Golden Globe-winning actor and Grammy-nominated recording artist and Southeast San Diego native Andra Day can now chat up her friends in city administration any time she wants.
Mayor Todd Gloria and Councilmember Monica Montgomery Steppe presented Day with a key to the city and named July 2021 Andra Day Month in the city.
“This means everything because I love my city, I love my family, I love the school I went to, the people here, the community that raised me, the food that raised me. Everybody here knows about the taco shops,” Day said during a ceremony Friday afternoon.
Day made history at this year's Golden Globes when she became the first Black actress to win in the Motion Picture-Drama category in 35 years. She took home the trophy for her performance in “The United States vs. Billie Holiday.”
Day grew up singing locally in the choral ensemble and in stage musicals at the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts where she attended high school and junior high.
“They have no idea what they just did,” Day said, laughing, upon receiving her very own key. “They should’ve never let me in here.”
Gloria and Montgomery Steppe, two fellow San Diego natives, thanked Day for uplifting the city and taking it with her through all of her accomplishments.
“You are our hometown hero, especially to Southeast San Diego, born and raised. And we love you. This is your whole entire month in the city of San Diego,” the councilmember said.
Gloria said Day’s key to the city symbolizes her commitment to the youth of her community, and the positive messages she sends them through her success and accomplishments.
“I think we all would agree we’re products of this community,” Gloria said. “A lot of people believed in us, allowed us to propel forward, and look at the heights that you’ve reached. I hope you know the tremendous pride we feel in you, in your successes.”
Day talked about the importance of seeing people for who they are, and allowing them to have opportunities regardless of their skin color, or where they come from.
“You are a product of this place, you lived it,” she told the mayor. “It means the world to me. Because those kids, the kids who, like me -- all they needed to see was potential and someone who believed in them and I had that in this city, so I will always have San Diego on my shoulders, on my back and in my heart everywhere.”
Gloria said Day is the first to receive an honorary key to the city since he took office.