2017 DCPC Election Candidate Bios
The following candidates were nominated and declared eligible by the DCPC Elections Subcommittee.
Don’t forget The Downtown Community Planning Council (DCPC) will hold additional election times for new members on March 29 & 30, 2017.
Please contact Robert Weichelt, Chiar of the Elections Subcommittee, at email@example.com for more information.
CANDIDATES FOR ELECTION
Columbia ~ Residential Owner-Occupant
Judy Radke is a Detroit native who also lived in Chicago and Houston before moving to San Diego. She was a founding member of the San Diego Women’s Foundation in 2000. She has volunteered as a nurse in homeless shelters and free medical clinics; served as a tutor for girls in Juvenile Hall; and served on the United Way Vision Council for Child Abuse and Neglect. She is a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) with Voices for Children, advocating for foster children in the courtroom, classroom, and community.
Judy enjoys daily walks around downtown and values the easy access to the arts and great restaurants. She has been on the DCPC for 2 terms, serving as Secretary during her second term.
Core ~ Resident
Downtown At-Large ~ Community Organization
James Lawson, President of Presidio PAG, Inc., brings more than a decade of experience in local government and lobbying to his clients. His diverse background includes creating public policy, advocating for private development interests and implementing complex strategic initiatives. Throughout his career, Lawson has built strong relationships in the public sector, private sector and on both sides of the political aisle.
Lawson’s career in San Diego began on the campaign of former San Diego City Councilmember and current San Diego Mayor, Kevin Faulconer. Following Faulconer’s 2006 election to the City Council, Lawson served in his office for over five years as Senior Policy Advisor and Liaison to Downtown San Diego where he was responsible for all matters related to land-use, redevelopment, housing and transportation.
Following his tenure in Faulconer’s office, Lawson joined a statewide public affairs firm where he spent four years in the firm’s San Diego office. During that time, he worked directly with several large corporations to develop and execute advocacy strategies. He also specialized in building broad and diverse coalitions to support his client’s interests. Lawson is actively involved in several organizations throughout the San Diego region including the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, the San Diego County Taxpayer’s Association and the Downtown San Diego Partnership.
Downtown At-Large ~ Community Organization
Larry ‘LC’ Cline. Living in Downtown San Diego since 2004, I have made it a point to be involved in the community and stay informed as the city changes and develops. Professionally as a REALTOR with Willis Allen Real Estate, this has been invaluable to my clients as well as my downtown neighbors. I hold a bachelor’s degree in Engineering as Environmental Resource Planner and previously worked as a designer and project manager in the construction industry for over 18 years. My family has been involved in the construction and development industry since the 1960’s.
To give back to the community, I sit on the boards of several prominent organizations:
- Downtown Community Planning Council DCPC – 2 yrs.
- Downtown Residents Group DRG - 2 yrs.
- Clean & safe / San Diego Downtown Partnership – 4 yrs.
- Cortez Hill Active Residents Group CHRG – 5 yrs.
I’ve been a 5 year member of Friends of Downtown, which engages in many local charitable activities and as a Military Relocation Professional (MRP certified) I am proud to work with San Diego’s military community in locating affordable housing for them and their families. Growth and changes throughout San Diego need careful consideration and leadership.
Downtown At-Large ~ Community Organization
Jennifer Litwak serves as the Executive Director of Housing on Merit. At the helm of Housing on Merit, Ms. Litwak has successfully managed the closing of over $283 million in multifamily acquisitions and overseen the preservation and renovation of over 2,150 units of affordable housing in California and Washington, D.C. Nationally, Ms. Litwak is an active member of the American Bar Association and is a member of the Forum Committee on Affordable Housing and Community Development Law. She is a Board of Trustee of the National Housing Conference and serves on their Research Committee which advises the Center for Housing Policy. In addition, Ms. Litwak serves on CREW Network’s Industry Research Committee, which provides the industry reliable statistics addressing the advancement of women in commercial real estate. In 2017, Ms. Litwak was profiled by the Daily Transcript’s Influential Women Report as one of the most influential women in San Diego County. In 2016, Ms. Litwak was chosen as one of the Top 100 Business Professionals in San Diego and in 2015 she was recognized as one of Real Estate Forum’s Fifty Under 40 in the commercial real estate industry.
