National City Vice Mayor Alejandra Sotelo-Solis announced Aug. 6 that she will run against Mayor Ron Morrison in November.
"It's become apparent that we need a new leader at the helm," Sotelo-Solis said.
Sotelo-Solis was elected to the National City City Council in 2008 and is currently serving her first term as council member/vice mayor.
"The changes that we need are better access to government," she said. "As a council we don't have regular reports on the docket and we need that transparency for the residents."
She said that residents suffer on issues in regard to rate changes and rebates, adding that the council should have conversations before decisions are made so the community can have a say in these matters.
Her initiatives focus on the same three issues she campaigned for in 2006, including creating a government that is more transparent in regard to potential conflicts of interest and looking more closely at reports for the city manager, attorney and mayoral offices.
She also plans on sustaining and implementing environmental justice issues and encouraging the community to communicate new ideas, putting resident votes to action.
"I will bring in a new perspective," Sotelo-Solis said. "I have great connections from past involvement in policy and I will work to protect open space and the business community as well as provide better communication with the port so the city is working for them and not a special interest."
She said this is a way to avoid sweetheart deals.
But Morrison questions the need for a political shift.
"What is she going to do differently?" he said. "This is not the time to be changing shifts because of political ambitions."
In the 2006 election, Sotelo-Solis lost to Morrison by more than 1,500 votes, receiving less than 15 percent of the total votes.
This time, she said she is bringing a new energy to City Hall. "We're stagnant right now and we need to bring in smart growth in this community," she said.
According to Sotelo-Solis, smart growth means when bringing in developers and new construction, the city must work work hand-in-hand with the environment, residents and business community.
"When we're serving the public we need to make sure we're having a well-rounded perspective," she said.
Morrison said the important issue is figuring out how to provide the best services to National City residents.
"It's important for the city to stay involved on regional and national issues while maintaining focus on National City," he said.
The main objectives for Morrison's campaign will focus on the economy and looking at issues in long range, getting away from grandstanding and concentrating on reshaping the government are all things on the mayor's agenda.
Morrison plans to focus on business development near the waterfront area to show National City has stability. He said he will also continue to energize the neighborhood with street improvements and new projects like the swap meet.
"The people of National City are looking to upscale the city," he said.
If elected, Sotelo-Solis said she would embark on a listening campaign in order to determine how the economy is impacting the lives of National City residents by what services they use.
"I'm not a rubber stamp, she said. "I'm working to voice my concern about the community and at the end of the day I'm going to have to sleep on my decision ... and that I make a decision based on what I believe in my heart to be right, based off of what the residents tell me."
Morrison said that Sotelo-Solis has a lot of youthful and political ambition. "But right now we need experience," he said. "This is a time for community, not politics."