GUEST COMMENTARY: Barbara Bry for Mayor…A Few of My Reasons
By Richard Gonzalez Ybarra
Barbara Bry is an accomplished woman and a lifetime pioneer, leading the way. She has lived the baby boomer life, learning and applying the lessons along the way.
In April of 2018 I heard that Barbara Bry was going to run for Mayor of San Diego. I thought about it for a bit. Almost immediately, I knew she would be the best choice to lead my hometown.
I saw her at a fundraising event that my daughter Barbara Chavez Ybarra had organized. I asked if the rumors were true. She affirmed. I said, “I’m going to support you because I believe you have what it takes to become the best Mayor in our city’s history.”
This wasn’t the first I knew of Barbara Bry.
I heard of her years before when we were both in the earliest days of our careers. She was a Sacramento Bee reporter and I was the Deputy Director of the California Conservation Corps. I also knew her colleague, Nancy Skelton, a renowned Bee and L.A. Times investigative reporter.
Fast forward and we are both in San Diego, the city of my birth and a place I cherish. Over the course of my lifetime, our city has been a wonderful, underdog city, in sports and politics.
Over the years I’ve kept an eye on San Diego’s civic, business, cultural, and political life.
At this time, I firmly believe that Barbara Bry is the real deal and the best qualified person to be Mayor.
I know the rigors of Harvard University graduate level programs. I was tested to the max at its JFK School of Government. My brother, Danny, graduated from Harvard Law School. We know that the Harvard Business School is the toughest of all three.
Barbara Bry earned her MBA from the Harvard Business School. That puts her, and a handful of women graduating with her, in a rarefied space. It wasn’t a walk in the park and for sure it is not easy to do. It was as rare time for women to be accepted and succeed in the finest business/management school in our country.
Barbara Bry has found a Midas touch in all her work. It’s hard to believe that she experienced any failure along the way.
After journalism, her startup work included ProFlowers.com, the Voice of San Diego, and then with husband Neil, she went on to high-tech successes. Barbara’s life-long civic commitment shows that she was a leader of Run Women Run and founded Athena to support women in the STEM fields.
In this race for mayor, against all the odds, Barbara persevered and went from no place to the runoff. She was not supposed to make the General Election in November. The good ol’ boys downtown network had set things up for Barbara’s opponent to face a Republican who would have no chance of winning the General.
Barbara’s momentum continues to show that when voters get to know her, they like, trust, and vote for her.
Her opponent’s supporters have made lots of charges about her not being a true Democrat, while the majority of the money for those baseless attacks came from the same Republican and Democrat business and lobbyist insiders who’ve controlled City Hall and gotten things wrong for many years.
The insiders are very afraid of a strong, competent, and fair-minded woman coming to clean up City Hall. Under Barbara Bry, foolish waste of millions of dollars for a building wrought with asbestos – that provided great profits for friends in high places – will end.
Barbara Bry is courageous relentless. She faces the odds and takes on the opposition with a confidence that is seldom seen in politics. All the powers in San Diego are lined up against her and, still, she stands tall and unafraid.
The classic underdog status that Barbara is gives her the perfect combination of skills and support to beat the downtown status quo. Barbara has a great campaign team, and growing legions of volunteers, who believe in her. She does not rely on political ideology nor special interests.
As a problem solver, Barbara Bry will usher in a new era of leadership, experience, sound judgement, fiscal transparency, and will not be beholden to the usual suspects.
Beyond loving my hometown, I learned to deliver for and represent underdogs from César and Helen Chávez, who with my wife and her siblings, started and built a national underdog legacy.
In Barbara Bry I see their lessons of being fearless and honest, which is so rare in politics today.
Barbara Bry’s family life, her leadership experience, and stands on issues make the case for me. I am 150% certain that she is the one to lead San Diego through and after the pandemic, on-going racial crisis, and a lagging economy, and will work across the board with schools and businesses.
I believe that Barbara Bry will win and make Black Lives Matter, and all the rest of our lives better, to the everlasting benefit of our residents and our San Diego.
Join me, my family, and smart friends, and VOTE Barbara Bry for Mayor.