Its her season!
Most of all it’s Racquel’s style of governing that puts her in a class all by herself.
San Diego doesn’t pay close enough attention to this public official, but she is like no other…and Racquel is climbing higher and higher.
Backed up by an impressive record, Racquel announces her run for the 79th Assembly, she swings a long string of “Been there done thats’, and it only continues to grow. So, where does Racquel go from here? It’s got a 7 and 9 in the front of it!
WHO IS RACQUEL VASQUEZ?
In a historic achievement, Racquel Vasquez has solidified her legacy as a pioneering leader, not only as the Mayor of Lemon Grove, California, but also as the first African-American woman elected mayor in San Diego County. This trailblazing journey began in Los Angeles, where she was born, and evolved through years of dedicated service and impactful leadership.
Early Years and Education
Racquel Vasquez’s journey into public service traces back to 1994 when she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Management of Radio, TV & Film from California State University, Northridge. Her career kicked off as a promotion specialist for Newport News, Virginia. In 2000, she took on the role of public information officer for the city of San Diego, setting the stage for her future in civic leadership.
Political Ascent in Lemon Grove
Vasquez’s entry into Lemon Grove’s political landscape occurred in 2007 when she was appointed as Planning Commissioner. Fast forward to November 6, 2012, when she was elected to the Lemon Grove City Council. Her journey reached a pivotal moment in 2016, following the retirement of a 20-year incumbent mayor. Vasquez entered the mayoral race, securing victory and making history as the first African-American female mayor in San Diego County.
Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Growth
Mayor Vasquez’s tenure has been marked by significant fiscal achievements. She uncovered two decades of deficit spending, resolved discrepancies revealed in a 2016 independent audit, and implemented a transparent budget reporting system. Under her leadership, Lemon Grove’s credit score rose from a BBB- to an A-, enabling the city to secure loans at competitive rates. Vasquez also initiated a trust to manage one-time funds, earning 9% interest.
The city’s economic landscape flourished through public-private partnerships and grant acquisitions. A groundbreaking collaboration with OUTFRONT Media led to a new Lemon Grove gateway sign generating over $325,000 annually. Vasquez diversified revenue streams, transforming the city into a Passport Acceptance Facility and securing grants for various community projects. Over 400 businesses now thrive in Lemon Grove, a testament to her economic stewardship.
Revitalizing the City and Affordable Housing Initiatives
Lemon Grove, under Mayor Vasquez’s guidance, became the only city in San Diego County and one of 13 in California to meet all four standards for affordable housing. She oversaw the paving of 54 lane-miles of roads, addressing longstanding issues such as potholes, graffiti, and illegal dumping sites. Vasquez championed a comprehensive Climate Action Plan, earning the city the prestigious Tree City USA designation.
Her commitment to community well-being extended to homeless services, with the creation of a Homeless Outreach Program and partnerships with organizations to provide essential services. Additionally, Vasquez spearheaded numerous community workshops, encouraging citizen engagement and fostering a sense of unity.
Awards and Recognition
Racquel Vasquez’s impactful leadership has garnered widespread recognition, including the Phenomenal Women in Leadership Recognition, the Bayard Rustin Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Black Women History Maker award. Her commitment to public service has been acknowledged through various accolades, including the President’s Volunteer Service Award.
Vision for the Future
Looking forward, Mayor Vasquez remains dedicated to community prosperity, housing solutions, and economic growth. With a legacy built on transparency, fiscal responsibility, and inclusive governance, she continues to shape a promising future for Lemon Grove and beyond.
This is Cheryl Morrow, and we applaud Mayor Racquel Vasquez for her unwavering dedication and transformative leadership in Lemon Grove, California.
SDMNEWS Endorses Racquel Vasquez
The San Diego Monitor-News has been serving Black San Diego since 1986