Racquel Vasquez

HIGHLIGHTS OF LEMON GROVE MAYORAL FORUM

By Kendra Sitton

Photo, left to right:  Councilman Jerry Jones, Kamaal Martin, Mayor Racquel Vasquez, and Christopher Williams

October 9, 2020 (Lemon Grove) -- On Monday, Sept. 14, all four candidates running for Mayor of Lemon Grove participated in a forum to discuss their visions for the city. Two of the candidates, Councilman Jerry Jones and Mayor Racquel Vasquez, already hold elected office. The other two candidates, Kamaal Martin and Christopher Williams, are political newcomers who say their backgrounds in finance will help the budget-strapped city.

The full forum can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVtSH4cwfEQ

Read highlights of the discussion are below.

 Each candidate’s standout quote, background and other views are included. Candidates are listed in alphabetical order.

Each candidate had an opening and closing statement and answered questions about the budget shortfall, the possibility of disincorporating the city, racial equity, public safety, a shuttered youth rec center, housing, homelessness, blight and adding new businesses in the city.

Candidates were also asked about  Williams’ lawsuit against the city alleging an assault by Councilman David Arambula following an alleged discussion of proposed cannabis’ dispensaries at the Councilman’s home. (Arambula has contended he acted in self defense but did not notify law enforcement or colleagues on the Council.)


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LEMON GROVE MAYORAL CANDIDATES SET TO DEBATE MONDAY, SEPT. 14

 

View a videotape of the forum now posted :

Youtube:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVtSH4cwfEQ

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EastCountyMagazine/videos/10219161150363190

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left to right:  Councilman Jerry Jones, Kamaal Martin, Mayor Racquel Vasquez, Chris williams

September 5, 2020 (Lemon Grove)—On Monday, September 14 at 7 p.m., all four candidates running for the Lemon Grove City Council have agreed to participate in a candidate forum.  The forum will be virtual via Zoom. You can watch it live via livestreaming at https://www.facebook.com/EastCountyMagazine, and send in questions to editor@eastcountymagazine.org now through up to 2 p.m. the date of the forum. 

For those unable to watch live, a video will also be posted later on our news site at www.EastCountyMagazine.org and audio will be aired on KNSJ 89.1 FM radio at a date to be announced.

(Lemon Grove's City Council candidates will be in a separate forum on Sept. 16 at 7 p.m.)

East County Magazine thanks the #FacebookJournalismProject for a grant to help support our virtual candidate forums during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The four mayoral candidates are Mayor Raquel Vasquez, Councilman Jerry Jones, financial professional Kamaal Martin, and businessman Chris Williams. Below are more details on each candidate and links to their websites, as well as highlights of key issues.


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CRITICISM MOUNTS OF ARAMBULA AND LEMON GROVE LEADERS AFTER DISCLOSURE OF ASSAULT CLAIM BY DISPENSARY ADVOCATE

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 27, 2018 (Lemon Grove) – Christopher Williams, the medical marijuana dispensary advocate who has filed a claim against Lemon Grove detailed an alleged assault by Councilman David Arambula, is speaking out to dispute Arambula’s self-defense claim.

Williams also contends that city staff stalled his applications for multiple dispensaries by claiming not to have received results of a Department of Justice screening of all applicants, when e-mails from the DOJ indicate the results were sent to the city earlier.

Arambula is also drawing criticism from current and former councilmembers for failing to disclose the scuffle that sent Williams to a hospital for treatment of significant injuries including a fractured rib, gash on his face and bite marks on his arm. Mayor Racquel Vasquez is named as a potential witness in Williams claim, along with Taisha Brown, a Democratic Party activist, but both have declined to speak with media.  Some members of the council contend they were kept in the dark by Arambula and Vasquez about the violent altercation even when voting on dispensary applications submitted by Williams for Pick Axe Holdings, LLC.


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LEMON GROVE CITY COUNCIL OVERRULES MAYOR ON SANDAG APPOINTMENT

 

By Jonathan Goetz

February 14, 2017 (Lemon Grove) -- Newly elected Lemon Grove Mayor Racquel Vasquez forwarded to a list of committee assignments for Council members to a dramatically altered City Council following the November elections.


