With the mayoral election less than two weeks away, both candidates David Alvarez and Kevin Faulconer say they want to be a partner in the effort to build a new Veterans Plaza in Ocean Beach.
Councilmember Kevin Faulconer (whose District 2 includes Ocean Beach) recently pledged $10,000 in Community Projects, Programs and Services funding to replace the worn-out memorial at the foot of Newport Avenue, the community's main commercial corridor, according to Steve Grosch of the Ocean Beach Community Development Corporation, the nonprofit overseeing the effort.
District 8 councilmember David Alvarez has not pledged similar financial support from his office but met with Ocean Beach Community Development Corporation members and several other community leaders on January 30 to get a look at the plaza.
Alvarez was attentive as Grosch showed how dozens of the concrete sidewalk engravings — one of which pays tribute to a local Medal of Honor recipient — have become unreadable due to nearly two decades of sand, salt air, and foot traffic.
Proponents hope to raise up to $750,000 for a memorial just north of the lifeguard headquarters on Abbott Street. Details of the design, entitled “Life's Journey,” are viewable at obcdc.org.
The first-term councilmember said he was impressed with the grassroots nature of the project and said his involvement in a similar endeavor in his Barrio Logan neighborhood gave him insights to the challenges involved.
“I love the concept,” Alvarez said. “This is how we did the one in Chicano Park.”
OBCDC chairman Tom Perrotti said he hoped Alvarez could help locate additional funds and help smooth along the permitting process. Alvarez agreed to do “whatever we can to be helpful.”
Perrotti said he was impressed with Alvarez’s attitude and familiarity with bureaucratic obstacles that must be overcome to improve a community. “He knows what we're up against,” Perrotti said.
After the Veterans Plaza tour, it was back to the campaign trail: Alvarez did a quick interview with KUSI before hopping on a bicycle and joining a “bike train” of students headed to class at Dana Middle School, led by cycling activist Nicole Burgess.