Longtime Latino activist Mateo Camarillo is running for a seat on the 9th District San Diego City Council.
The race for a newly formed city council district could depend on the vote of one particular segment of the community. The city created the 9th district seat in City Heights last year.
The district runs from Mission Valley to National City. The point was to give the large Latino community in those areas more of a say in their representation.
With Latinos making up nearly one-third of San Diego's population, Mateo Camarillo believes it is important to have someone to represent them.
“It’s someone that has walked in their shoes or understands their circumstances, to be able to meet with them and identify with their issues,” said the 9th District San Diego City Council Candidate.
The longtime Latino activist helped champion for the new 9th city council district and now he is vying to occupy it. Camarillo decided to run after two other Latina candidates stepped down.
He admits it does come down to the candidate's own qualifications. But at the same time, he says the opportunity to elect a Latino, should at least be made available.
Meanwhile, he says it is not promises but more so his past actions he hopes will win people over.
“My campaign is to win the hearts and souls of the people and prove to them that, based on my record as business man and as a social worker, I have the ability to provide them what I say,” said Camarillo.
According to census numbers Latinos make up more 50% of City Height's population. Although Camarillo's ethnicity may give him an edge, he is not relying on it.
He says mainly because a lot of Latinos there are either too young to vote or immigrants who do not have citizenship.
There are only two declared candidates in the race for District 9, Mateo Camarillo and District 7 Councilwoman Marti Emerald.
Voters will decide who wins this race June 5th.