What inspired you to become involved in politics?
I have been interested in government and public service for as long as I can remember. I was exposed to many different facets of government as a member of the Aaron Price Fellows Program during high school, volunteered on countless political campaigns and of course pursued political science courses at USD. My parents taught me that if I care about something, I should leave it better than I found it. For me, public service is the right path for that.
"I'm hopeful that when I leave City Hall, people will say that I made a difference."
How did a liberal arts education prepare you for your career?
Representing the people of my Council District requires skills that were learned and sharpened through my liberal arts education and comprehensive student experience at USD. Chief among the skills I call upon the most is the ability to communicate. My job requires me to be able to take complex issues and explain them to the general public in a way that they can understand. The writing, research and critical thinking demands of a liberal arts education certainly helped me to get where I am today. Additionally, exposure to diverse people, new perspectives and opportunities to make a difference all shape my approach to problem solving, decision-making and coalition building.
"My parents taught me that if I care about something, I should leave it better than I found it. For me, public service is the right path for that."
I understand you were highly involved in the USD community during your time as an undergraduate. What were some of your favorite activities?
I participated in Community Service Learning projects, wrote for The Vista and was active in the Honors Program and USD PRIDE. My most rewarding experiences were as a leader in the United Front Multicultural Center. During my time at USD, I was able to work on important initiatives like enhancing Ethnic Studies and expanding the university's nondiscrimination policy. USD's multicultural center is where I found my voice as an activist and where I learned how to advocate for others, skills that obviously I call upon today as an elected official. The United Front is also where I built many friendships that endure to this day.
"USD's multicultural center is where I found my voice as an activist and where I learned how to advocate for others, skills that obviously I call upon today as an elected official."
Which professors most inspired you and why?
I was fortunate to have many charismatic and challenging professors—Michael Gonzalez, Del Dickson, Randy Willoughby, Virginia Lewis and Lisa Smith come to mind. Dr. Evelyn Kirkley is without a doubt the person who had the greatest impact on me. Not only is she a world-class intellectual, but she is the personification of the individual attention that is the hallmark of a USD education.
What are your goals for the future?
I'm anxious to spend my time on the City Council working aggressively to put San Diego on solid ground. Solving our budget problems, investing in public safety and infrastructure, and advancing our City's commitment to affordable housing, public transit and sustainability are on my agenda. I'm hopeful that when I leave City Hall, people will say that I made a difference.
- Anne Malinoski '11
Editor's Note: Since the publication of this story, Todd Gloria has been elected City Council President.