Skip to content Skip to footer

2019 Candidates

2019 DCPC Election Candidates

Below are the candidates for the 2019 DCPC Election.  All terms are 2 years unless noted as ‘1 Year Term’ (Mid Term Vacant Seats).

Columbia District: Resident Owner

Rand Barbano – During my 46 year career, I worked as an English teacher, journalist, and computer scientist. While in high tech corporations, I rose to the level of VP of marketing and development. I have also owned and run a newspaper, a consulting business focused on strategic business planning, and finished my career as an Executive Coach. My clients included the San Diego firm of General Atomics. I have also written three novels.

My wife of 22 years, Debbie Barbano, and I have an 18 year-0ld daughter, Chesirae, in college in Boston, MA. Debbie and I recently retired and moved from the San Francisco Bay Area to San Diego this last September where we immediately fell in love with our new city. That has led us both to want to become involved with our new community.

I am hoping to join the DCPC to contribute to the responsible growth and development of the Colombia neighborhood and San Diego at large.

Columbia District: Resident  –  (1 Year Term)


Columbia District: Business –  (1 Year Term)


Core District: Resident


Core District: Business –  (1 Year Term)

JAMES LAWSON – James Lawson, President of Presidio PAG, Inc., brings more than a decade of experience in local government and lobbying to his clients.  His diverse background includes creating public policy, advocating for private development interests and implementing complex strategic initiatives.  Throughout his career Lawson has built strong relationships in the public sector, private sector and on both sides of the political aisle.

Lawson’s career in San Diego began on the campaign of former San Diego City Councilmember and current San Diego Mayor, Kevin Faulconer.  Following Faulconer’s 2006 election to the City Council, Lawson served in his office for over five years as Senior Policy Advisor and Liaison to Downtown San Diego where he was responsible for all matters related to land-­‐use, redevelopment, housing and transportation.

Following his tenure in Faulconer’s office, Lawson joined a statewide public affairs firm where he spent four years in the firm’s San Diego office.  During that time, he worked directly with several large corporations to develop and execute advocacy strategies.  He also specialized in building broad and diverse coalitions to support his client’s interests.

Lawson is actively involved in several organizations throughout the San Diego region including the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, the San Diego County Taxpayer’s Association and the Downtown San Diego Partnership.  He is also an elected member of the Downtown Community Planning Council, a body that advises the San Diego City Council on Downtown land-­‐use issues and other public policy matters.

East Village South District: Resident Owner


East Village South District: Business

Caroline Perry – Caroline Perry is the Vice President, General Counsel of the San Diego Padres, where she works frequently with the City of San Diego on the management and use of Petco Park. Caroline has also worked extensively with Civic San Diego on various projects related to the Padres in and around Petco Park, including Bumble Bee Seafood’s lease of the iconic Candy Factory building and the use of the parking lots and facilities around Petco Park. Caroline shares the Padres’ passion for a vibrant and thriving downtown community and feels privileged to work each day in San Diego’s East Village.

Caroline’s legal practice with the Padres is extremely varied and includes real estate, employment, litigation and general corporate advice. Caroline also serves as the president of the East Village Square Owners Association.

Caroline is a San Diego native who received her undergraduate degree from Stanford University and her law degree from Columbia University. Caroline lives with her husband and two young daughters in Pacific Beach and enjoys travel, reading and attending Padres baseball games.

East Village North District: Resident

Bob Link – Engaged in community and homelessness solutions.  Small Business Entrepreneur bringing innovative modular housing solutions to San Diego.  Seasoned Program Manager.  Focused on community Plan and Results.

Current focus on Community and Homelessness

  • Union Square at Broadway HOA. Since 2007
  • East Village Residents Group (EVRG). Since 2011
  • Downtown Residents Group (DRG). Since 2015
  • Downtown Community Planning Council (DCPC). Since 2016
  • UPLIFT San Diego Non-Profit Board. Since 2014
  • Trinity United Methodist Church, Trustee. Since 2015

Program Manager: Innovative Housing

  • C&N Modular Structures LLC

Contracts and Business Management 1974 -2014 (retired) including:

Military Sealift Command, San Diego, Washington DC, Bremerhaven, London; others

  • Mentored acquisition staff in San Diego, Oakland, Seattle, Hawaii, Guam, Washington DC, London, and Bremerhaven
  • Managed Ship Repair, Strategic Sourcing contracts, Navy Seals training, Facilities
  • Developed Threat Reduction Treaty logistics solutions.
  • Facilitated command moves from Bremerhaven to London; Oakland to San Diego.

Personal Interests

  • Family, health, community and faith. Travel, theater, sports, hiking.
  • Support multiple community organizations.


  • Always learning.
  • San Diego Community Orientation Workshop, 2016
  • University of Maryland, Masters, 1996

Northeastern University, Boston, Undergrad, 1977

Chris Herzog –  I am a San Diego native, born and raised.  I have lived here all my life.  14 years ago, I made the decision to move from the suburbs to the heart of downtown San Diego, and it’s been one of the best things I’ve ever done.  But my “adopted community” needs some TLC to make it the best possible place to live, and I’d like work to make it better.  A vote for me will help make downtown San Diego the best it can be, and worthy of the amazing people who choose to call it home.

