Editor’s note: This story will be updated as more election results are published.
San Luis Obispo City Council candidates Michelle Shoresman and Emily Francis are on track to fill the two open council seats, initial election results show.
Shoresman, a current councilmember, garnered 36.71% of the vote and Emily Francis, a teacher and city planning commissioner, received 32.15% of the vote, according to the County Clerk-Recorder’s Office.
Both candidates have received endorsements from the San Luis Obispo County Democratic Party in addition to other organizations, according to their campaign websites.
Opponents Joe Benson and James Papp are behind with 18.93% and 12.21% of the votes, respectively.
In 2021, Shoresman was unanimously appointed to a vacant seat on the SLO City Council when former Mayor Heidi Harmon stepped down from her post. Former councilmember Erica A. Stewart was subsequently appointed into the mayoral seat. She was the only incumbent candidate running for council.
Prior to her appointment on city council, Shoresman shared in an interview with Mustang News that she served on the city’s planning commission. She previously worked and volunteered with a variety of local organizations and is a Cal Poly alumnus. Shoresman is also the founder of Lead Organizer for Women in the Pipeline.
“Although many of the issues I am focusing on in my campaign come from my own experience and desires for the city after living here for more than 25 years, it is enlightening and affirming to know that most of my fellow residents are concerned about the same things, and want the same things for SLO that I do,” Shoresman said in a previous interview with Mustang News.
She added that her main goals are to continue to protect our environment, affordable housing, homelessness and a more diverse community. Over the course of her term this past year, she has pushed the city of San Luis Obispo forward on the expansion of broadband in undeserved areas, approved over $3 million toward the building of affordable housing and voted to expand EV charging in city-owned spaces.
As an elected member of city council, Shoresman will prioritize housing and homelessness, climate action and continued preservation and acquisition of open space, creating safe streets and sidewalks for al users, and incorporating concepts of enquiry and inclusivity in all policies and practices as a city.
Francis currently serves on the city Planning Commission and is working on her master’s thesis in American History focusing on the political history of the green belt of open space that encircles our city, according to her campaign website.
Previously a public educator, Francis said, “I realize that connecting people to the democratic experience encourages investment in the community and the change that people want to see in their neighborhoods.”
Francis is a public school educator who teaches high school students hoping to engage them in history, government and “a general sense of intellectual curiosity.”
She served as both a teacher and a club mentor to various student-run organizations which gave her the insight to the fears and hopes of the teens in the San Luis Obispo community.
Francis said, “Being curious helped me immensely in teaching and I hope that attribute will also help me be a good council member.”
With her new position on the council, Francis hopes to focus on three main items: access to child care, expansion of the Community Workforce Agreement and support of head of household jobs, and continuing the city’s progress towards the climate action plan.
“I hope to keep strengthening our relationship with Poly by providing stronger protections for renters, finding ways to integrate practical civics into opportunities for Poly students and encouraging students to advocate for their needs in the community,” Francis told Mustang in a previous interview.
She added that the learn by doing model offers many wonderful opportunities to develop the relationship between the city and the university.
The county will continue to update its election results as more ballots are counted.