Locally, Ms. Litwak has complemented her professional career with extensive community service. She was appointed by Mayor Jerry Sanders to serve on the Consolidated Plan Advisory Board, which recommend processes, policies, and procedures for the fair distribution of approximately $14 million of Community Development Block Grant and Emergency Shelter Grant funds to non-profit and other organizations eligible to receive these funds. Ms. Litwak was elected to the North Park Redevelopment Project Area Committee and Chaired the Multifamily Housing Enhancement Loan Program Committee.
Ms. Litwak has a Bachelor of Arts from Wake Forest University where she graduated magna cum laude. She also holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and is an active member of the New Hampshire State Bar, California Women Lawyers, Lawyers Club of San Diego, CREW San Diego, Urban Land Institute, the Women’s Foundation of California, and Women Give San Diego.
East Village North ~ Business
East Village North ~ Resident
Alex Ward is running for his second term on the DCPC. He has been a proud resident of the East Village since 2013. Using his professional background in city planning, Alex is committed to making Downtown San Diego a premier urban destination and improving the quality of life for residents and businesses.
Alex works for a local business improvement district and serves on the Downtown Parking Management Group. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Geography from Syracuse University and master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.
His interests include retrofitting/reuse, placemaking, and safer streets. He currently sits on the Budget/Finance, Communications, and Public Spaces Subcommittees.
East Village South ~ Residential Owner-Occupant
Claudia Escala got elected to represent East Village resident owners in 2013. With a degree in architecture she currently sits as Chair on the Preliminary Design Subcommittee, is on the Public Spaces Subcommittee, and the Social Issues Subcommittee.
A native of Lima-Peru, she moved to San Diego in 1992 to pursue a Master in Architecture from the University of California, San Diego. Since 1994 she has worked in downtown and has been responsible for the design and project development through construction administration of various mixed used projects throughout downtown.
Witnessing the multifamily housing boom that brought many people to seek urban living, in 2005 with her husband and two young children they decided to make the move from the suburbs and bought a condo in East Village. At the time they joined only three other families with young children in a building with 230 units. Since then things have changed and more families have enjoyed living downtown, but Claudia has seen, first hand, neighbors leave when their kids reach school age. For this reason she joined DCPC to be a voice for families with young children who wish to live in a neighborhood that also offers great school choices from pre-K to high school. Anticipating her kids growing as teens in downtown and as they seek more independence Claudia is also particularly interested in issues of safety and homelessness.
With a passion for all things outdoors you can always find her with her family exploring the neighborhood on their bikes, scooters or roller blades. At the top of Claudia’s list is also to contribute to making downtown a more pedestrian and bike friendly place with ample open space for recreation. As part of recreational opportunities, she supports bringing back artistic locales that were present in East Village prior to the multifamily development. She also welcomes new creative cultural venues, which will result in the enrichment of the arts and culture of the neighborhood she represents.
Claudia currently works as a Project Manager at Carrier Johnson + CULTURE. She continues to be deeply involved in many residential projects downtown and recently expanded her experience into corporate architecture by working as Project Architect on the New Sempra Energy Headquarters currently under construction in East Village.
Pre-Design Subcommittee Chair, Public Spaces Subcommittee
East Village South ~ Business
Pat Stark has been a member of DCPC since 2010. He is currently serving as Chair and holds an East Village Business Owners seat. As a 30-plus year veteran of the construction industry, he developed an interest in urban planning and regional design. As Vice President of Operations for Roel Construction, Pat was involved in many downtown projects including Petco Park, Salvation Army Silvercrest, Hilton Gaslamp, Renaissance Condominiums, and a variety of tenant improvements. He is an active member of the Downtown San Diego Partnership and an adjunct professor at SDSU teaching construction cost estimating. As the owner of an East Village condo he is interested in the ongoing development of downtown as a regional economic engine and international urban center. For downtown San Diego to attract the density anticipated by our Community Plan, we must continue to work on the quality of life issues in order to attract and retain residents and visitors to this vibrant community.
Pat and his wife Rosemary live in Lakeside, but are downtown regularly taking advantage of the sights, sounds, and always exciting environment.
