Lela has 2020 Vision for Carlsbad's Future.

Quality of Life

Carlsbad is a great place to live. Whether you’ve been here for 40 years or 4 years, we can all agree that Carlsbad is a wonderful community with a great foundation and unlimited potential. How do we maintain the progress we’ve made, that our community has worked so hard to create, while navigating the complex, uncertain and tough challenges of living in a global, inter-connected economy?

The quality of life we enjoy in Carlsbad is under constant threat of deterioration due to changes happening on many levels, much of which we cannot control. Like many communities, we struggle with complicated and thorny issues. I have experience in working in global organizations that understand that success in dealing with ambiguity is predicated on being able to learn, adapt, change and innovate.

As your Council member, I commit to:

  • Leading from a human-centered approach, always asking, “How can I make the lives of our residents better?”

  • Working with multiple stakeholders who want to work together to solve tough problems, not just to hold another meeting.

  • Finding solutions to our most pressing issues by starting with real people, their stories and their lived experience, not just numbers of data on a piece of paper.

  • Working hard to ensure our local government continues to improve our quality of life now and for the unpredictable future.



As a parent, there is nothing more important than the safety of my family, my neighbors and my community. If we don’t feel safe, we can’t live to our fullest potential. All too often, we are deeply shaken with news of tragedies, both in our own backyard and in communities across our nation. Safety means we are protected from harm and we rely on those sworn to protect us to keep us safe. But these community leaders can’t do it alone or without adequate resources and citizen participation. Civic leaders, city staff, residents and public safety leaders (our fire and police departments) must collaborate closely and continuously to identity potential threats, develop appropriate responses and implement effective procedures to reduce the risks of harm to our community.

As your Council member, I am committed to upholding and promoting safety, which is a priority in my decision making process. Your current D2 Council member opposed Prop 63, which requires a background check for ammunition purchases and bans the possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines. (California voters overwhelmingly approved Prop 63). In addition, the San Diego County Gun Owners named him Legislator of the Year.

Our values are reflected in our choices:

  • I will always choose the safety of our kids, our families and our community first.

  • My commitment to safety extends to our first responders and I commit to putting forward programs to increase personal wellness and resiliency, an area in which I have professional experience and expertise.


Unless Mt. Calavera, an ancient volcano, re-activates (don’t worry, it’s extinct), Carlsbad will not grow one more square foot of land. Our residents continue to identify the protection of our natural open spaces as a top priority. Many residents express concern that the City has not acquired enough open space to protect it from future development and that critical open space connections can be lost with growth. Similar to our open spaces, our flora and fauna are threatened with disappearance by encroachment of development and climate change.

In March of this year, the City adopted ordinances related to energy efficiency, renewable energy, alternative water heating, electric vehicle charging infrastructure and transportation demand management. These are important changes to our municipal code and we must continue to act quickly and courageously to develop solutions that help people and nature prosper and thrive.

As your Council member, I commit to:

  • Working intelligently and tirelessly to promote innovative and multi-disciplinary solutions to support our community’s vision “to emerge as a leader in green development and sustainability.”

  • Working with public and private partners to move Carlsbad to a clean energy economy, which is achievable and necessary. Through thoughtful local policy-making, we can encourage businesses to reap profits today by doing what’s good for tomorrow.

The Future


What will Carlsbad look like in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years or 100 years? Most people are challenged to envision the future because they are so focused on just getting through the day, the week and the months ahead. So, who thinks about the future? Who should? Who spends their time constantly scanning the horizon for threats and opportunities? Who spots patterns, trends and explores predictions and possibilities? The short answer is we all do or should, but in practice, we rely more on leaders and visionaries - elected or appointed - to lead the way, to remove obstacles and to empower others to fulfill their potential.

I believe that great leaders inspire those around them and create cultures that reward appropriate risk-taking, foster growth mindsets and support the capacity to adapt to change through inclusive, innovative problem solving. In creating a culture where people can do their best work, leaders are also conscious of the issues of fiscal responsibility, monitoring results and developing contingency plans for leaner times.

As a professional and business owner who works in high-tech, innovative organizations, I work with dynamic leaders who are constantly looking ahead, developing strategies, weighing priorities, managing limited resources and staying mission-focused while being possibility-driven. The vast majority of these highly successful and adaptable organizations use design-thinking approaches to solve complex problems. Now, more than ever, the social sector is embracing design thinking through the democratization of innovation where we are all responsible and encouraged to collaborate, design and create. In fact, design is being recognized as a fundamental literacy.

As your Council member, I have the skills, experience, curiosity and motivation to focus first and foremost on the key question, “How can we, as elected leaders of our community, make the lives of our residents better now and in the future?”