San Diego to Women: Drop Dead (Your voting guide)

Voting Recommendations for San Diego men and women based on women being equal.

For San Diego, equality for women is no small challenge.  If you don’t have time to read; scroll for the top two, best and worst.  Cheers!

Screen Shot 2016-06-05 at 4.47.34 PM

By way of background, I’ve been trying to find someone – anyone interested in equality for a while.  In 2010, I alerted elected officials to a cost-effective, high-tech solution to end domestic violence.   (It was featured on most local news and in-depth on CBS, after I attended the parole hearing called by then Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, after John Gardner murdered Chelsea King and Amber Dubois.)  I met with a half-dozen of officials.  The result? Bumpkiss.

Fast forward to 2016; and having discovered other, perhaps better, high-tech solutions to empower women to save their own lives.  Also learned elected officials aren’t interested in  solutions. Particularly when they are more cost-effective than what is currently in use.  Turns out, domestic violence is somewhat profitable in the area of generating state and federal grants.  High-tech solutions prevent crimes. As this reduces a need for grants…officials seem completely disinterested. Go figure, eh?

As the examples below clearly demonstrate, the Office of the City Attorney is an office headed by someone who doesn’t care about the safety of women crime victims.


The 98 cases blown by the City Attorney’s office which handles misdemeanors and misdemeanor domestic violence and were of no surprise to me.  


Audit dropped for Domestic Violence Program


San Diego second-highest county in the State for calls for service.

So this election cycle I decided to approach nearly every candidate of office in person. I also followed-up with with calls or emails. To each I demonstrated the solution to end domestic violence.  Of the few I could not approach in person, I telephoned and emailed.

As such, my recommendations are based on each candidate’s response.

A clear winner emerged, immediately.   The individual most interested in saving lives and saving money while demonstrating equal representation for all, is Gil Cabrera.  Hands down.  Sadly, it wasn’t even close

Gil Cabrera is the Best choice for City Attorney

Gil Cabrera for City Attorney

Gil Cabrera was very receptive both to the problems that are systemic in the system; as well as more immediate high-tech cost-effective solutions to make the City of San Diego safe for women.

Cabrera asked the kind of questions people ask who are both smart, psychologically insightful, and who have the foresight to attend to finance. Only one other person did that; but he’s running for City Council. If I had one knock on Gil Cabrera, (nobody’s perfect) I’d say Gil doesn’t return calls quickly. Gil said it’s a fair complaint. 🙂

Another thing, completely unrelated.  Gil Cabrera is the father to quite possibly, the two cutest little girls on the planet.  Seriously.  Those girls are so sweet  you just want to take bites out of ’em.  I told Gil he was wasting valuable talent not taking them out to events, reminding him of Sasha Obama’s exuberant, “Vote for Daddy!” shout-out at the end of one Obama’s first presidential campaign events.  I suggested Gil take the girls to every event.  Gil laughed, and declined.  

Going from best to worst….

Rafael Castellanos: Worst choice for City Attorney

Rafael Castellanos not for Mayor of San Diego

I called Castellanos office twice.  Each time I was told “He’s busy.”  Left a return number both times as well as a reason for the call.  No calls were returned.

By now everyone knows Rafael Castellanos also answered to another name.  “Defendant” in a sexual harassment lawsuit.  In speaking about the case, Castellanos was disrespectful to the woman, and also;

Castellanos was dishonest in his interview with Voice of San Diego.  I understand why.  It seems Catellanous might equate dollars with truth, not understanding some people are more interested in truth— than money.  That’s a tough concept for some.  Castellanos could be as lethal for some women, as Goldsmith. 

But in speaking of the DV scandal within the Office of City Attorney; Rafael wrote the following on his Facebook page,

“As part of my campaign, I will immediately undertake to develop and propose common sense reforms for the City Attorney’s office to ensure this does not happen again. In light of the serious criminal justice issues facing our nation it is imperative we take all steps necessary to build trust between the community and law enforcement, which includes greater transparency and prompt accountability. If elected City Attorney I will do everything within my power to make San Diego a national model for the effective administration of criminal justice.”

Question:  Why wait?  Were that true, why wouldn’t Rafael immediately make domestic violence part of his campaign the instant the Goldsmith debacle was exposed? That Castellanous did not add the safety of women crime victims to his list of “things to address” speaks volumes, folks.

