Archive, Issues, Local, Opinion

(Part III) District 2 Seat to be Filled by City Council Appointment

Bruce Coons

Bruce Coons

Bruce Coons has been encouraged by community leaders throughout the city to apply for appointment as the interim council member for District 2.

As (some of) you know, Bruce is a well-respected and extremely effective neighborhood activist.
Although he is probably best known today for leading the coalition of over 30 groups and tens of thousands of San Diegans in maintaining the historic integrity of Balboa Park, Bruce’s track record is much deeper and broader than that. Dozens of built environments and cultural landscapes around San Diego County, including Petco Park and Hotel del Coronado, have benefited from his expertise and ability to work out winning solutions.

He was elected to the city’s Old Town Planning Group six times and served for 10 years. He is presently serving his second term on the Peninsula Community Planning Board. A former high-tech manufacturing executive, Bruce currently serves as the executive director of Save Our Heritage Organisation (SOHO), where his ability to work with city, county, and state agencies, as well as public and private agencies, makes him uniquely qualified to hit the ground running as the interim District 2 councilperson.

Bruce has deep roots in District 2. His family moved to Ocean Beach in 1958, and he has lived and worked most of his life in District 2 (old and new). He and his wife, Alana, currently reside in a beautiful historic Cliff May house in Loma Portal. Bruce attended District 2 schools Barnard Elementary, Collier Junior High, and Point Loma High. He later studied Theater at Cal Western and Anthropology at USD.

Bruce has excellent relationships with city staff, members of the city council and with Mayor Faulconer. He has what is needed for this particular job at this particular time:

  • he knows the San Diego neighborhoods and understands community plan issues as well as anyone in the city
  • he has an encyclopedic knowledge of San Diego’s geography, history and infrastructure
  • he has a unique skill set of business and civic engagement that will help him deal with the difficult issues the council will face
  • he has been a recognized advocate for San Diego quality of life issues for over 3 decades

Because Bruce is not a career politician, his focus would be solely on what is best for District 2 (and that includes electing a qualified, Progressive candidate in June!) He would be able to make the hard decisions without concern for future office. This, along with his stellar qualifications and ability to work with others, makes him the right person for the interim District 2 council seat.

Alana Coons
Member, Point Loma Democratic Club
Education & Communications Director, SOHO

District 2 Seat to be Filled by City Council Appointment (Ed Harris)
(Part II) District 2 Seat to be Filled by City Council Appointment (Gretchen Kinney Newsom)
(Part IV) District 2 Seat to be Filled by City Council Appointment (Howard Wayne)
(Part V) District 2 Seat to be Filled by City Council Appointment (Jane Gawronski)


  1. judi curry says

    I hate it when articles say “as you know . . . .”. I DO NOT KNOW Bruce Coons, and he may be perfect for the job but don’t tell me “as you know.” And, out of curiosity – is Alana Coons related to Bruce? If so – how? And if this an unbiased view? I think not. Hard to believe all these wonderful things about Mr. Coons when it is written by a member of the family (?) – even a member of our own club.


    • Hi Judi, you may have missed hearing Bruce at the September meeting when he spoke as a Mayoral candidate along with David Alvarez and Mike Aguirre. He appeared at most of the Mayoral debates last year with those candidates until he dropped out of the race and endorsed David. He also spoke at last Sunday’s meeting on the District 2 appointment, Assembly Bill 1999 (as introduced, Tony Atkins. California Economic Development and Historic Preservation Tax Credit Act) and on the upcoming Peninsula Community Planning Board elections on Thursday March 6.

      He and his wife, Alana, are members of the club and both work at Save our Heritage Organisation (SOHO) – who among other things fought (and are still fighting) to defend Balboa Park from takeover by corporations, helped keep the Western Metal Supply Co. building at Petco, run the Whaley House (and six other museums), and organize the Día de los Muertos every year in Old Town.

      If anything, having got to know Bruce a little over the last year, I think Alana is understating his accomplishments and credentials for this role.


    • Judy Swink says

      I agree with Judi’s comment regarding “As you know…”. Not everyone does know. However, Judi, Alana’s comments – wife of the subject or not – are accurate depictions of Bruce’s background and capabilities. I’ve been acquainted with them for over a decade and got to know Bruce even better during the successful effort to block Irwin Jacobs’ Plaza de Panama project (a project we cannot assume is truly dead now that Kevin Faulconer will be mayor). That hideous project would be under construction today if not for Bruce’s extensive knowledge of CEQA and City ordinances, among other resources. Even though the appointment is for a pretty short period of time, I think he can make a difference for both District 2 and for the City as a whole because he understands that the communities in D2 are part of a much larger entity.


      • judi curry says

        Thanks, Judy. I have read about him, but didn’t know enough to make an intelligent decision. And, of course, the glowing report from his wife didn’t help, except they either have a great relationship or she wants him out of the house!


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