  • Planned Parenthood Action Fund of the Pacific Southwest
  • National Union of Healthcare Workers
  • San Diego Municipal Employees Association (MEA)
  • Asian American Pacific Islander Democratic Club of San Diego - Qualified Rating
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Democratic Club
  • Veterans Democratic Club of San Diego - Qualified Rating
  • San Diego Deputy City Attorneys Association
  • San Diego & Imperial Counties Labor Council
  • The Unity League
  • San Diego Progressive Democratic Club
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 569
  • Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters Local 619
  • SEIU Local 221
  • Unite HERE Local 30
  • Laborers (LiUNA) Local 89
  • San Diego County Young Democrats
  • San Diego Labor Democratic Club
  • San Diego Democrats for Environmental Action
  • San Diego Democrats for Equality

Elected Officials (1)

  • Congressman Juan Vargas

Individuals (1)

  • Sheriff's Cmd. (Ret.) David Myers

Questions & Answers

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

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 Raul Campillo:

 

Housing Affordability: I believe that the city council must reduce financial barriers towards new construction. Construction costs have increased dramatically, and this is largely due to the amount of time it takes to navigate the complex and lengthy approval process. As a result, housing projects take too long to complete to the point they become financial untenable. I believe that the city must streamline the construction process, as well as reducing permit fees, in order to encourage new construction.  Additionally, we must have regulatory predictability.  Developers, unions, and financiers all want predictability, not changing of the rules in the middle of a project.  The city council should promote rules and policies so that the repeat players in building our homes do not get blindsides by changes, thereby engendering mistrust amongst the parties and putting future development at risk.

 

Homelessness: I have addressed homelessness in the other question; please read my response to see why I believe that it is one of the three biggest challenges facing our region in this decade.

 

Infrastructure: we have to get our bridges, roads, sidewalks, and sewers repaired immediately, otherwise we are facing continued traffic and safety concerns, as well as pollution that will put us in serious trouble of people getting sick and hefty penalties in terms of Clean Water Act violations. This requires enormous lobbying for the county, state, and federal governments to get involved and assist us, because the City alone cannot shoulder such a burden, and the problem is regional, not just specific to the City of San Diego. However, I would use my office to push for even quicker undergrounding of wires in our communities, as that is something the city can handle much more quickly.

What action (personal or professional) that you have taken most exemplifies how you would execute the duties of the office you are running for?
Answer from Raul Campillo:

I am Deputy City Attorney and prosecutor, and thus, I am a city employee who works on issues of homelessness, public safety, crime prevention, combatting drug addiction, and gun violence, alongside members of the police department and others. I work to address the issues that our political leadership has failed to address. I am regularly working with public defenders and defense attorneys to find the appropriate diversion programs for individuals with drug addiction, lack of housing, and unemployment.  From this position as a city employee, I also know the various city agencies and their scope of authority, as well as key leaders who work on our biggest problems. 

As a former teacher at a Title I school in the urban neighborhood, I taught and mentored students facing housing instability and other quality of life issues: the lack of resources in health care, nutrition, technology, transportation, and access to government services.  I had to serve the entire family, and my experience provides me with important context and insight into serving and addressing working class’ issues.

Lastly, as a former associate at a major law firm, I focused mostly on corporate investigations.  I investigated companies in the pharmaceutical, energy, automotive, and health care industries and have a unique perspective on their litigation and financial workings. This experience prepares me to scrutinize contracts and lobbying, and to pinpoint their unspoken interests in San Diego.  From this experience, I can better protect the public interest and ensure the council conducts proper oversight of companies that want to work with the City of San Diego.

How do your plans to help the City address the many causes and impacts of homelessness balance the rights and needs of all?
Answer from Raul Campillo:

The way we are going to address the housing crisis is to build more units and provide the correct services to those who are struggling to stay on their feet economically.  Various calculations say we need around 150,000 more units, depending on the report, to meet the housing needs.  The lack of supply means the price is too high for most working class and lower-middle class individuals, much more so for those living in poverty, to live close to their work.  Permanent supportive housing is a key component to the solution that will likely require county-city collaboration to provide the services that go with housing for homeless individuals.  I am proud of the work I’ve done at the City Attorney’s office to support homeless defendants who need immediate shelter and then services to get back on their feet—but they shouldn’t have to be in the criminal justice system first to achieve that.  It should already exist.  In order to do this in a way that balances the right and needs of all, we should employ best practices that we can learn from other cities and countries, which means a creative solution that includes multiple types of housing at low cost.

By utilizing many different levers to solve the problem, we can see which solutions work best and pivot to the ones that have the greatest success, saving taxpayer dollars and housing our homeless population most quickly to help ensure they receive other critical services.  Homelessness is sometimes a result of mental health challenges, drug addiction challenges, criminal records preventing employment, economic challenges, and some homeless individuals are escaping from domestic abuse and violence.  Each of these types of individuals needs a different approach, and so we should not employ one-size-fits-all programs when it won't be productive, efficient, or a good use of money.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

"Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future." - John F. Kennedy

Local government should be the avenue for every citizen to be heard and every official to be held accountable; the mechanism to preserve the common good, not the private interest; and the representative body that brings the best minds together to deliver the best solutions. In this way, we build and preserve a safe and free community for everyone. And even though it is merely local, it should still be about a vision for the community where we raise our children and a place we can be proud to call home.

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