County of San Diego Candidates Answer Questions Vital to Voters Age 50+

Posted on 10/20/20 by Shea McCaslin

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AARP is committed to ensuring voters have the information they need to cast their ballot this year! That is why we are sharing how County of San Diego candidates plan to act on issues important to 50-plus voters, if elected. Below you will find responses from San Diego County Board of Supervisors, District 3 candidates, as well as from the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, District 4 incumbent.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS, DISTRICT 3 RACE – COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO

Question 1: A livable community should offer safe, walkable streets; age-friendly housing and transportation options; access to needed services; and opportunities for residents of all ages to participate in community life. What are three specific policies you will seek to implement to make San Diego more livable for people of all ages, especially for older adults ages 50+?

Kristin Gaspar – San Diego County Board of Supervisors, D-3 Candidate
Kristin Gaspar
"Across the nation, communities are experiencing a large older adult population for the first time in history, and San Diego is no exception. A variety of challenges come with this change in demographics, including concerns about housing, transportation, and health care. In 2016, the county embarked on a journey to create a region that supports, fosters, and leverages the strengths of the older adult population by becoming an age and dementia friendly community. San Diego County joined the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities, and began a collaborative planning process known as Age Well San Diego. As Chairwoman of the Board, I garnered the unanimous support of my colleagues to adopt the Age Well Action Plan and submit the plan to AARP. This effort covers the planning, goals, action steps, timelines, and metrics to measure success.

To read the plan itself, please visit https://www.aarp.org/content/dam/aarp/livable-communities/livable-documents/documents-2018/action-plans/san-diego-california-action-plan-2018.pdf

Three key initiatives in this plan that are central to my focus include:
  • Implementing zoning ordinances and design requirements that create accessible, mixed-use villages with a variety of housing types and services.
  • Develop a coordinated, innovative ride share mobility system which provides specialized transportation for older adults.
  • Utilize and further develop access to, and best practices with, technology.”

Terra Lawson-Remer – San Diego County Board of Supervisors, D-3 Candidate
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“We absolutely should be focusing on making our communities livable; the point is to live in them! My commitment to protecting our quality of life, beautiful natural resources, and precious open space are why the Sierra Club, League of Conservation Voters, and Climate Defenders have endorsed me. We must realign our County's growth to make sure new developments are built to be walkable, integrated into existing communities, and fully accessible. I am calling for us to stop sprawl developments in the backcountry that builds unaffordable McMansions in fire-prone environments, and then require residents to drive any time they want to get anywhere- that's why I'm endorsed by local firefighters in addition to environmental groups. These sprawl developments are bad for our health, our safety, our environment, and our climate, as well as inaccessible to anyone who cannot drive. We need to build through "smart growth" policies that locate new housing near transit hubs and community hubs, so families can walk their kids to school, go shopping, and generally live their lives without relying on a car and sitting in traffic all day. I support a balanced transit platform that will maintain our roads while expanding alternative transit options, from safer sidewalks to better public transit. Finally, we need to ensure that our built environment is designed to facilitate rather than inhibit easy movement, for all San Diegans.”


Question 2: Older adults, like people of all ages, want respect and to be involved on issues that impact their lives. As a local leader, how will you ensure there are age-friendly opportunities for older adults to contribute meaningfully to San Diego and have their voices heard?

Kristin Gaspar – San Diego County Board of Supervisors, D-3 Candidate
“As Supervisor, I will continue to strengthen, foster, and support the efforts of Age Well San Diego. It is only through robust community engagement efforts that the voices of older adults and professionals will continue to shed light on what is working well in our communities, what needs improvement, and areas of opportunities to address gaps. I will continue to advocate for robust feedback sessions, Aging Summits, surveys, listening sessions, focus groups, the Live Well Advance Conference, and community town halls.”

Terra Lawson-Remer – San Diego County Board of Supervisors, D-3 Candidate
“I am committed to supporting all San Diegans with opportunities to engage in our great communities, and am proud that commitment earned me the endorsement of the Democratic Party, as well as leaders like State Senate President Toni Atkins, Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, and Governor Gavin Newsom. Older adults deserve the same opportunities to participate and contribute to our communities, and that begins by making sure they can safely stay in their communities as long as they want to. Seniors routinely report a strong desire to remain in their homes as they age, but research also demonstrates that doing so is often the safest, healthiest, and most cost-effective approach. Currently, too many older adults who plan to “age in place” suddenly reach an untenable position where they need a little bit of help around the home but can’t afford any. While the County has a small program for those with no assets left, I want to expand the In-Home Supportive Services program on a sliding scale to ensure that all seniors can afford to stay in their own homes as long as they want and safely can, without having to spend down every penny before getting help. I will always seek input from all communities about how to support them and make opportunities available to everyone, but I think a key starting point for older adults specifically is supporting their decisions about where to live.”

SAN DIEGO COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS, DISTRICT 4 – COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO

Nathan Fletcher - San Diego County Board of Supervisors, D-4 Incumbent

Nathan Fletcher_SD4 Incumbent.jpg

Question 1: A livable community should offer safe, walkable streets; age-friendly housing and transportation options; access to needed services; and opportunities for residents of all ages to participate in community life. What are three specific policies you will seek to implement to make San Diego more livable for people of all ages, especially for older adults ages 50+?

"As Chair of MTS, access to transportation is a core policy priority.  Many residents are transit-dependent, including older San Diegans. To continue services during the pandemic, MTS received Federal CARES Act funding to offset costs. MTS will be transitioning to zero emission buses by 2040, and we will work to make sure buses, trolleys, fares, and routes are designed with older San Diegans in mind. 

We were in a housing crisis before COVID-19, but now the need is even more pronounced.  Access to affordable housing is a critical component of the health of our communities, which is why I will continue to advocate for affordable housing in the region.  Housing that is built in the right place with access to transit, shops, and services, makes a community more livable for all and allows older San Diegans to more comfortably age in place. 

I was interested to hear air quality is a key concern for Fourth District members.  San Diego has the sixth-worst air quality in the country. I am leading on a number of changes locally and statewide to address this issue.  As the Governor’s appointee to the California Air Resources Board, I am pushing for policies that accelerate the transition to zero emission vehicles, including our heavy-duty trucks and buses. Locally, at the Air Pollution Control District, I have been an advocate for reforming agency structure, adopting more stringent Toxic Hotspots regulations, and launching the Clean Cars 4 All program in 2021."

Question 2: Older adults, like people of all ages, want respect and to be involved on issues that impact their lives. As a local leader, how will you ensure there are age-friendly opportunities for older adults to contribute meaningfully to San Diego and have their voices heard?

"While COVID has brought a myriad of challenges, one positive during these difficult times is the newfound ability to participate more easily in civic life.  Now that the Board of Supervisors meetings are digitally accessible, we hear more from community members than ever before, while those individuals are safely at home. I hope that this will be a legacy of this era.  People want to be heard and be involved, so as elected officials, we should make that happen.  I am actively engaged in making sure that those who speak a language other than English can have the same access to Board Meetings and materials. 

I was pleased to recently meet with representatives from AARP’s Fourth District to brainstorm how we can work together.  We are now working towards scheduling a virtual town hall so that AARP members can join a conversation with me to learn more about my priorities, and, more importantly, so I can hear directly from the older San Diegans about their priorities."




AARP has a proud 34-year history of nonpartisan voter engagement and does not endorse or oppose candidates or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates.

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