Pragmatically speaking — women vote more than men. But as 1,600 women were murdered in the United States last year, it’s remarkable Castellanos wouldn’t immediately jump on Goldsmith’s ineptness during his campaign, instead of once again putting women on the back-burner.  Makes me wonder.  Is there some kind of “keep ’em in the kitchen” attitude going on? 

Now for the other side….

Robert Hickey might be a strong contender

Robert Hickey for City Attorney

All I can offer about Hickey is:  I called his office twice, and no calls were returned.  Also, anyone Bonnie Dumanis demotes is probably someone I could get along with.  Just saying.  

Returning to the other candidates.

Mara Elliott – she is trying

Mara Elliot - Not the best for San Diego

Mara Elliot is trying.  When I first spoke with Mara about eliminating Domestic Violence – Mara gave me the the canned, “I’ll work closely with the Family Justice Unit” response.  I explained stats showed the DV rate was up in San Diego largely due to the Family Justice Unit, but that high-tech can all but eliminate the problem, (especially when stalking is involved.)  Mara was agreeable to learning.  (Shortly after another publication came out referencing to her misinterpreting the law in one area.)   Okay.  Still learning. Still, when I next communicated with Mara was when she disagreed with a tweet I’d made.  Which I like.  Except that now Mara was speaking about her work with some people who are still part of the problem and not the solution and so at that point, the second definition of “trying” came into play.

Moving along…

Bryan Pease –  not easily defined. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Bryan Pease for City Attorney

I already wrote about Bryan Pease.  It’s amazing.  Wait.  That was the terrible media coverage that included the arrest of Pease.

How did San Diego come to have a bad reputation in domestic violence?

Mostly due to women.  Take Francine Busby.  Please.  I made Francis Busby aware of the solution to domestic violence, years ago.  Years.  But not once did Francine Busby make ending crimes against women a priority.  Educating women, yes.  Keeping them safe?  No.

Only Rena Marrocco got the matter on the agenda this year.  Most clubs for Democrats don’t bother.  (I was a “Decline to State” – until last year).  But have noticed in lecturing Para-legal classes in the area of Family Law, and visiting both Democrat and Republicans clubs speaking about the solution – crimes against women are at epidemic levels, including in the military.

That few women or men in San Diego seem interested.

Democrats for Equality?  They’re about women’s reproductive rights.  Not about the Constitutional right of women to live without being attacked.  

Point Loma Democrats?  Late last year I defended their President, Susan Peinado after she was viciously, verbally attacked by someone.  Susan said she’d like to have me lecture about the high-tech solution at a Democratic women’s club….in the Spring.  Then, crickets.

Check the Facebook page for Point Loma DemocratsSee anything remotely addressing the right of women to live in safety?  Nope.  Only Ruth Rollins seems interested.  Ruth’s my go-to on doing things right.

Even Barbara Bry didn’t make domestic violence an issue – until it made headlines.  Prior to that, I’d sent Bry lots of information on empowering women through technology.  Really thought a woman in technology would jump on this.  But I was completely wrong.  Bry got it.  But she just didn’t think empowering women to be safe via technology, was important enough to add to her list.  At least until the (latest) scandal broke in the City Attorney’s office.  

Also spoke to Bry’s opponent.  He seemed interested, and caught on extremely fast as to the merits. But I might have to leave the space blank because neither has earned my vote.

Dave Roberts – no calls returned.  But okay; no surprise, either!  

Ending on a high note.  Gil Cabrera is the only one who fits this description

Lead by example 

I am definitely voting for Gil Cabrera for City Attorney. For the safety of all San Diego women, I hope you do too.


About bonnie russell

It's not about’s always about people.
This entry was posted in Civil Rights, court-appointed, Divorce, Election 2016, Family Court, Government, Law, San Diego and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to San Diego to Women: Drop Dead (Your voting guide)

  1. lorisaldana says:

    Speaking of violence against women and failures in San Diego’s criminal justice programs: Please let your readers know about the “Denim Day” activities we organized as part of my Mayoral campaign. These efforts will continue. For details see and for details.


    • Lori, when I called your campaign manager specifically to talk about solutions….such as high-technology that renders Restraining Orders 100% effective, she not only wasn’t interested, she was rude.


  2. Sally Spelbring says:



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