COUNCIL DISTRICT TWO CANDIDATE FRANCIA CASTRO
Francia Castro is running for Chula Vista City Council District 2 being vacated by Council member Jill Galvez who is currently running for mayor. The 38-year-old Republican is a mother of three and has lived in Chula Vista for 10 years. She was born in Sonora, Mexico, and raised in San Diego since she was 5-years-old. From the South Bay originally, she said she has dedicated herself to her children, her career is in real estate, and as a parent, she has an interest in what the future holds for them, and that is much of her drive to run for city council as she wants to contribute to the future of Chula Vista.
“Many exciting things are happening in Chula Vista,” she said. “I want to make sure, if possible, that I involved in what happens and what the future is going to look like for my kids.”
Castro said she decided to run for District 2 because she believes it is a place that needs to continue to move on, and things that it has encountered over the past two years with the pandemic, there is a great need to bring people together, and to have unity in the Chula Vista community, and see it as the great city that it is.
“It is important that we continue to thrive as one of the largest cities in all potential aspects of what the city is,” she said. “Not that it is not a great city already, but I believe some of the development that is happening, it has improved. As far as my district, there is a lot of separation when it comes to the actual issues that we encounter. I think much of the conflict is not knowing how to work together as opposed to pointing the finger, not having a solution, or having the response that we need from our local government.”
Castro said she believes that much improvement can be done, many programs can be put into fruition, if everyone works together.
“Businesses in District 2 need a lot of support,’ she said. “Our residents need a lot of support in our housing crises, so I think making sure that all of these issues are addressed appropriately to fit the needs of our residents.”
Castro said speaking as a mother, school safety is extremely important.
“Making sure that we have the appropriate people to respond to these issues immediately, and making that a priority, because the examples that they are being exposed to every day, and the environment that they grow up in is where I think there is substantial improvement that can be done. Especially in District 2.”
Castro said the bayfront development, housing prices and the gentrification of west Chula Vista is a concern for her.
“I come from a working family, and I am a working individual, so it is a concern for me and what my children will be able to afford,” she said. “I think there is a possibility to work together, being the mediator with landlords and developers to make sure that we are not creating a city where the poor people get kicked out of the city because they can no longer afford it. But also, it is a matter of the support that our government gives us, and the support that we give our businesses in return, to make sure that everything is flowing to the benefit of everyone. There are many possibilities to make sure that it all works, but we do have to work together. There must be creative ideas that come onto the table, especially with this huge development in the bayfront area. With all these things happening I think we can continually pull innovative ideas to make sure that we are not just falling on one extreme of the spectrum.”
Castro said in developing the bayfront, that she will support utilizing local contractors and developers, making sure that the city is uplifting each other in the community.
“That also comes with the pride that results from that,” she said. “Whenever you develop something, you want to be able to look at it and say, ‘I was part of that.’ We should be able to use local, and people that live here in Chula Vista to contribute to these monumental changes that are coming.”
Castro said getting a four-year university in Chula Vista is extremely important. She said with its presence in South Bay, she looks forward to more younger people coming into the city and utilizing its benefits as much as local young people go out to college from here to explore other places.
“It is very important because it gives a different set of eyes from different places to experience the lifestyle and culture that we have created here in Chula Vista. This is something that, for various reasons, is very thrilling and gives you such a comfort,” she said. “Again, as a mother, I want to make sure that I give that opportunity to my children, to know that they can stay home, and they can live here if they do not want to explore other options.”
Castro said in the planning of the university, that it is important that the infrastructure to support the university be part of the planning, so that students, faculty and staff that are there have the necessities right there, without having to travel away from the campus or out of the city for the things that they need.
Castro said mental health is a reality, and that her children have experienced it, and she wants them to have the option to be home and continue to work on their education as far as they want to take it.
Castro said with this election, and almost a completely new city council, she believes that things fall into place, and a certain rhythm of how things move along, in her general view of her life, but that she stays true to her core values.
“I think the reason that it is happening is because there is a substantial different thing that needs to happen to where we are all working together to bring up the city in various ways, and not do and say the redundant things that have been said before,” she said. “I think many people that are trying to get involved, trying to contribute to the city’s development, have that in mind. And making that change and coming out of the pandemic is the perfect time. If you have people that listen and are willing to stand up and go the extra mile for issues that have kept people in a very dim light for the past two years, there must be a really good thing coming. I am excited for that. I want to be in that chair and contribute to those ideas and that means the next phase the city of Chula Vista is heading towards. It is interesting that there are so many different people and components that will be playing to the new city council, but I feel like it is what has been needed.”