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March 3, 2020 — Primary Election
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Party Committee

Democratic Party County Central Committee — Democratic PartyCandidate for Member, Assembly District 78

Photo of William Rodriguez-Kennedy

William Rodriguez-Kennedy

Community Organizer
17,664 votes (6.5%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • - Build Community in the San Diego County Democratic Party: By expanding our Community Engagement efforts and addressing conflicts in more healthy and productive ways
  • - Build Trust in the San Diego County Democratic Party: By reforming our rules to prevent conflicts of interest, build more transparency and shifting focus to community engagement, policy and electing Democrats
  • - Build the Voice of the San Diego County Democratic Party: By engaging from our values, electing good Democrats and then engaging on policy and working to build a more sustainable, equitable San Diego for all.

Experience

Experience

Profession:Community Organizer / Democratic Strategist
Central Committee Member, San Diego County Democratic Party — Appointed position (2012–current)
Council Member, San Diego County Veteran's Advisory Council — Elected position (2010–2016)

Community Activities

President, California Young Democrats (2018–current)
Executive Board Member and Platform Committee Member, California Democratic Party (2018–current)
President, San Diego Democrats for Equality (2016–2019)
Board Member and Officer, San Diego LGBT Pride (2010–2013)

Biography

Will Rodriguez-Kennedy is the Chair of the San Diego County Democratic Party. An award winning former reporter, activist and veteran of the United States Marine Corps he has over a decade of combined military and community service.

Born in the South Bronx, one of the poorest communities in the country. Will escaped poverty by joining the United States Marine Corps. The son of bank teller (who became a police officer) and a janitor, Will is of Puerto Rican descent and is mixed race (Latino / Black). He is a member of the LGBTQ+ community. 

In 2008, Will was honorably discharged from the military under the unconstitutional “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy. After fighting out of homelessness, he made international headlines in his fight against the policy specifically being among the first to attempt to reenlist when it was ruled unconstitutional in 2010.

Since then he has been active in local politics. Among his awards he was named Veteran of the Year for the 77th Assembly District in 2009, he was voted Outstanding Community Activist at the Nicky Awards in 2011, received a San Diego Press Club award for his coverage of government and politics in a non-daily newspaper, San Diego LGBT Weekly and was inducted into the San Diego LGBT Community Center's Benjamin Dillingham and Bridget Wilson Veteran's Wall of Honor in 2013.

Will is a graduate of the inaugural class of the Young Professional Council’s leadership academy, a program of the San Diego LGBT Community Center and is currently a communications major.

Will served on the board of directors of San Diego LGBT Pride from 2010 to 2013 and as an officer of the board from 2011-2013. He also served as a member of the San Diego County Veteran's Advisory Council from 2010 - 2016.

He currently serves as President of the California Young Democrats and as an Executive Board Member, Platform Committee Member of the California Democratic Party.

Questions & Answers

Questions from The League of Women Voters San Diego (LWVSD) and the League of Women Voters of North County San Diego (LWVNCSD) (3)

If elected, how much time and energy will you be able to devote to this volunteer position over the next four years, given your other personal and professional obligations?
Answer from William Rodriguez-Kennedy:

I currently serve as the Chair of the San Diego County Democratic Party. I have only missed one meeting in my 8 years of service on the committee (I had the flu) and I put in between 10 - 20 hours of work in the office every week. If elected, I do intend to run for re-election as chair and I will continue to dedicate my time and effort to the committee moving forward into the next term and beyond. I am a passionate activist, who lives and breathes the struggle for social, economic, racial and reproductive justice and I see this position as an opportunity to help build a more equitable, sustainable and prosperous region for all. 

What is the most significant challenge facing this party in the next decade, and if you are elected, how will you help the party prepare to meet it?
Answer from William Rodriguez-Kennedy:

As the San Diego County Democratic Party becomes more prominent many of the conflicts ahead of us will be Democrat vs. Democrat in addition to Democrat vs Republican. That means allies and friends may find eachother on opposing campaigns and will have to come together in the general election or after the election. As chair, I have established an Ethics committee which provides a process to resolve conflicts and address divisive and unethical behavior. I have also worked to establish a model for building greater unity which was covered in the Voice of San Diego recently. Myself, in partnership with County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher and Executive Secretary-Treasurer Keith Maddox at the Labor Council have organized a community breakfast where both Democrats who fighting a contentious primary and their teams have committed to come together and support whoever makes it out of the primary.

Should I be elected, I will continue to strengthen our process so that our members and communities feel heard and that we remain a strong and unified Democratic Party.

3.

What public figures, past and present, do you believe have given the most postive examples of what this party stands for? Please explain your reasons for thinking so.

No answer provided.

Who gave money to this candidate?

Contributions

More information about contributions

Source: MapLight analysis of data from the California Secretary of State.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

Will Rodriguez-Kennedy is a Progressive Democrat and has dedicated his life to the intersectional fight for social, racial, reproductive and economic justice.

Candidate Contact Info

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