Mayor Catherine Blakespear announces re-election bid

Catherine Blakespear has announced her candidacy for re-election as mayor of Encinitas.

Blakespear, who was elected to her first two-year term in 2016, said in her newsletter June 10 that she chose to wait until after the primary election to officially announce her bid for re-election.

In her announcement, Blakespear said she has so far helped the city commit to preserving and improving the environment; improve roads and the rail corridor; and engage residents at council meetings and community events.

The city is also in the late stages of approving its Housing Element Update, a state-mandated document that spells out how a city proposes to rework its zoning to accommodate its future housing needs, particularly those of low-income people. The city’s original plan, which it is still working off of, was created in the 1990s. The city's last attempt at a housing element, Measure T, failed in the November 2016 election.

Blakespear, a practicing lawyer, has stressed the importance of certifying a housing element to prevent further litigation. The city is currently the subject of three lawsuits regarding the lack of its housing element.

The city last month also achieved opening its new Marine Safety Center at Moonlight State Beach, a project nearly two years in the making after the old center, built in 1952, was demolished in October 2016. They also funded a new park in Leucadia, the mayor noted.

In an interview June 11, she said she considers her leadership as mayor has been “defined by effective, transparent communication and real movement on policy goals.”

“I’m an energized mayor and I hope residents agree that I listen, learn and lead,” she said.

But Blakespear's first term has not come without contention. Some residents criticized her support to move Encinitas to district-based elections last November, after the city received threats earlier that year from a Malibu-based lawyer who said the city's at-large system was racist against Hispanics.

Additionally, a group of Leucadia residents loudly criticized Blakespear and council member Tasha Boerner Horvath for advocating for a controversial city-owned property on the proposed Housing Element Update. The land, L-7, has since been removed from consideration.

The filing period for the November election in Encinitas does not officially open until mid-July and runs through mid-August. No candidate, including Blakespear, can officially enter the race until that filing period opens.

In addition to campaign fundraising efforts, the mayor has announced a series of "Walk with the Mayor" events this summer, where residents can chat with her about issues. Each walk is scheduled to last about an hour.

For more information, visit www.catherineblakespear.com.

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