David grew up in the Barrio Logan community of San Diego, the neighborhood on the working waterfront that has a long history of environmental degradation, high asthma rates, and industrial-residential conflicts. His childhood home was next door to a chrome plating plant, and he can trace his own asthma to the constant presence of toxic emissions affecting residential areas, school playgrounds, and parks. That experience sharpened his resolve to fight for social, economic and environmental justice.
He began his career as a social services worker and after-school teacher. In 2003, he was selected to the prestigious Capitol Fellows Program where he served under the Secretary of State.
After his return to San Diego, David worked with a company that develops new opportunities for affordable housing, and before his own election, proudly represented Senator Denise Moreno Ducheny as a community liaison to the neighborhoods he grew up in.
Elected to the San Diego City Council in 2010, David is currently Chair of the Natural Resources & Culture Committee, Vice Chair of the Land Use & Housing Committee, and a member of the Budget & Finance and Rules & Economic Development Committees. Additionally, he serves on the San Diego Regional County Airport Authority, San Diego Metropolitan Transit System Board, SANDAG Borders Committee, Otay Valley Regional Park Policy Committee, Bayshore Bikeway Working Group, and the San Diego Consortium Policy Board. He most recently joined the Board of Director’s for Local Progress: a national municipal policy network.
During his first term in office, Councilmember Alvarez has been successful in restoring vital city services in each year of the City’s budget, including funding increases for libraries, police and fire protection, more street repair and installation of street lights and reducing retiree health care costs.
Other proud achievements include the development of the long-awaited COMM22, a mixed-use, mixed-income, transit-oriented development located at Commercial and 22nd Streets in San Diego; a proposed Property Value Protection Ordinance, which fines banks to cover cleanup costs when they fail to maintain foreclosed properties; implementing the Citygate Plan to address deficiencies in the City’s fire safety levels; revitalizing commercial corridor’s in District Eight as well as focusing on economic growth and development with new projects such as Mercado del Barrio center in Barrio Logan and the expansion of Las Americas shopping facility near the border. Cross border relationships are important to David as he continues to foster working relationships with his counterparts across the border.
Currently, Councilmember Alvarez is shepherding several important community plan updates to completion including Barrio Logan, Otay Mesa and San Ysidro. Plans are also underway to update the Southeast San Diego Community Plan, which will result in all community plans updated in District Eight. These plans will guide growth and redevelopment in these communities as well as balance the needs of the residents. He recently spearheaded the creation of the Barrio Logan Maintenance Assessment District which will provide much needed maintenance and services for the community of Barrio Logan.
Proudly serving as the Border Councilmember, his focus on the southern portion of his district has resulted in the approval of the Cross Border Facility which will increase new air travel opportunities, ease border waits – a critical need for the region, and act as a model for international cooperation. Councilmember Alvarez has also championed significant infrastructure needs in the district, directing millions of dollars to build a missing San Ysidro road segment serving high school students, develop the San Ysidro Library, improve Palm Avenue, design Pond 20 improvements in Otay Mesa, as well as many other vital projects.
Councilmember Alvarez is a strong advocate and supporter of arts in education and helped to restore the Penny for the Arts proposal, which doubles the City’s arts and culture funding over the next five years. His goal is to provide 1 million for education in arts by 2017. David also supports and provides funding for numerous community organization and non-profit programs, as well as local cultural festivals and events.
In addition to continuing to provide prompt and courteous service to all residents, Councilmember Alvarez’s priorities include: increasing and safeguarding San Diego’s water supply, building a new pedestrian border crossing at Virginia Avenue, creating regional parks at Chicano Park and along Chollas Creek, streamlining regulations for additional parking and for food trucks, creating more opportunities for local small businesses and a designing and funding a joint use park for students at Perkins Elementary and Beyer Elementary Schools.
Councilmember David Alvarez was born in San Diego to Jose and Maria Alvarez and has four brothers and one sister. Growing up in Barrio Logan, David attended local public schools: Perkins Elementary, Memorial Junior High, and San Diego High School. David was the first in his family to graduate from high school and college. He graduated with honors from San Diego State University. Councilmember Alvarez, his wife Xochitl, and their daughter Izel reside in Logan Heights. He is an avid cyclist and bikes to work often.
David is proud to continue the work he began in childhood and strive to carry out every day: to bring social, economic, and environmental justice to the people he serves.