Credit: Von Garcia Balanon | Mustang News

Heidi Harmon won the race for San Luis Obispo Mayor by a landslide with about 52.34% of the vote.

“I’m really grateful to have the faith and trust of the vast majority of the community,” Harmon said. “I hope that I will be able to really step up to that honorable position in the next two years.” 

Harmon told Mustang News in October that she will focus on COVID-19 recovery, equity and climate action while in office. 

She hopes the city will use funds from the new sales tax set by Measure G to create a “small business revolving fund,” where local businesses could apply for low-interest loans. 

City Council will have to vote to create the fund, but Harmon said she plans to discuss this idea in future meetings. 

“We’ll do everything that we can to keep small businesses going,” Harmon said. 

Harmon attended many of the Black Lives Matter protests this year, and she declared racism a public health emergency in June. In September, the city started a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Taskforce to address racial inequality in San Luis Obispo.

Harmon said that students have been leaders in the Black Lives Matter movement and the local election, and said she would be happy to partner with students to address issues in the community moving forward. 

“Young people’s voices have been crucial to this election and what’s been the conversation that we’re having in the city, especially when it comes to issues around equity,” Harmon said. “I encourage students to know … how important their voice is.” 

Harmon ran against local business owner Cherisse Sweeney, longtime city resident Sandra Marshall-Eminger and local artisan Donald Hedrick. Sweeney won about 34% of the vote, Marshall-Eminger won about 12% of the vote and Hedrick won about 2% of the vote. 

Andy Pease landed her second four-year term on city council with about 23% of the vote.

“I feel honored to be able to serve on City Council, and really grateful to have a second term to continue this good and important work that we’ve been working on already,” Pease said.

Pease said she appreciates that the city recognizes an “interconnectedness” between COVID-19 recovery, equity and climate action.

“Tying all that together is really exciting,” Pease said. 

Pease said she hopes funds from Measure G are used to support housing initiatives, sustainable transportation and to support economic recovery. 

She said funding for the measure will “provide a foundation for city operations in terms of meeting the bigger city goals for our community.”

Dean of the San Luis Obispo College of Law Jan Marx won the second open City Council seat with about 20% of ballots cast. 

“I’m very grateful for every vote,” Marx said.

Marx’s priorities include climate action, preserving open space, managing the city’s budget and helping the city recover economically from COVID-19.

With past experience on City Council — as mayor and a City Councilmember, Marx said she is ready to “hit the ground running.”

With the economy taking a nosedive, Marx said the city may have to make budget cuts.

“If we do have to make cuts, [I will] make sure that whatever budget cuts are made are all of the priorities of city residents, so we don’t cut into the quality of life,” Marx said.

Marx said she wants to explore the option of a Police Oversight Committee, where residents could be involved in hiring decisions for the police department and review the department for major events, like when the police teargassed protestors in June.

City Council could not establish the committee on their own, as residents would have to vote for it in the 2022 election and city charter would have to change. However, Marx said she would like to start a conversation about the committee in the community.

“It’s worked well in a lot of university towns,” Marx said. “It provides communication with the police and the city residents directly.” 

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