East Village South ~ Business
Caroline Perry is the Vice President, General Counsel of the San Diego Padres, where she works frequently with the City of San Diego on the management and use of Petco Park. Caroline has also worked extensively with Civic San Diego on various projects related to the Padres in and around Petco Park, including Bumble Bee Seafood’s lease of the iconic Candy Factory building and the use of the parking lots and facilities around Petco Park. Caroline shares the Padres’ passion for a vibrant and thriving downtown community and feels privileged to work each day in San Diego’s East Village.
Caroline’s legal practice with the Padres is extremely varied and includes real estate, employment, litigation and general corporate advice. Caroline also serves on the board of the East Village Square Owners Association.
Caroline is a San Diego native who received her undergraduate degree from Stanford University and her law degree from Columbia University. Caroline lives with her husband and two young daughters in Pacific Beach and enjoys travel, reading and attending Padres baseball games.
Horton/Gaslamp ~ Business
Kimberly Brewer is the Vice President of Development for Westfield LLC. Westfield is the owner of 33 regional and super regional shopping centers in the United States and United Kingdom. Kim has been with Westfield for twenty years and has been in San Diego for the last seven years working on development opportunities for Westfield Horton as well as Westfield North County in Escondido. Prior to moving to San Diego Kim lived in Los Angeles where Westfield has their corporate headquarters for the United States and worked on very large redevelopments in LA and previous to that she was on the management side of the company. Kim holds a bachelor of business administration degree from the University of San Diego. She currently is on the Downtown San Diego Partnership Board. Kim also has been a board member on the Downtown Community Planning Council for several years. Since moving back to San Diego she has been a resident of downtown and in her free time loves to travel, sail and spend time outdoors.
Horton/Gaslamp ~ Resident
Figaro Miguel Nauta is an international sales representative for Tulip Medical Products, a local medical product development company. He is a San Diego native and Gaslamp resident for over 20 years, though he has lived in Colorado, Washington D.C., New York City, Boston, and Baltimore. Figaro has two-years of experience serving on the board for the DCPC. He currently serves on the Public Spaces, Elections/Bylaws, and Social Issues Subcommittees. Well-traveled, Figaro developed a world perspective on life, business, and social issues. He knows both residents and businesses need each other to build strong communities. Figaro’s focus is to represent Horton/Gaslamp residents and ensure their needs are considered and their rights are protected.
Little Italy ~ Business
Little Italy ~ Residential Owner-Occupant
Lieutenant Christopher “Psych” Rowland, age 30, has been a San Diego and Little Italy resident since 2011. He graduated with honors from the United States Naval Academy in 2009 with a degree in Political Science and a minor in Chinese. He is also graduating from USC’s Executive MBA program this spring. He serves in the US Navy as a MH-60S Knighthawk pilot and a Seahawk Weapons and Tactics Instructor (helicopter equivalent of Top Gun) with orders to remain in San Diego for at least the next three years before planning to leave the military. While stationed in San Diego, he has served aboard the USS Ronald Reagan, with the HSC-4 Black Knights, and HSC Weapons School Pacific. During his career, Lieutenant Rowland has accumulated over 1000 flight hours and numerous personal awards/commendations.
He currently serves as vice president of his HOA at the Columbia Fir Lofts in Little Italy. He is also actively involved in the Wingman Foundation charity and Housing on Merit non-profit, both headquartered in San Diego. He enjoys traveling abroad, golfing, running marathons, skiing, scuba diving, reading, and spending time with his family and girlfriend, Jennifer Litwak.
Marina ~ Business
Cindy Blair, AIA, LEED AP and Urban Project Services principal, has been a downtown resident and business owner in the Marina District since 1982. A DCPC member since 2010, she served as Secretary for 4 years, Chairman of Pre-Design Subcommittee, and currently Chairman of the Public Spaces Subcommittee. A licensed professional architect and LEED acredited professional, she has worked in the architectural and development industry for 35 years, including many aspects in the commercial area but particularly urban mixed use, retail, and university projects. Owner/operators of Kansas City Barbeque, she and her husband enjoy walking the downtown and waterfront area, partaking of the great variety of downtown restaurants and businesses.
Active in downtown affairs, Cindy also serves on the Gaslamp Quarter Association Board and the Gaslamp Quarter Heritage Foundation Land Use and Planning committee. She strives for maintaining those qualities that make downtown a safe, enjoyable, and active and friendly place to live and do business.