Horton/Gaslamp District: Resident

Figaro Nauta –  Figaro Miguel Nauta is an international sales representative for Tulip Medical Products, a local medical product development company. He is a San Diego native and Gaslamp resident for over 20 years, though he has lived in Colorado, Washington D.C., New York City, Boston, and Baltimore. Figaro has two-years of experience serving on the board for the DCPC. He currently serves on the Public Spaces, Elections/Bylaws, and Social Issues Subcommittees. Well-traveled, Figaro developed a world perspective on life, business, and social issues. He knows both residents and businesses need each other to build strong communities. Figaro’s focus is to represent Horton/Gaslamp residents and ensure their needs are considered and their rights are protected.

Horton/Gaslamp District: Business

Jennifer Gattey –  My name is Jennifer Gattey and I am running for the board seat for the Horton/Gaslamp District.  I am with Stockdale management and I am the General Manager of Horton Plaza.  I have managed Class A office buildings in Downtown San Diego for The Irvine Company and Emmes for the last 15 years.  I look forward to being part of the renovation and changes coming to Horton Plaza and look forward to continuing my seat on the board and helping ensure that the integrity of Downtown remains, while looking forward to the changing landscape.

Little Italy District: Resident Owner

Paul Pensabene –  Paul Pensabene is a native of Brooklyn, New York and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in May 1988 with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science.  Following flight training, he was designated a Naval Aviator in June 1990.  He also received a Master of Science in Quality Systems Management from National Graduate School in 2005 and attended George Washington University’s Elliot School of International Affairs, National Security Senior Manager’s Course in 2010. He recently retired in June, 2018 as a Navy Captain after a 30-year career that included numerous operational and staff tours, as well as serving as the Commanding Officer of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron FOUR based at NAS North Island, CA from 2006 to 2008.

Paul has lived in San Diego for 24 of the last 29 years and has been a Little Italy homeowner, residing with his family in the award winning Kettner Rowhomes since 2005.   He has occupied Little Italy’s Residential Owner – Occupant seat on the Downtown Community Planning Council since July 2018.   His interests include urban development, mid-century design/architecture, smart growth, electric vehicles, and mass transit.  Specifically, for Little Italy he currently works to maintain the community’s unique cultural and family friendly atmosphere.

Little Italy District: Business

Manny Cepeda –  Manny’s musical experience of over 50 years makes him a fountain of knowledge in the Latin Music genre.  He has a bachelor’s in music education from Illinois State University and a Master of Arts Music from the Ellington University in New Orleans, Louisiana.

He was the leader of the famous Navy Steel Band and the world traveled U.S. Navy Show Band, he toured the entire continent of South America and West and South Africa, Caribbean and Europe doing 7 world tours and performing 164 concerts and festivals within each 7-year period. He retired as a bandmaster US Navy after 31 years of service.

As a professional musician he has performed on stage with famous bands such as “Babo Jimenez, Ricardo Ray, Willie Colon and opened for headliners such as; Tito Puente, Sammy Davis Jr., Tony Vega, and Arturo Sandoval.

His knowledge and expertise bring the art of Latin music to life.  His unique music style enriches your life culturally as well as socially with lives and sequenced music resulting in an amazing blend of technology and live performance unequalled in the entire West Coast.

Marina District: Business

Cindy Blair –  Cindy Blair, AIA, LEED AP, has been a downtown resident and business owner in the Marina District since 1982. A Downtown Community Planning Committee (DCPC) member since 2010, she served as Secretary twice including currently , Chairman of Pre-Design Subcommittee, and Chairman of the Public Spaces Subcommittee.  A licensed professional architect (University of Kansas 1975) and LEED accredited professional, she has worked in the architectural and development industry for more than 40 years, including many aspects in the commercial area but particularly urban mixed-use, retail, and university projects with Carrier Johnson, MDWF, SGPA and Fehlman-LaBarre over the years.

Founders/Owners/operators of Kansas City Barbeque for 34 years, she and her husband enjoy walking the downtown and waterfront area, partaking of the great variety of downtown restaurants and businesses.

Active in downtown affairs, Cindy also serves on the Downtown Parking Management Group (DPMG), Downtown Parks Foundation,  Gaslamp Quarter Association (GQA) Board and the Gaslamp Quarter Heritage Foundation (GQHF) Land Use and Planning Committee. She strives for maintaining those qualities that make downtown a safe, enjoyable, and active and friendly place to live and do business.

“ My key concerns are this year are: Integration of Mobility and Safety issues including the Dockless vehicles and the approved street improvements * Downtown parking * Homeless issues * Development of our downtown parks & plazas including the renovation of Children’s Park * Smooth integration of Port projects (Broadway project and Seaport Village redevelopment) with the downtown fabric.”

Downtown Community Wide: Community Organization

David Priver