Photo by Ron Donoho
No pressure on Chris Ward. He only has to step into his new District 3 seat on the San Diego City Council and replace one of the most popular Democrats—termed-out councilmember Todd Gloria—in local government.
Ward, who looks young enough to still be attending class at Johns Hopkins (undergrad) or Harvard (master's), was elected in the June primary by getting 59 percent of the vote. He's a progressive Dem who was an environmental planner before most recently serving as chief of staff to state Sen. Marty Block. Ward and his partner live in University Heights with their daughter.
Like Gloria, Ward is well spoken and quick on his feet. As the new political overseer of downtown and surrounding environs, Ward inherits the problems of homelessness. He ran for city council with a proactive plan for working to lower the number of people living on the streets—by expanding the city's Homeless Outreach Team, pushing the mayor to create a position of Homeless Czar and declaring a Homeless State of Emergency in San Diego.
One of those three things has already happened—Mayor Kevin Fauconer hired Stacie Spector as the city's new senior advisor for housing solutions. "I applaud the mayor for making the important decision to hire a senior level staff member to serve in this role," Ward says, adding that he intends to hit the ground running after he's sworn in to work on solutions for homelessness and other big concerns like the proposed downtown Chargers stadium (which he opposes).