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GASTIL CONCEDES LEMON GROVE MAYORAL RACE TO VASQUEZ

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 27, 2016 (Lemon Grove) — On election night, George Gastil held a lead over Racquel Vasquez in the Lemon  Mayoral race.  But by morning, Vasquez was on top. Her margin has now grown go 120 votes, close to 1%. 

On Saturday,  Gastil posted on Facebook, “There are still some provisional ballots being counted, but not enough to make a difference. (You can see the latest results for races at Registrar of Voters website, sdvote.com.) The early absentee votes went more for me, and the later absentee and poll votes went more for Vasquez. It was an energetic and positive campaign, with a record number of people voting in a Lemon Grove Mayoral election. I called Racquel Vasquez and congratulated her.”


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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

LEMON GROVE MAYORAL CANDIDATES SHARE DIVERSE VIEWS FOR CITY’S FUTURE

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Hear full audio of the one-hour candidate forum by clicking the audio link.

September 29,2016 (Lemon Grove)—At a candidate forum hosted by East County Magazine and the Lemon Grove Library on September 21st ,  three mayoral hopefuls shared their visions for the future of Lemon Grove. 

Council members George Gastil and Racquel Vasquez, along with former Chamber of Commerce President Teresa Rosiak, fielded questions from moderator Miriam Raftery, editor of ECM, ,as well  as audience questions.

Audio: 


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LEMON GROVE COUNCIL TO WEIGH RESOLUTION CALLING FOR CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO OVERTURN CITIZENS UNITED DECISION

 

June 29, 2013 (Lemon Grove) – At the request of Council members George Gastil and Racquel Vasquez, Lemon Grove’s City Council on July 2 will consider a request from Money Out of Politics (MOP) to adopt a resolution to limit the influence of money in politics. Thirteen state legislatures and many cities, including San Diego and Los Angeles, have already adopted similar resolutions.

The resolution opposes the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case. The high court found limits on corporate campaign contributions to be illegal, finding that corporations have rights similar to citizens. 

The MOP resolution calls on Congress to begin the process of amending the U.S. Constitution t to make clear that corporations are not people and thus are not entitled to the rights and protections of citizens.


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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

DEMOCRATS REGAIN MAJORITY ON LEMON GROVE COUNCIL

By Miriam Raftery

November 8, 2012 (Lemon Grove) – The election of Racquel Vasquez and reelection of George Gastil restores a Democratic majority to the Lemon Grove City Council.   Vasquez won 29.30% of the votes cast, followed by  Gastil with 23.01%.

“Racquel is a breath of fresh air,” said Gastil, who called the election of Vasquez, an African-American woman, “historic. She is the first person who is not white to be elected to the Council—and she comes in first place, which is a testament to her involvement in the community.”


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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

DEPUTY SHERIFFS' ASSOCIATION OF SAN DIEGO COUNTY ENDORSES GASTIL & VASQUEZ

October 22, 2012 (Lemon Grove) – A week after receiving an endorsement from the Lemon Grove Firefighters, Local 2728, the San Diego Deputy Sherriff's Association has unanimously endorsed both Council Member George Gastil and City Council candidate Racquel Vasquez to fill the two open Lemon Grove City Council seats up for election this November 6.

Gastil is seeking his second term on the City Council, while Vasquez, who currently serves as a City of Lemon Grove Planning Commissioner, is seeking her first.


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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

GASTIL AND VASQUEZ TO HOST WEEKLY MEET AND GREET AT COFFEE SHOP IN LEMON GROVE

 

September 6, 2012 (Lemon Grove)--Council Member George Gastil and City Council candidate Racquel Vasquez will host a weekly meet and greet at the Lemon Grove Starbucks, 7801 Broadway, starting Saturday, September 8 at 9 a.m.

Each one-hour event will provide residents with the opportunity to meet the two San Diego Democratic Party endorsed candidates, ask questions about their individual campaign platforms, and enjoy a free cup of coffee.


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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

RACQUEL VASQUEZ SEEKS TO REVITALIZE LEMON GROVE

 

Click here to view  ECM’s video interview with Racquel Vasquez,Lemon Grove City Council candidate

Story by Miriam Raftery, video by Jack Winemiller


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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.