San Diego City Council

Mayor Gloria Unveils Tom Hom Avenue Street Sign

In 1963, Tom Hom made history as the first person of color elected to the San Diego City Council

Tom Hom at the “Honorary Tom Hom Ave.” street unveiling in downtown San Diego, Feb. 12, 2022.

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria unveiled the honorary Tom Hom Avenue street sign Saturday, honoring the first person of color elected to the San Diego City Council.

The sign is at Third Avenue and Market Street in the Chinese Historic District in downtown San Diego.

''It's an honor to recognize such a pioneer in this city,'' Gloria said. ''Mr. Hom's contributions as an elected official and businessman have indeed been instrumental in shaping San Diego into the place that it is today. Showing him our gratitude and appreciation for his life's work just days before his 95th birthday is truly a gift to us.''

Gloria was joined by council members Stephen Whitburn, Chris Cate and community leaders at the event.

Born in 1927, Hom was revered as a longtime public servant of the city and state and a successful businessman. In 1963, he made history as the first person of color elected to the San Diego City Council, followed by a successful re-election in which he received 87% of the vote.

In 1965, Hom's colleagues unanimously elected him as San Diego's deputy mayor, followed by a stint in the 79th state Assembly, making him the second Asian American elected to the state Legislature. After politics, Hom ventured into real estate.

''Tom Hom was a trailblazer on the City Council, a leader in the Chinese and Asian American communities, and a visionary for downtown,'' said Whitburn, who represents District 3. ''In light of his immense contributions to our city, I was pleased to bring forward the proposal to recognize Mr. Hom with this honorary street naming just steps away from the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum and the Gaslamp Quarter, which are two examples of his significant impact on our city and his lifetime of achievements.''

Cate called Hom ''one of my personal mentors,'' and said he ''paved the way for past and future generations of AAPI leaders. His dedication to serving the people of San Diego is unmatched, as is his compelling belief in our city's potential.''

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