The congressional candidate and former San Diego city councilman speaks up
La Jolla Light
recently met with Scott Peters to discuss his candidacy and plans for the 52nd District. Interviews with the other Congressional candidates — Republicans Brian Bilbray, John Stahl and Wayne Iverson, and Democrat Lori Saldaña — will follow.
By Pat Sherman
Longtime La Jollan Scott Peters, who represented his seaside community during two terms on the San Diego City Council, (2000-2008) hopes to once again represent La Jolla as representative of the newly redrawn 52nd congressional district, which spans from Poway and Scripps Ranch southwest through Mira Mesa, Clairemont, University City, La Jolla, Pacific Beach, part of downtown San Diego and Coronado.
Peters, a Democrat who ran unsuccessfully for city attorney in 2008 and who currently serves as chair of the San Diego Port District’s Board of Commissioners, has received the endorsement of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, former Congresswoman Lynn Schenk, former state Senator Dede Alpert, state Assembly members Toni Atkins, Mary Block and Ben Hueso, and San Diego City Councilman Todd Gloria.
A lawyer by profession who served as the city council’s first president, Peters worked as an economist for the Environmental Protection Agency before receiving his juris doctorate from New York University. In the early 1990s, he got his first government job in the county counsel’s office, then joined the San Diego City Council in 2000. He lives in La Jolla with Lynn, his wife of 25 years, and his two children.
Peters’ chief opponent in the race is Congressman Brian Bilbray, a Republican, currently serving in the 50th District. In the first of California’s open primary elections on June 5 — during which independents or “Decline to State” voters may cast their ballot for a candidate from any party — the race is bound to be close. The candidates will surely be working hard to court their share of the district’s one-third of undeclared voters.
La Jolla Light: What do you think your crowning achievements in La Jolla were during your two terms as a San Diego councilmember?
The reconfiguration of “The Throat” (the once precarious and highly congested intersection of Torrey Pines Road and La Jolla Parkway). The community put up with a whole year of construction through 2003 to see that whole area made more rational and prettier.
The Bird Rock neighborhood revitalization has become a national model for walkability and the thing I’m proudest about there is that the neighbors designed it. It wasn’t a solution out of city hall. Ours would have been much more modest, but they were very bold in what they did, and they gave us a plan that we turned into a reality … and how to pay for it.
We had an idea that maybe philanthropy could help redo Fire Station 13 and we enlisted Sunrise Rotary and they took that project on. Ahead of that is a reduction of sewer spills by 80 percent, beach closure days by 80 percent … through cleaning the pipes, putting in the pipes that need the repair the most and watching our canyons. In my district, La Jolla was the one that was having problems, and it was obviously not very helpful to tourism. We had a sewer spill a day when I was elected in 2000.