Rogers steps down as HTC chair

By Mary McKenzie | Hillcrest Town Council Update

This month’s meeting of the Hillcrest Town Council (HTC) announced the departure of HTC’s chair, Kath Rogers.

Kath will be moving to Los Angeles after accepting her “dream job” with the National Lawyers’ Guild-Los Angeles. At the meeting, representatives of Congresswoman Susan Davis, president pro tempore of the California Senate Toni G. Atkins, Assemblymember Todd Gloria and City Councilmember Chris Ward presented commendations to Kath. The HTC board presented her with Champagne, flowers and a vegan cake. She was also thanked by several community members for her dedication to Hillcrest.

Benny Cartwright, former chair Luke Terpstra and Kath Rogers

Benny Cartwright now serves as HTC chair, with Jae Mohr stepping up as vice chair. Daniel Merk-Benitez was appointed to serve as HTC treasurer. Mary McKenzie will continue as secretary and David Vance remains the at-large board member.

Hillcrest’s public representatives addressed the night’s focus — “Good News in Hillcrest” — emphasizing great strides in the state and local fight against homelessness, especially of youth, and increased efforts for enhanced gun and school safety.

The crowd at the April 10 meeting (Photos by Kaimi Wanger)

Zach Bunshaft from Susan Davis’ office spoke about increases in the federal budget for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Community Block Grant program and transportation infrastructure projects. He also announced that a federal court has dismissed the lawsuit against her for displaying the Pride flag outside of her Washington D.C. office.

Community members were invited to join Davis for a panel discussion on “Understanding the Korean Crisis,” featuring several local scholars and former Ambassador Karl Eikenberry at SDSU on April 21. (For more information about the discussion, visit

Reverend Cheri Metier of the University Christian Church encouraged the audience to attend a Workers’ Memorial Day Service sponsored by the Interfaith Worker Justice of San Diego County (IWUSD) on April 27. The Stonewall Citizens’ Patrol invited the crowd to a public picnic supporting the Ronald McDonald House from noon–3 p.m. on April 29 at the corner of Sixth Avenue and El Prado in Balboa Park.

Kath Rogers with incoming chair Benny Cartwright

Lastly, the keynote speakers were Gerrie Trussell — executive director of the Uptown Community Parking District — and long-time Hillcrest resident Trent St.-Louis. Trussell reminded the community of the free Lunch Loop shuttle which runs along parts of Washington and University avenues from 11 a.m.–2 p.m. every Monday through Friday, as well as free parking opportunities at the DMV on weekends.

She also addressed the continuing deliberations on the future of Normal Street, placemaking in Hillcrest, and the efforts to work out a balance among pedestrians, bikes and cars in the neighborhood.

St.-Louis shared his thoughts and pictures of positive changes in Hillcrest. These included the almost-completed fire station, new coffeehouses, fitness centers, and businesses along University Avenue; the anticipated MO’s Universe restaurant at the “red building”; and smaller cosmetic changes to several businesses to beautify the neighborhood.

The HTC invites community members to attend The Center’s 12th annual fundraiser — Dining Out for Life — at Bo Beau on April 26. The summer social is scheduled for July 27, at a location to be determined.

Next month, the HTC is co-sponsoring a “LGBTQ Debate” between the Log Cabin Republicans and the Democrats for Equality on May 8 at 6:30 p.m. at the LGBT Center.

HTC meetings are held at 6:30 p.m. on the second Tuesday of every month at the Joyce Beers Community Center. The HTC always welcomes new volunteers. If you have any comments or questions, look for the HTC on Facebook, or contact Benny Cartwright at

— Mary M. McKenzie is secretary of the Hillcrest Town Council.


  1. Benny says:

    Kath has been an incredible leader for the HTC, and the Hillcrest community in general! We’re so sad to see her go, but are so excited for what’s ahead for her! I’ve got big shoes to fill as incoming chair of HTC, and look forward to meeting with and continuing to hear resident’s concerns and seeking solutions to make our neighborhood the best in San Diego!

  2. Luke Terpstra says:

    You’re so right Benny, Kath has been a gift for Hillcrest and the World at large. We will miss her but are happy that she has found her “Dream job” and wish her all the best.

    You Benny will be an excellent leader and I am looking forward to working with you as the HTC moves forward. The sign of a good Board of Directors is one that keeps moving forward while changing and growing and living up to its mission to provide a voice for its residents. You got this.


Leave a Comment