As one La Jollan concluded her service on the San Diego City Council, another started his when new District 1 Councilman Joe LaCava of Bird Rock was sworn in during an online ceremony Dec. 10.
LaCava, who was elected in November, succeeds La Jolla resident Barbara Bry, who ran unsuccessfully for mayor instead of seeking a second City Council term. District 1 includes La Jolla, Carmel Valley, Del Mar Mesa, Pacific Highlands Ranch, Torrey Hills, Torrey Pines and University City.
Following the oath of office — administered by his wife, Lorene LaCava, with their two daughters, Melanie and Valerie, present — Joe LaCava outlined his priorities for his next four years on the council.
Guided by the words of environmental innovator Hal Harvey, “Respect science, respect nature, respect each other,” LaCava said he would focus on working with his council colleagues, being responsive to his district and “getting things done.”
He began by expressing his gratitude to his immediate family members for their support, his “immigrant parents” for instilling values of hard work in him, Bry for providing a smooth transition, the departing council members and mayor and the residents of District 1.
“I do not take this role lightly. I am here to serve you and will not lose sight of that commitment,” LaCava said.
He said he is eager to “work side by side” with his new council colleagues.
“As we take office, we continue to be confronted by a virus that has placed an unimaginable burden on our friends and neighbors, ravaged our city’s economy and threatens our city’s progress. Successful navigation of these uncertain pandemic waters depends on all of us working together,” he said. “As for this council, we must lead from our values and strengths to thrive as a whole, we must allow each council member to succeed and to serve their district and our city to their fullest ability.”
He committed to be a “partner, ally and champion” to his fellow council members.
LaCava, whose professional background is in civil engineering, has said that being an elected official will be an extension of his years of community volunteerism, which included nearly 30 civic boards, planning groups and commissions.
Upon his swearing-in, he focused on four personal priorities: supporting small businesses, protecting core city services, implementing Measure B (which city voters approved in November to establish a commission on police practices) and move the city forward on its Climate Action Plan.
“Given our budget difficulties, I will work with city leaders and advocates in scouring the budget for savings, securing state and federal relief and ensuring our budget is equitable,” LaCava said. “As we set our work plan for the council, let us work together to ensure that every San Diegan in every community has the opportunity to enjoy what our great city has to offer. My job begins here and now. I am ready.”
LaCava can be reached at (619) 236-6611, JosephLaCava@sandiego.gov or sandiego.gov/cd1.
In her parting statements, Bry said she sees the legacy she leaves as one of “fighting for what I believe in.”
She said new Mayor Todd Gloria and the council will have “hard choices to make” but that she’s “optimistic about San Diego’s future.”
“When you tackle ambitious goals, you can expect a lot of pushback and roadblocks along the way, and I did encounter my share. But you can also redefine what is possible, and we started to do that,” Bry said. She thanked her family, staff, colleagues on the council and the residents of District 1.
“You are my inspiration,” she said. “Thank you for an amazing four years.”