Poll Position

By Katie Orr

When the polls open November 6, voters will elect a President of the United States, California state legislators and America's Finest mayor. After the votes have been tallied, either Republican city councilmember Carl DeMaio or Democratic Rep. Bob Filner will occupy center stage in San Diego's City Hall.

For a little insight into local politics, here's a side-by-side comparison of how the mayoral candidates feel about job growth, medical marijuana, gay marriage and other important issues.

CARL DEMAIO

What do you want young voters to know about you?

When I was 23 years old, I took a leap of faith: I founded my first company by maxing out my credit cards to cover start-up costs. That experience allows me to understand the challenges facing today's young people: high unemployment, uncertainty and an increasing cost of living. It is my priority to create a business environment in San Diego that encourages job creation and allows young people to make those leaps of faith and get their careers moving.

What would you do to promote jobs for young professionals in San Diego?

We need to cut red tape and allow young professionals to create the start-up companies they dream of, with less government interference and regulation.

How do you propose balancing the residential and nightlife areas in San Diego neighborhoods like Pacific Beach, Downtown and North Park ?

We have seen small businesses opening; jobs created; and new entertainment, shopping, and dining experiences over the last few years. However, it is important to balance the safety, wellbeing and quality of life of families and long-time residents in areas that experience new growth.

What is your position on the federal crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries in San Diego?

My mother battled the pain of bone cancer, so I have an appreciation for those that feel the need to use medical marijuana for legitimate purposes. California voters approved the use, and I respect the will of voters. Until recently, the city ignored its responsibility to regulate dispensaries per state law, which opened the door for the federal crackdown. The city must properly regulate dispensaries to ensure compliance with the law.

Where do you stand on building a new Chargers stadium?

I support the concept of a sports and entertainment district downtown, where a stadium could include event space. If this project moves forward, I want to ensure taxpayers are protected against cost overruns, and I am committed to a vote of the people.

What would you do to promote clean beaches in San Diego?

I will create a city department dedicated to the environment and coastal water quality to provide the leadership needed to improve our beaches.

How would you promote and support the use of mass transit in San Diego?

We should expect a transportation system that works. I will accomplish this through the Mayor's influence in regional transportation planning via the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System and San Diego Association of Governments.

What is your position on gay marriage?

I support marriage equality.

BOB FILNER

What do you want young voters to know about you?

I'm committed to passing on to them a better, healthier, more prosperous city with clean beaches and bays, preserved canyons, lagoons and open spaces; a vibrant economy that provides good-paying jobs; a top-quality public education system that prepares them to succeed in the 21st Century; and safe, vibrant neighborhoods in which to live, play and work.

What would you do to promote jobs for young professionals in San Diego?

Technology is enabling creative workers to be highly mobile. They are attracted to and nurtured by world-class education and quality of life. The city can play a major role in promoting this "innovation economy."

How do you propose balancing the residential and nightlife areas in San Diego neighborhoods like Pacific Beach, Downtown and North Park?

Nightlife is great for the economy, but families also deserve to feel safe in their homes and neighborhoods. Programs like Community Volunteer Patrol and Neighborhood Watch can make a difference in reminding everyone we all have to live together.

What is your position on the federal crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries in San Diego?

I believe the federal government should respect the decision of the voters of California who authorized use of medicinal marijuana to relieve pain and suffering. I support reasonable regulations that regulate the location and operation of these dispensaries.

Where do you stand on building a new Chargers stadium?

I am opposed to spending public money to subsidize a new Chargers stadium. I would support a financing plan where the city can benefit along with the team. There would need to be a defined return for taxpayers on any investment the city makes.

What would you do to promote clean beaches in San Diego?

I would reduce storm-water runoff and wastewater discharges to ensure clean water for swimming, surfing and fishing.

How would you promote and support the use of mass transit in San Diego?

The city should encourage smart growth along transportation corridors. There must be a regional approach to transportation and land-use planning.

What is your position on gay marriage?

I support the right of two people who love each other and want to commit to each other to do so, no matter their sexual orientation.

Katie Orr is a metro reporter for KPBS.

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