On March 5 Chula Vista voters will choose among a crowded field of city council candidates running for districts three and four. The Star-News will publish Q and A’s with candidates in the weeks leading up to election day.

District 3 candidate

What is your background and why you are running for Chula Vista City Council?

The daughter of working-class parents, I’ve spent my career advocating to improve public education, expand access healthcare, build stronger and safer communities, and ensure equity in the workplace.

I spent decades as a community organizer where I was a tireless advocate for working families. My real-world experience is an invaluable asset that I will bring to our city council, serving our community effectively and passionately.

Leticia Munguia

While attending law school, I managed the Department of Justice’s Domestic Violence Program and developed a Spanish speaking outreach and communications campaign.

I worked at the San Diego County Alternate Public Defender’s Office ensuring representation in the justice system for everyone. I was the first Latina investigator hired by the San Diego Alternate Public Defender.

I have been a leader in organizing workers and communities to ensure fair wages, retirement security and access to healthcare. At the MAAC Project, I developed and implemented community outreach and engagement campaigns in some of our region’s most underrepresented communities. I worked to build up affordable housing stock, increase civic engagement and train youth and recent immigrants on how to access resources.

From my current work at the Sweetwater Authority as the Human Resources Manager, to my previous role at the California School Employees Association, I have been on the frontlines advocating for workers’ rights, universal healthcare, and equity for women, and immigrants’ rights. I have a deep understanding of the challenges faced by our families, an unwavering commitment to improving their quality of life, and expanding opportunities for all Chula Vistans.

I was born in San Diego and grew up in southeast San Diego County. I attended local public schools, City College, and graduated from San Diego State University. I earned my JD from Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School and live in Chula Vista with my partner, Paul, and their dog Toby.

What are your top three priorities as a council member and why?

1) Protecting Chula Vista’s Quality of Life: Improve the 9-1-1 response times and traffic enforcement by ensuring that police and firefighters have the resources to respond to emergencies quickly and safely.

2) Invest in our parks, add walking trails, and green spaces to ensure our youth have safe spaces to enjoy. I will work to ensure that we bring home state and federal dollars giving our youth and families safe and vibrant places to be active.

3) Provide housing that is affordable and secure state and federal funding for first time home buyer, senior and Veterans housing.

What is District 3 excelling in and why?

1) Workforce Housing: The Chula Vista City Council adopted a policy on October 26, 2021, which included a new policy to enable a partnership with a Joint Powers Authority to finance rental projects in Chula Vista for moderate income households. This is a critical first step to increasing our housing supply while ensuring we develop job centers and additional jobs in the City of Chula Vista.

2) 4 Year University in Chula Vista: Recent progress in the establishment of a university in Chula Vista has been positive and will not only help ensure local youth stay in our community, but we create more jobs in the education, research, and other related fields. I am excited to work and support the University Now Initiative to build additional jobs in years to come.

3) Economic Development: Millennia Community is a beautiful segment of our community with small business opportunities with a variety of local and national franchises incorporated. The new park spaces are beautifully equipped park tot lots and children spaces.

What is District 3 lacking and what plans do you have to create solutions?

1) Traffic and review of the Toll Road 125: I look forward to working with our City of Chula Vista council members, staff, and transportation officials and authorities to address the deep traffic congestion corridors on Olympic and East Lake Parkway, etc.

2) Middle School in District 3 dedicated to East Chula Vista to assist the educational transition to Olympian High School. Chula Vista Elementary School District has done a great job with local elementary schools and look forward to working with the district in identifying a middle school site and location in District 3.

3) Job Development Centers. While the new Joint Powers Authority partnership to finance rental projects with a workforce housing component is a great first step, we need more job development centers across Chula Vista District 3. I am excited to work on and support the Innovation District to prepare our community for the jobs of the future and energize our thriving ecosystem near the university location.

What makes you the better candidate for City Council and why?

As the daughter of immigrant parents from Mexico, I saw how hard they worked to give my sisters and me a better life. Their struggles and sacrifices inspired me to advocate for working families, expand healthcare access, support our small businesses, and foster economic development in Chula Vista.

I’m running for City Council because I have a deep understanding of the challenges we face and am committed to improving our quality of life and expanding opportunities for all Chula Vistans.

I’ll fight for safer neighborhoods, greater transparency and accountability, more parks and recreation spaces, housing that’s affordable, and support for first time home buyers. I have a plan to address homelessness by getting people off the streets and into housing with mental healthcare and substance abuse services.

I will ensure our first responders have what they need to handle emergencies swiftly and safely, improving 9-1-1 response times, traffic safety, and fire protection, and stopping smash-and-grab robberies.

I have over 35 years of work and professional experience, including:
• Bachelor of Science, Criminal Justice Administration
• Juris Doctorate Degree: General Practice and Civil Litigation.
• 25 years of contracts, review, governance experience and contract administration.
• 25 years of Brown Act knowledge, experience, and training.
• 25 years of budget development, review, and management.
• Human Resources (HR) and Employee Labor Relations Expert
• Change Leadership Certification – Center for Creative Leadership
• Mediation Certification – National Conflict Resolution Center
• Trustees Master’s Program – International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
• Certificate of Achievements, Public Plan Policy – International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
• Introduction to Health & Welfare Medical Plans & Providers – Board of Trustee Institute Certified
• CSA of San Diego County: Board of Director
• Chula Vista Elementary School District: Independent Oversight Committee: Member at Large Representative

What else would you like for voters to know about you?

I’ve called Chula Vista home for nearly 15 years and Chula Vista is a part of who I am. I am proud to have the support of San Diego County’s healthcare workers, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, San Diego County Supervisor Nora Vargas, former Chula Vista Mayor Mary Salas, Chula Vista City Council member Jose Preciado, and many others.