In advance of upcoming citywide elections, the National University School of Professional Studies is hosting a San Diego City Attorney Candidate Forum at the University’s Sanford Education Center in La Jolla. The forum, which is free and open to the public, features four candidates vying for the city attorney spot, and it will take place April 20 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
“We are pleased to be hosting this candidate forum since it represents one of the focus areas of our School of Professional Studies, which is to prepare future leaders to serve the public sector or as elected officials,” said Dr. Daniel Donaldson, Dean of the National University School of Professional Studies. “This forum is also a great chance for us to support the democratic process by giving citizens the opportunity to learn more about each candidate prior to making an informed decision at the polls.”
The School of Professional Studies at National University offers programs related to public administration, criminal justice administration, as well as for homeland security and emergency management, among others.
The City Attorney is the chief legal advisor for the City of San Diego and all of its departments and offices in matters relating to their official duties and power. In addition, the office is responsible for prosecuting misdemeanors within the city limits. Candidates facing off in the June primary who have confirmed they will attend are:
- Gil Cabrera, a private sector attorney who has been practicing in San Diego for the past 18 years, Cabrera has worked with Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps, LLP and at Colley Godward. Cabrera also has served as a judge pro tem for the San Diego Superior Court, on the board of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of San Diego, the San Diego Convention Center Board of Directors, and as chair of the San Diego Ethics Commission.
- Rafael Castellanos, a private-sector, land-use attorney who serves as a Port Commission board member, where he chair’s the Environmental Advisory Committee. Castellanos is a leader of the San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association. Castellanos is a partner with the law firm of Solomon Minton Cardinal Doyle & Smith, LLP in San Diego.
- Mara Elliot, San Diego’s Chief Deputy City Attorney who also serves as chief counsel to the city’s independent Audit and Environment committees, is endorsed by the Deputy City Attorneys Association. She has more than 20 years of public-sector legal experience, and has served as general counsel to community college and school districts
- Robert Hickey, a 2011 Prosecutor of the Year, is a Deputy District Attorney who has served as assistant chief of the Gang Prosecution and Major Narcotics units. As a private attorney, he reviewed lawsuits brought against the 2002 Convention Center expansion, 1997 Qualcomm Stadium expansion, and the 2000-2002 Petco Park project.
National University, through its School of Professional Studies, has a strong tradition in preparing leaders in the public sector. Alumni are serving, or have served, in a wide capacity of public sector roles or as elected officials in cities in throughout the country. A few local examples include former San Diego Mayor and Police Chief Jerry Sanders, now President and CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, and former Escondido Mayor Lori Holt Pfeiler.
Ponzio Oliverio, a lawyer, San Diego Sheriff’s Department veteran, and Assistant Professor in the National University School of Professional Studies has been key in organizing the forum, which will take place at National University’s Sanford Education Center at 11355 N. Torrey Pines Road in La Jolla. For more information, and to register for the Candidate Forum: (858) 642-8541 or [email protected]
About National University
Founded in 1971, National University is the second-largest private, nonprofit institution of higher education in California. With 30,000 students and more than 185,000 alumni, National University is the flagship institution of the National University System. National University is dedicated to making lifelong learning opportunities accessible, challenging, and relevant to a diverse population of students. Two colleges and four schools – the College of Letters and Sciences; the Sanford College of Education; the School of Business and Management; the School of Engineering and Computing; the School of Health and Human Services; and the School of Professional Studies – offer more than 75 graduate and undergraduate degrees and 23 teacher credentials. Programs are offered at locations throughout California and across the nation, and are also available online. National University is headquartered in La Jolla, California.