WHY I’M RUNNING
District 1 residents are talking and I’m listening
Hello and thank you for visiting my website. I am running for City Council to ensure City Hall makes smart decisions on important issues like protecting pension reform, repairing our roads and infrastructure, and creating good-paying jobs.
Protecting pension reform means your tax dollars will pay for more 911 dispatchers, police officers and other services, instead of bloated government pensions.
I am opposed to both downtown stadium plans, each of which would be among the highest tax increases in the city's history. Both also would threaten our tourism economy and jobs. Visitors spend nearly $10 billion annually in San Diego and tourism employs 181,000 San Diegans.
I have met many of you as I have crisscrossed neighborhoods and knocked on thousands of doors, and these are the issues you have said are important to you.
My work as a small business owner and job creator, coupled with more than two decades of volunteer community service, give me the experience many of you have said you want from your City Council representative.
I have taken on several leadership roles as a community volunteer with numerous non-profits working on important issues like child abuse, education, homelessness, our environment, workforce development, pension reform, and community planning.
I live in Carmel Valley with my wife Gina and our son Jake, and my promise to everyone in District 1 is simple: I will make smart and cost-effective decisions that ensure we protect our quality-of-life and environment while promoting robust economic growth and protecting jobs and our local economy.
I do not support raising your taxes to build the Chargers a new stadium, and you won’t see any spending binges on public employee pensions on my watch.
For those concerned about our roads and infrastructure, I wholeheartedly support Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s initiative to repair 1,000 miles of streets over 5 years. I also support Councilmember Mark Kersey’s Rebuild San Diego measure, or Proposition H, on the June 7th ballot. It will provide approximately $4 billion over 25 years for roads and infrastructure repairs – without raising taxes. We are going to be smart about repairs and maintenance in our neighborhoods and we are going to make it a priority.
We also are going to protect voter-approved reforms, starting with the pension reform measure San Diego voters overwhelmingly supported four years ago. Some unions are attacking the measure and trying to unwind it. As a volunteer board chair of the city’s Pension Board, I helped guide the City out of its pension crisis. I helped lead the effort to pass the voter-approved changes, which will save taxpayers $1 billion – money the City is investing in our roads, parks, libraries, police, fire and other neighborhood services. I will continue to protect pension reform and the will of the voters.
The impacts of the drought continue to impact ratepayers and I am proposing we meet this challenge head-on. As a volunteer board chair of a local environmental non-profit, I have worked to improve the region’s water sustainability. I have helped educate water users and I will continue to do so on the City Council. Education is critical but it is only part of the solution. My water supply plan produces a locally-controlled, drought-proof, sustainable water supply and reduces our reliance on expensive, imported water.
As for our local economy, I am going to make sure we are doing everything we can to promote our innovation economy and create good-paying jobs right here in San Diego. Too often government stifles job growth through layers of redundant regulations – trust me, I’ve experienced it as a small business owner.
I want to take what I know – about community service, business and government – and help our neighborhoods, our schools, our economy and our City thrive. I would be honored to have your vote. Thank you!
WHY I’M RUNNING
Connect with Ray
Community Volunteer, Small Business Owner & Environmental Advocate
For more than two decades Ray has volunteered as a leader with numerous non-profits, helping them have a bigger impact on the people they serve in our community. He chaired the City Pension Board, for example, at the request of former Mayor Jerry Sanders. In doing so, Ray helped guide the City out of a pension crisis that was draining tax dollars that should have been used for road repairs, parks, police protection and other neighborhood services the city provides.
At Voices for Children, Ray helped change the lives of numerous abused children who were trapped in difficult circumstances. He helped secure much-needed legal representation for hundreds of abused foster kids who were getting shuffled through the courts.
At Second Chance, Ray helped hundreds of people, including Angie Elsbury, find a job and a home.
“Ray and Second Chance believed in me when many people did not,” said Elsbury, who is married and works at a local Von's. “Ray helped me create a better life for myself and my daughter.”
At Equinox Center, Ray helped lead an effort to annually measure San Diego's air and water quality and numerous other quality-of-life indicators. His work ensured elected officials put the environment at the forefront of their policy decisions.
"Anyone who has worked with Ray will attest to his commitment to creating lasting change in San Diego,” said Kathlyn Mead, President & CEO of the San Diego Foundation, while presenting Ray with San Diego Social Venture Partner's Community Leadership Award in 2014 for “A life dedicated to community service.”
Ray is a past Board Chair of Second Chance and Equinox Center and past Board Member of Voices for Children, the Balboa Park Conservancy, the San Diego Workforce Partnership Workforce Investment Board, and the Lux Art Institute. Ray serves on the boards of The Parker Foundation, the Del Mar Mesa Community Planning Board and Head Start. He also is a member of the EDC Strategic Roundtable and San Diego Grantmakers’ Finance Committee.
In addition to his volunteer activities, Ray coaches his son’s basketball and football teams, and he manages the activities of a private foundation that helps fund numerous non-profit organizations, including Reality Changers and the Education Synergy Alliance.
Ray also is a successful small business owner who started a national marketing firm from his garage.
Ray is an independent problem solver running for City Council to fix our roads, protect pension reform and create good-paying jobs. Mayor Kevin Faulconer, Ernest Rady and community leaders from La Jolla, University City, Carmel Valley and Del Mar Heights have endorsed Ray.
