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Councilmember Marni von Wilpert seeks second term

City Councilmember Marni von Wilpert

Councilmember Marni von Wilpert seeks second term

By Kaila Mellos

As campaign season begins for the March 5 primaries for San Diego, many elected officials and candidates are working to secure votes for their positions. City Councilmember Marni von Wilpert reflects on her current term, which began in 2020, and hopes to continue representing District 5.

Scripps Ranch native von Wilpert participated in Girl Scouts while growing up and knew from that point she wanted to dedicate her life to helping others, she said.

“I grew up in Scripps Ranch on Sunset Ridge Drive, and my parents still live in the house I grew up in,” von Wilpert said. “Now, I have newly become a homeowner in Scripps Ranch and  have been enjoying all of the little reunions I’ve had with people who went to Scripps Ranch High School with me or Miramar Ranch Elementary School who are now writing in and saying, ‘Councilmember, it’s been a long time. I have a question about my water bill,’ or ‘I have a sidewalk repair request,’ and it’s been enjoyable to get to do services for my real home district.”

As a previous civil prosecutor in the city attorney’s office, she said she knows what it takes to make change happen for the better in her district.

Councilmember von Wilpert has worked to change many people’s lives, including banning the sale and possession of ghost guns with an ordinance.

“Gun violence prevention is a big issue for me. I was a deputy city attorney before I ran for office, so public safety is my number one issue, and I wrote the first law in the State of California banning the sale of illegal ghost guns when I got elected,” she said. “It requires any parts of the weapon to have a serial number, and people have to go through a background check to get the parts of guns, just like they do for regular weapons.”

She has also worked on legislation banning flavored tobacco sales in the City of San Diego.

“A Girl Scout troop inspired the second law I passed in our district. They were sixth graders. I asked them and said, ‘If you could pass any law you wanted for the whole city, what kind of law would you pass?’” von Wilpert recalled. “These troops of 12-year-old girls told me they would ban flavored e-cigarettes and vaping.”

The council couldn’t have gotten the law far without the help of many petitions, including some from Scripps Ranch High School students.

“That was the law I am very proud of because many high school students from District 5 helped, including Scripps Ranch High School, signing petitions asking the council to do this,” von Wilpert said.

If she is reelected, she hopes to further work on this law and double down on its enforcement. She is also working on something close to Scripps Ranch: the condition of local roads. Repairing roads and other city infrastructure are issues she is hoping to tackle.

“We have a five-year plan for our water department, but we don’t have one for roads. We had just gone from mayor to mayor, from council to council, and every time a new person got elected, a new plan was formed,” she said. “Our roads are a huge infrastructure asset, and we have invested over a billion dollars in our road system. We need to have a plan that outlasts council terms and mayor terms. So, I requested that the Transportation Department start doing a five-year rolling plan for how we will fix our roads.”

She hopes this plan will be rolled out by January 2024 with an outline of what will go into the project.

Councilmember von Wilpert wants to encourage constituents to contact her office with issues and questions. 

“I just want to continue encouraging folks to reach out to us and let us know how we can be helpful. I will keep fighting for the things people want to see,” she said.

Visit sandiego.gov/citycouncil/cd5.