Kent Lee

Key Facts

Party Nonpartisan
Status Challenger

Background

Kent Lee graduated from the University of California, San Diego in 2007 with a BA/BS in economics and general biology. Lee is the current executive director of Pacific Arts Movement, an art organization in North American organization that focuses on Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander cinema. He has previously served as the chief financial and development executive of Boy Scouts of America. He serves on the Mira Mesa Community Planning Group, UCSD’s Chancellor’s Community Advisory Board, International Deaf Education, Advocacy and Leadership, and Alpha Phi Omega. Lee is a first-generation Asian American [2]. 
Lee was a resident advisor at Thurgood Marshall College and a student worker at the County of San Diego Emergency Services. He held a variety of leadership positions with the Boy Scouts of America, including district director and director of development and marketing. He is currently an Executive Committee member of the Mira Mesa Community Planning Group. Lee is also a national board member of the Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity. He is the treasurer of the Board of Directors of the Asian Business Association of San Diego. Lee is also the founder and co-chair of the San Diego Asian Pacific Islander Coalition [5].

Key Issues

Community

Lee wants to invest in local libraries, repair streets, update parks, and establish responsible government services [2]. His goal is to  build a stronger, more compassionate, and inclusive city [3].

Housing

 Lee supports housing attainability at all income levels. He wants to streamline city processes, maximize public resources, and bridge financing gaps. Lee wants to solve homelessness by ensuring adequate housing and creating partnerships between agencies and nonprofit partners [2]. He wants to focus on middle-income housing [6]. Lee wants the city to preserve affordable housing options, especially deed-restricted units which may be converted to market-rate housing. He supports the Kearny Mesa Community plan and wants to use tax credit allocations, incentive programs, bonding opportunities and leveraging private-public philanthropic dollars. He supports the recently passed short-term vacation rental policy. To prevent homelessness, Lee wants to expand voucher capacity and continue rental assistance programs in the marketplace [7].

Economy

Lee supports small businesses and hopes to implement policies that encourage local hiring [2]. He believes slow growth of small businesses is due to inflation and supply chain inefficiencies and wants to use low and no-interest loan and incentive programs [7].

Law Enforcement

Lee wants the community to treat law enforcement with dignity and respect. He supports competitive pay and benefits [2]. He supports recent changes within the San Diego Police Department, including “ending the use of the carotid restraint, revising procedures to improve handling of protests, and efforts to diversify recruitment in police academies through intentional outreach to women and people of color [7].”

Criminal Justice

Lee wants to implement restorative forms of justice in San Diego. He wants to find violence interruption programs and trauma-informed approaches to crime with coordination between counselors, mediators, behavioral health clinicians and community leaders [7].

LGBTQIA+

Lee supports the LGBTQIA+ community and has previously attended pride events [4].

Reproductive Rights

Lee does not support the Supreme Court’s 2022 ruling of Roe v. Wade. He supports reproductive health and is pro choice. Lee also supports Senate Pro Tem Toni Atkins’ Constitution and Planned Parenthood [4].

Environment

Lee wants to implement a multiyear budget horizon to ensure that the city follows its Climate Action Plan goals. He wants to leverage investment in transit planning to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and implement decarbonization strategies.

Government

Lee hopes to reduce San Diego’s structural budget deficit. He hopes to use the city’s current budget windfall towards addressing this issue [7].

Infrastructure

Lee wants to increase investment in regions south of Interstate 8. His goals include investment in stormwater infrastructure, fire stations, parks, and mobility improvements [7]. 

Social Programs

Lee wants to expand child care programs in San Diego. He supports the creation of the Office of Child and Youth Success. He hopes to expand access to childcare vouchers and improve the proximity of childcare centers to job centers.

