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By Jonathan Goetz

Photo courtesy: San Diego Voice & Viewpoint

February 14, 2024 (San Diego) -- The San Diego Voice & Viewpoint presents a Candidate Forum and Townhall Meeting for the 4th Council District in San Diego, 79th State Assembly District and 39th Senatorial District Thursday, February 15.

Among the 79th State Assembly District invited candidates are Councilman Colin Parent, Dr. Lashae Sharp-Collins and Mayor Racquel Vasquez. Both Assemblymember Dr. Akilah Weber and Bob Divine are invited in the 39th Senatorial District.

The San Diego Voice & Viewpoint, as San Diego’s largest African-American publication, has been faithfully reporting news from an African-American perspective for over sixty yearsTheir coverage spans a wide range of topics, from local events to major political campaigns, all while highlighting people and events in a comprehensive manner.

The event will take place from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m.. It’s an excellent opportunity for the community to engage with the candidates and learn more about their positions and plans.


The 79th Assembly District includes parts of eastern San Diego, as well as all of La Mesa, El Cajon, Lemon Grove and La Presa. 


Councilman Colin Parent:

  • Councilman Colin Parent successfully ran for the La Mesa City Council in 2016 and was re-elected in 2020.
  • His notable achievements include championing the first 100% affordable development in La Mesa, saving the La Mesa Farmers Market, and expanding homeless outreach teams.
  • He wears multiple hats, including his position as the Executive Director of Circulate San Diego, a nonprofit committed to public transit, walkable neighborhoods, and affordable housing.



Dr. Lashae Sharp-Collins:

  • Dr. Lashae Sharp-Collins currently serves as the Community Engagement Specialist for the San Diego County Department of Education.
  • Her work involves Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives, legislative operations, and civic and community partnerships, which have prepared her for strategic legislative leadership.
  • She is also an adjunct professor at San Diego State University.

Mayor Racquel Vasquez:

  • Mayor Racquel Vasquez is a respected leader with a proven track record of finding pragmatic solutions to today’s challenges.
  • Her day job is Public Information Officer for the City of San Diego.
  • She is the first African-American woman elected mayor in San Diego County and currently serves as the mayor of the city of Lemon Grove.



The 39th Senate District includes most of the City of San Diego north of SR-94, the coastal cities of Coronado, Del Mar, and Solana Beach, and parts of unincorporated Rancho Santa Fe.


Assemblymember Dr. Akilah Weber:

  • Dr. Akilah Weber is an American politician and physician serving in the California State Assembly from the 79th district. 
  • She is a board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist and a San Diego native.
  • Dr. Weber has been a strong advocate for improving environmental health, creating academic opportunities, and enhancing the quality of life for her constituents.
  • She has introduced several important pieces of legislation, including bills addressing the sale of Tianeptine (commonly known as “gas station heroin”), expanding the Crown Act, and addressing artificial intelligence (AI) challenges on the internet.



Bob Divine:

  • Bob Divine is a Republican candidate running for election to the California State Senate to represent District 39.
  • Father and son ran unsuccessfully for the Grossmont Union High School District in 2010.
  • Sr. is a conservative minister and was quarterback at Monte Vista High School in Spring Valley.

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