By Hilary Morefield
For his fifth consecutive year, San Diego Interim Mayor Todd Gloria spoke to our Institute Fellows on February 8th, sharing his advice and enthusiasm with the class. Gloria has returned every year to speak with the Fellows at the Institute since its founding in 2010.
In the past, Gloria has spoken about his work as a District 3 councilman and City Council president. At this session, he shared his involvement in progressive politics and a number of practical strategies to better promote policy and civic engagement.
Through his time with SDLA, Gloria has remained enthusiastic about the budding progressive potential from the Institute’s Fellows. After his visit to the Institute last February, Gloria blogged that the Fellows “give me confidence that the future of the progressive movement in our region is bright.”
This past year, Gloria has begun to see an even greater increase in the influence and involvement of the Institute’s alumni within the San Diego community.
“[The Institute] is really producing results… The non-progressives have a number of similar programs, so it’s great to see the progressive side making real changes.”
He pointed out that several Institute alumni have received appointments within San Diego in the last year. Jessica Lawrence, a 2013 Institute alumni, was appointed as a Budget and Finance Committee Consultant for the City of San Diego and as a policy advisor on Gloria’s own staff.
Lawrence said the Institute helped her transition from her previous position to her current work on Gloria’s staff. “It really is a matter of the right place and right time…I was ready to step into a leadership role, and [The Institute] gave me certain skills and connections that helped jump the gap.”
Check our blog later this week to hear an update regarding our most recent session!