By Manny Lopez | Uptown News
Celebrating plans to become San Diego’s next County Assessor/Clerk/Recorder, consumer advocate attorney Susan Guinn launched her campaign with a call to shed light on current Assessor Ernie Dronenburg’s failure to perform in the office on behalf of taxpayers, families and small businesses.
A large group that included gay activists, elected officials and members of the LGBT community assembled in North Park on April 2 to lend support and voice their frustration for Dronenburg’s decision to file a petition in July 2013 asking the California Supreme Court to stop same-sex marriages.
“It’s going to take all of us caring and understanding what the assessor’s office does,” Guinn told a crowd of over 100 people. “Gay marriage was not my motivation to run against Dronenburg. It was the impact that his challenge can have on his positions.”
Guinn, a democrat who has two sons with her partner, added that the office became very important to her when she realized what it can do that’s never been done before.
“We can help under-resourced communities, businesses and families,” Guinn said. “We can get a fair deal for San Diegans and put money back into their pockets.”
She pointed to hikes in fees over the last three years for such things as a birth certificate copy, marriage license or document notarization and asked “who does that impact?”
She said that it all amounts to significant money that everyone in San Diego must pay, primarily hurting those least able to afford it.
“When I look around and see the waste that happens in the assessor’s office and the fact that Dronenburg is not reaching out to the communities that need him the most, then I think this cause we’re taking on is worth the next four years of my life,” Guinn said.
Among those in attendance was Francine Busby, head of the San Diego County Democratic Party, who acknowledged that as a countywide position, the race for the assessor’s office will be a large scale and challenging endeavor. She said that while the LGBT community has a large voting population, it’s not just about numbers.
“San Diego has changed a lot and I think it’s changed because of the LGBT community organizing,” Busby said. “People who had never been politically active before became active. They met each other, contributed money and walked the precincts. It showed what people can do when they work together.”
County Supervisor Dave Roberts called Guinn a highly competent professional that has the legal skills and tax advocacy experience necessary to do the job.
“I really believe that she is the best qualified person for the County of San Diego to be our clerk/recorder/assessor,” Roberts said. “I truly have not met anybody that has the capacity to understand the complexities of the office, and also the heart to do the right thing, and that’s why I’m strongly supporting her.”
LGBT activist Linda Perine called upon members of the community to elect Guinn over Dronenburg. She said that he has clearly shown that he does not respect the rights of LGBT citizens.
“As LGBT members, we need to give her the kind of support and encouragement that will put her over the top and make her win,” Perine said. “I’m calling out all of the LGBT people that were so active in supporting a Republican (referring to Mayor Kevin Faulconer) to come out and support an actual Democrat and LGBT member of the community over a homophobe.”
Guinn has also garnered endorsements from Assembly Speaker-elect Toni Atkins, former State Senator Christine Kehoe, Councilmember Marti Emerald and San Diego School Board President Kevin Beiser.
More information on Susan Guinn can be found at susanguinn.com.