ELLIS: SAN DIEGO CAN’T AFFORD TO MAKE THE SAME PENSION MISTAKES
It is impossible to fully understand San Diego’s financial challenges without understanding how dramatically the pension crisis of the early 2000s altered our course. Back then, bankruptcy was actually considered. Our credit rating was in the tank and city spending on police, fire, parks, libraries and other services was slashed left and right.
RAY ELLIS IS OPPOSED TO BOTH DOWNTOWN STADIUM PLANS | KUSI
City Council District 1 Candidate Ray Ellis joined Good Morning San Diego to discuss why he is running for this seat, some of his qualifications and goals he would like to achieve should he be elected.
RAY ELLIS ON WHY HE'S RUNNING FOR CITY COUNCIL | 10NEWS
This week, we spoke with all the candidates for San Diego City Council District 1.
ELLIS: HOW I WOULD IMPROVE EDUCATION IN SAN DIEGO
Having spent the last 20 years volunteering with local nonprofits that work to improve the lives of children and families, I strongly believe that providing quality education is key to building healthy and vibrant communities.
CHARGERS’ PLAN PUTS SAN DIEGO TOURISM ECONOMY AT RISK
I’m a football fan. I love the Chargers and have been a season ticket holder since 1993. I want the team to remain in San Diego. But I do not support the Chargers’ plan because it is unfair to San Diego taxpayers, threatens our tourism economy, ignores our most pressing needs and exposes the city to financial pitfalls similar to the pension crisis.
COUNCIL, SUPERVISOR CANDIDATES GET KEY ENDORSEMENTS
The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce also offered endorsements Thursday, opting for Ray Ellis for the District 1 race to replace termed-out Sherri Lightner, over Barbara Bry and Joe LaCava.
APAC'S NIGHT OF THE ROUND TABLE
Watch Ray Ellis discuss his involvement with the Asian Pacific American Coalition candidate round table.
ELLIS ANNOUNCES FOR SAN DIEGO CITY COUNCIL
Ray Ellis Announces his Run for San Diego City Council, District 1. Find out what more about Ellis and his goals in running to this seat and some of the goals he would like to work on.
Visit my News page for the latest about my campaign.
PROTECTING PENSION REFORM
The City of San Diego is a leader when it comes to creating and implementing common sense pension reforms, but there is more to do and we have to protect the voter-approved reforms we’ve made.
ROADS & INFRASTRUCTURE
After years of neglect, many of San Diego’s roads are crumbling and, unfortunately, the City’s backlog of deferred maintenance does not stop there. Our parks desperately need attention, along with our aging water system and other infrastructure.
ELLIS' EDUCATION PLAN
I have spent 20 years volunteering with several non-profits to help children and their families lead better lives. Although the City Council does not directly oversee public schools in San Diego, providing a quality education for our children is an important public goal that requires the support of everyone in the community, not just parents, teachers and school administrators.
Water sustainability for the City of San Diego and the region is of critical importance. Because this is a complex problem, it requires a multi-faceted solution. Because of my involvement with Equinox Center, which has been at the forefront of water sustainability in the region for years, I bring a unique perspective on potential solutions.
STENCH IN LA JOLLA COVE
I was recently asked by business and community leaders to join a group to try to solve this ongoing problem. We all know this is a huge quality of life and economic issue to La Jolla. It’s complicated by tremendous regulatory oversight from multiple government agencies, but I’m committed to keep on it.
ONE PASEO PROJECT
I have consistently stood with and advocated for our community on the One Paseo Project dating back to 2012.
I continue to be impressed by our community’s involvement
in One Paseo, something we’ve seen since the beginning.
SHORT-TERM RENTALS IN SAN DIEGO
We’re living in very innovative and exciting times that require sound judgment on how to embrace changes without negatively impacting our communities and the quality of life we hold so dear in San Diego.
HOUSING OPPORTUNITIES IN SAN DIEGO
Government is responsible for nearly half the cost of building a new home in San Diego. When you understand that, you understand why our City faces a housing crisis.
DISTRICT 1 ISSUES
ENDORSEMENTS & SUPPORTERS
"Ray Ellis has been a successful small business owner and now he’s making
a mark in San Diego as one of our most important non-profit leaders.
His efforts to protect the environment, help the homeless, and develop sustainable water alternatives have made a positive impact on our community."
Mayor, San Diego
"I've watched Ray lead non-profits. He's shown them how to raise
funds and create a bigger impact within the community, while highlighting the importance of public-private partnerships. Ray's experience and leadership would be put to good use at City Hall."
FORMER SAN DIEGO CITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT
"Ray embodies the best of our community. He has demonstrated
dedication to our neighborhoods and leadership by working on our planning group and standing with us in opposition to One Paseo."
Carmel Valley resident and a member of the Del Mar Mesa Community Planning Board
"I've known Ray for over 20 years. He will be a champion for small businesses and the Asian Community on City Council."
Small Business Owner
"There are many reasons I am supporting Ray Ellis. I’ve known him for 20 years and appreciate the commitment he has made to helping the most vulnerable among us through Voices for Children, Second Chance, Head Start, and The Parker Foundation. Ray’s plan to create a Homeless Services Director is an important step to coordinate the efforts of non-profits, the private sector and local government to help get folks off the street, get the services they need including re-hab and into a stable home and work situation. Ray is an exceptional leader who cares about people, especially those who are struggling. Ray will make San Diego a better place as a member of the City Council."
I am honored to have the support of so many community members and leaders.
Click here to hear from some of the San Diegans supporting my campaign.