Endorsements

Hon. Scott Peters – United States Representative; Hon. Toni G. Atkins – California; Senate President pro Tempore; Hon. Chris Ward – California State Assemblymember; Hon. Tasha Boerner Horvath – California State Assemblymember; Hon. Evan Low – California State Assemblymember; Hon.; Nathan Fletcher – Chair, San Diego County Board of Supervisors; Hon. Nora Vargas – Vice Chair, San Diego County Board of Supervisors; Hon. Todd Gloria – Mayor, City of San Diego; Hon. Sean Elo-Rivera – San Diego City Council President (District 9); Hon. Monica Montgomery Steppe – San Diego City Council President Pro Tem (District 4); Hon. Jen Campbell – San Diego City Councilmember (District 2); Hon. Marni von Wilpert – San Diego City Councilmember (District 5); Hon. Raul Campillo – San Diego City Councilmember (District 7); Hon. Vivian Moreno – San Diego City Councilmember (District 8); Hon. Alejandra Sotelo-Solis – Mayor, City of National City; Hon. Marcus Bush – Vice Mayor, City of National City; Hon. Jose Rodriguez – Councilmember, City of National City; Hon. Mona Rios – Councilmember, City of National City; Hon. Catherine Blakespear – Mayor, City of Encinitas; Hon. Colin Parent – City of La Mesa Councilmember; Hon. Sabrina Bazzo – Vice President, San Diego Unified School District Board of Education; Hon. Darshana Patel – Vice President, Poway Unified School District Board of Education; Hon. Craig Milgrim – Board of Trustee, San Diego Community College District; Hon. Bernie Rhinerson – Board of Trustee, San Diego Community College District; Hon. Kirin Macapugay – Vice President, Southwestern Community College District Governing Board; Hon. Audie de Castro – Honorary Consul of the Republic of the Philippines, San Diego County; Hon. Christine Kehoe – Former California State Senator; Hon. Tom Hom – Former San Diego City Councilmember; Hon. Jerry Harmon – Former Mayor of Escondido; San Diego County Democratic Party; San Diego Union Tribune; San Diego Municipal Employees Association; San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce; San Diego Education Association; Downtown San Diego Partnership; Planned Parenthood Action Fund of the Pacific Southwest – Rated 100% Pro-Planned Parenthood; The San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council; IBEW Local 569; Laborers’ International Union of North America – LiUNA Local 89; SEIU Local 221; San Diego Building and Construction Trades Council; San Diego Union Carpenters; Local 619; Teamster Joint Council 42; UFCW Local 135; United Association of Plumbers, Steamfitters, Refrigeration & HVAC Service Technicians Local Union 230; AAPI Democratic Club of San Diego; Black Mountain Democratic Club; Blue Dream Democrats of San Diego County; Clairemont Democratic Club; Run For Something; San Diego County Young Democrats; San Diego Democrats for Equality; San Diego Labor Democratic Club; UCSD College Democrats; University City Democratic Club; Veterans Democratic Club of San Diego County; YIMBY Democrats of San Diego County; San Diegans for Gun Violence Prevention (Rated Gun Violence Prevention Candidate); 2022 Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate (Rated Gun Sense Candidate); Democratic; Woman’s Club of San Diego County (Rated Acceptable); San Diego Downtown Democratic Club (Rated Acceptable); Alan Gin; Alan Wong; Alex Villafuerte; Alex Yamashiro; Alka Rao; Andrew Miklusicak; Anjanette Maraya-Ramey; Anne Rosser; Arlene Yang; Aurora Cudal; Benito Bautista; Brenda Aguirre; Brian Jong; Brian Sun; Brocade Wu Harmon; Bruce Abramsl; Carl Tsang; Casey Chan-Ruthenbeck; Charmaine Orcino-Gonzalesl; Chenyang “Sunny” Rickard; Chih-Wu Chang; Chris Lee; Cristian Liang; Cynthia Chou; Dan Mazzella; Daniel Suh; David Kodama; David Seid; David Tran; Dawn Grob; Deb Hall; Debbie Kim; Dennis Doyle; Dennis-Michael Broussard; Diana MarJip-Chuh; Don Krupp; Eddie Park; Elektra Fike-Data; Elliot Hung; Elvin Lai; Emily Howe; Emma Francisco; Eric Araiza-Le; Erika Hiramatsu; Erin Wen Ai Chew; Evan Cruz; Ferchil Ramos; Ferris Bautista; Francine Busby; Gabe Gutierrez; Garry Rollins; Gary Wong; Gayle Hom; Gemma Blain; Genevieve DePerio Fong; George McGregor; Gil Cabrera; Grace Chi; Helen Quintanilla; Hien Tran Ihde; Huy Ly; Isaac Wang; James Halliday; Janessa Goldbeck; Jayrell Ringpis; Jeff He; Jeff Roberto; Jerry Chung; Jess Durfee; Joe Frichtel; Joe Punsalan; Jon Pak; Jonathan Yang; Joon Lee; Joon Suh; Joseph Kao; Judy Ki; Julia “Jhigs” Legaspi; Julia Schriber; Justin Kanoya; Kate Lyon; Kathleen Dang; Kathy Ilacqua; Kathy Wong; Kelly Du; Kelly Lyndon; Ken Moore; Kevin Lee; Kevin Kwon; Kim Phan; Kristen Hung; Ky Phan; Lauren Garces; Lawrence Chou; Leeva Chung; Li-Ann Wong; Liam Barrett; Lillith Nover; Lilly Cheng; Lois Fong-Sakai; Loretta Lum; Louis Lau; Luis Monteagudo; Mack Langston; Makana Rowan; Margaret Iwanaga-Penrose; Margaret Mimie Rattanachane; Marisa Lin; Mark Elkin; Mark Maddox; Mark (Markhung) Tranl Marvin Miles; Mary de Leon; Matt Carney; Max Friend; Melissa DeLeonMichael Encarnacion; Michael Ly; Michael & Kristen Elgo; Mike Encarnacion; Miko Uhuru; Mitch Reff; Mitsuo Tomita; Miyo Reff; Monica Emeryl; Monte Jones; MyMy Lu; Natasha Wong; Nicole Murray Ramirez; Nikki Matosian; Paul Bergman; Pauline Ma; Peter Chu; Phil Kim; Pida Kongphouthone; Quan Le; Rob DeRieux; Robert Ito; Robert Nelson; Roxanne Girard; Sal Giametta; Sally Wong Avery; Samuel Tsoi; Sandy Vuong; Sarah Spear-Barrett; Sean Wang; Sean Roy; Shannon Shih; Sheila Kanoya; Shirley Sanz; Simon Wong; Stephen Chin; Stephen Lew; Supanun “Nan” Lai; Taiga Takahashi; Ted Miyahara; Teresa Skrepenski; Teresa Stivers; Teri Ang; Thomas Johnston-O’Neill; Thuan “Frank” Du; Tiffany Beres; Tomoko Kuta; Tracy Wu; Trinh Le; Varsha Israni; Virginia Loh-Hagan; Wendy Urushima-Conn; Wesley Quach; Will Moore; Wilson To Woo-Jin Shim; Yen Tu; Yvonne Elkin; Zaneta Encarnacion

Sources

1 Ballotpedia
2 Kent Lee
3 Times of San Diego
4 Facebook
5 LinkedIn
6 Voters Edge
7 San Diego Union Tribune