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Fletcher calls for new generation of leaders

by Diana Crofts-Pelayo

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Before beginning an hour-long interview, Nathan Fletcher had his belongings organized on a conference room table. He quickly put away his white headphones plugged into his Apple computer, took a sip from his mug and straightened his tie.

Fletcher, the 37-year-old State Assemblyman of California’s 75th district, is running for mayor of San Diego, because he considers himself the new generation of leadership San Diego needs. He said he hopes to reenergize the government and bring it to the current generation’s standards.

“I think generationally … (it’s) a little easier for me to connect with college students,” he said.

Fletcher said a commitment to higher education has to be made in order to rethink university institutions.


Reforming government

Higher education in California was recently 7 percent of the general fund, but that number has decreased to 3 percent, according to Fletcher. Because of this, he said he plans to introduce reforms within the correction system next year that may free some money for students to more easily receive a quality education.

“We’ve got to be willing to look at things in a new light and look at things in a new way, and have some conversations that occasionally may be uncomfortable,” Fletcher said.

This semester, the California State University Board of Trustees approved San Diego State President Elliot Hirshman’s $400,000 salary on the same day it approved a 12 percent tuition hike. Fletcher said students had a right to be frustrated.

“I thought the timing was bad, and if I was a student I would be pretty upset,” he said.

Fletcher said politicians need to engage, motivate, inspire and lead people; give individuals a compelling reason to care. He also said there is an abundance of apathy or disconnect across society in politics, but blames himself and his fellow politicians.

“As the candidates, you are running because you have to give people a reason to get engaged and interested,” Fletcher said. “And there is almost like a relevance gap between what politicians talk about and what actually affects people’s lives.”

He said the government is always the last institution to change and today’s younger generation understands the dynamics of a competitive global workforce.

“I grew up with technology; we are comfortable with it,” Fletcher said. “It is not something that’s new.”

Fletcher said he was the first California candidate to announce his campaign through YouTube; three weeks before Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton announced their presidential candidacies in the same way.

He said government needs to approach issues in a different manner. Gov. Jerry Brown recently proposed eliminating state-worker cellphones because of the budget deficit, which Fletcher said shows how government is stuck in the past.

“Why would you get rid of cellphones, why don’t you get rid of worker landlines?” Fletcher asked. “I don’t know anybody that would give up their cellphone to keep their landline.”


Understanding college life

Fletcher said he was just like any other student, working and juggling school commitments. He said his parents didn’t go to college, so he felt fortunate to have the opportunity.

“I don’t think I slept much for that period of my life,” he said. “Part of that was because I was working, part of that was because I was enjoying college, part of that was (I) didn’t need as much sleep.”

He worked as a forklift driver in a lumberyard, and was both a bouncer and bartender in a bar.

“I really tried to find that balance between studying, work and sports,” Fletcher said.

But now, instead of worrying about school, his priorities have led him to focus on his family and public service.

Fletcher said he is focused on solving problems, getting results and improving lives.

“Look, I’ll sit down and work with you. I don’t care what party you are,” he said.


Chelsea’s law

Fletcher has had 21 pieces of legislation signed into law, but he authored one law in particular that hit close to San Diegans.

John Albert Gardner III sexually assaulted and murdered teenagers Amber Dubois of Escondido and Chelsea King of Poway in 2009.

Fletcher later authored Chelsea’s Law, which placed a one-strike penalty for violent sexual predators who target children.

AB 1844 enacted a lifetime GPS monitoring of sex offenders, created safezones around parks and placed comprehensive parole reform to better monitor harmful individuals.


Community and service

Fletcher said San Diego has a collection of amazing individuals and diversity.

“I think that’s something unique … in that the mayor represents the city and really needs to reflect its values, reflect its culture and reflect its energy … I think we are a good fit.”

Fletcher committed 10 years of service with the Marine Corps. He worked in counterintelligence in the Horn of Africa and the Near East. Prior to this service, he worked in the Sunni Triangle region of Iraq.

He earned several medals during both tours of services.

For more information about Fletcher and his campaign, visit


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1 Comment

One Response to “Fletcher calls for new generation of leaders”

  1. realreform on December 8th, 2011 10:36 am

    That’s always the republicans “solution”. Just raid the corrections funds. The corrections are already running on a bare bones budget as it is. You have guys doing 25 years to life for stealing a slice of pizza or a dvd under the “three strikes” laws. These republicans are the ones who push to have everyone locked up in prison for decades, and then they cry about how much money it costs.

    This is the very guy who demanded to “crack down” on sex offenders. As if they aren’t already treated too harshly. Don’t people realize that a large percentage of sexual offenders never hurt anyone at all? Many of them were 18 or 19 and had a consensual relationship with a 16 year old or so decades ago, or chatted on the internet with someone posing as a minor, or downloaded a pic of a teen on kazaa or limewire, or urinated in public, or streaked in college, or received a “sext” from their teen girlfriend, or prostituted or picked one up, or had oral or anal sex which is a felonly in any southern state or some other crime where there was no victim at all whatsoever.

    Not even the 20,000 plus former murderers released every year and former islamic terrorist attempted bombers have residency restrictions or have to reregister on any form of online internet registry or face this type of scrutiny.

    Violent sexual offenders like Phillip Garrido and John Gardner and John Couey loved that the registy has a million petty nonviolent sexual offenders so they could hide out amongst them to stay under the radar and slip through the cracks to strike again. These laws should only be focused on real young child molesters and forcible rapists and kidnappers and murderers who have a real victim, but they are not. Only violent sexual offenders should be monitored or on this registry in the first place. A large proportion of “sexual offenders” have never hurt anyone. The state needs to stop harassing them and let them raise their family in dignity like everyone else is allowed to. Most of them just made a mistake as a young man and would like to lead a good life but the state won’t let them.


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