Chula Vista candidates racing toward June election

Now through june the star-news will feature interviews with candidates running for a variety of public offices.

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Jose Preciado

COUNCIL DISTRICT 2 CANDIDATE JOSE PRECIADO

Jose Preciado is running for City Council District 2 being vacated by Council member Jill Galvez who is currently running for mayor. Preciado has worked at SDSU for 23 years, currently the director and lecturer of General Studies. Preciado is a life-long resident of South Bay, having attended Nester Elementary School, Southwest middle and high schools before attending SDSU. He moved to Chula Vista in 2006.

“I have been active in the community for the last 20 years in terms of my civic involvement,” he said. “Formally as an elected, and in community groups such as the South Bay Forum, Chula Vista Democratic Club”

In 2008, Preciado was elected as director for the South Bay Irrigation District Division 3/Sweetwater Authority and is currently serving his fourth term, chairing the Water Resources Committee, and a member of the Imported Water Committee, and the Colorado River Task Force. He also serves as a director the San Diego County Water Authority representing west Chula Vista. He said his role on the County Authority is ensuring the reliability of water resources for the region.

“In addition, I have worked in the region as a student services professional with SDSU, with a variety of roles there. Most of my work is dedicated to college opportunity and college success,” he said. “I have been able to focus on serving the region in support of projects like Compact for Success, a partnership between SDSU and the Sweetwater Union High School District. I have been with that project since its inception.”

Preciado said after all the years of experiences and activities, he believes he has the training, professional skills, and the experience in civic life in Chula Vista to have a positive role in some of the challenges and activities that the city is facing.

“I am extremely interested in responding to the current housing crisis,” he said. “All our families are being priced out of the market. Whether it is a rent or purchasing situation. I work with many young adults, and as they are graduating, many are talking about moving in with their parents, or moving out of the region. That prompted me into thinking what role I can play.”

Preciado said due to the pandemic, he has seen extraordinary impacts on west Chula Vista, particularly the 91910 zip code, and that tells him there are many essential workers, many who could not stop working, so he knows the socioeconomics of west Chula Vista are such, that the city needs to start thinking of new ways to provide affordable and inclusionary housing.

“For young adults, for seniors, for all families who do not have the ability to keep up with these inflation rates,” he said. “Housing has gone up 30% over the last three years and salaries have not kept up with that. If you are a family with a fixed income, how do you adjust for that in your monthly income? We are facing an enormous challenge and I have been part of Fair Housing agencies since 2011. We focus on civil rights housing when people face discrimination and I have become aware of the many challenges.”

Preciado said many families are facing, due to the economy and their personal situations, they are one to two paychecks away from being houseless. He said he wants to take affirmative steps to provide resources for families to transition.

“I think we need to start being more understanding and more proactive in what we are doing to support families,” he said.

Preciado said regionally, there is much work underway reorganize or urbanize in a unique way, creating more housing options along transportation corridors.

“Some areas in west Chula Vista where they are zoned correctly, we can resolve some of the lack of housing,” he said. “I think about the property over on E Street and the I-5, the large corner there shared with MTS, we have the capacity to build up to 22 stories there. I do not know if that is the solution, but I do know that would bring more housing options, and a full array of housing options. Market level housing, mid-level housing, and some affordable housing in a very sophisticated complex right there by the trolley. I think we can start thinking about moving forward with the wonderful community that we already have. It needs to be wonderful for everyone.”

Preciado said with the bayfront project the gentrification of west Chula Vista, it is already happening.

“The problem with gentrification is that it is no longer something we should be waiting for,” he said. “The people who are buying or able to rent now are coming in with higher incomes, so anything that becomes available in the market right now, in the last four to five weeks there have only been around 14 properties available for sale at any given time in the district. If you look now, there might be an apartment on Oakland for $400,000. The ability to buy a $400,000 property, even though that is the bottom of the market, is not available to most families given the income of our community. So, people are moving in that can afford them from other places. So, the gentrification process is occurring in spite of anything that we have done. Just by the market. That means we are having higher income families coming in.”

Preciado said there is no one to blame as those families are taking advantage of the current market. He said gentrification is west Chula Vista is already here, so what needs to be done looking forward is providing for the families who are supposed to be here.

“The bayfront is supposed to have many jobs as it is constructed, then many high quality jobs and union jobs in the hospitality industry,” he said. “I am hoping that those jobs can allow you to live somewhere in Chula Vista. Otherwise, we are going to have people in the hospitality industry commuting from all over the county and even Tijuana to work in our community because that is where you can afford to live.”

Preciado said he is hoping to work with partner governments that have responsibilities in the region so they can plan together, work together, and create a better Chula Vista.

“The community has options and choices, and I hope I stand out as the only candidate with elected experience, and that my more than 20 years of civic experience will contribute to me being an effective representative for all west Chula Vistans.”

Chula Vista candidates racing toward June election