Councilmember Jennifer Campbell was born and raised in Colorado and grew up ready to help people. Raised in a working-class family – her father, a union machinist, and her mother, a secretary and community volunteer active in politics– Campbell learned at a young age the value of citizen involvement in our democracy and how government affects people’s daily lives. Councilmember Campbell and her partner, Suzanne Hawkins, have six children, nine grandchildren, and two great-grandsons. They live in the Bay Ho neighborhood of San Diego.
Even though women were rarely allowed into medical school in the 1970s, she was accepted to the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Campbell practiced and taught medicine for four decades, is board certified in Family Medicine and Holistic Medicine, and is an acupuncturist. She moved to San Diego in the early 2000s and became active in the community.
In 2018, Campbell won the election to represent Council District 2 on the San Diego City Council. She was elected Council President in 2021 and re-elected for a second term to represent Council District 2 in 2022. Campbell has proven her strong leadership since taking office with numerous significant initiatives:
As a family physician, Councilmember Campbell focuses on finding new solutions to address homelessness as a healthcare crisis. She supported multiple shelters in District 2, including the Harm Reduction Shelter, which is dedicated to the medical treatment of homeless individuals who want to end their addictions. She advocated funding for mental health treatment programs like the Conservatorship Unit, which will mandate services for those unable to care for themselves. The Councilmember also helped to increase the number of Safe Parking Lots for San Diegans living in their vehicles. The program provides families and individuals with immediate services. The Safe Parking Lots program is one of the most successful programs that help find permanent housing for homeless individuals.
Campbell forged the historic landmark regulations for Short-Term Vacation Rentals. The new ordinance helped decrease the number of whole-home Short-Term Vacation Rentals, making more housing available to those who live and work in San Diego and removing nuisance properties. To upgrade a blighted neighborhood in District 2, Campbell brought forward the Midway Redevelopment Project to provide affordable housing, parks, commercial and office space, jobs, and a new Sports Arena/Entertainment Center. She also supported the creation of more than four thousand new affordable residential units across San Diego in the last four years.
Neighborhood Services in District 2
Additionally, Campbell’s policy accomplishments include successfully creating the Sidewalk Vendor Ordinance to prioritize health and safety and keep the City’s open spaces safe and accessible for San Diegans while encouraging entrepreneurship. For 20 years, the citizens of Ocean Beach asked for their 100-year-old library to be expanded and modernized. Campbell helped secure $11.5 million in funding for the Ocean Beach Library Expansion and modernization. The Bermuda Avenue Beach Coastal Access project has been a top priority for Campbell. The project started in early 2023 and it’s expected to be completed by the end of the year. In 2019, our City was overwhelmed with electric rental scooters, and to regulate the number of scooters and scooter companies, Campbell supported the Shared Mobility Device Ordinance. The ordinance has since reduced the number of scooter companies and scooters in the City, and on our boardwalks, parks, and streets in the beach communities in District 2. These are just some of the many neighborhood improvement projects Campbell and her office have completed.
Campbell supports fighting crime by hiring more police officers with competitive wages to protect our communities. She supported the creation of the new Commission on Police Practices. Campbell serves on the Public Safety Committee where she looks forward to making our San Diego communities safe.
Saving the Environment
As Chair of the Environment Committee, Campbell led the creation of San Diego Community Power. She also brought multiple actions that furthered the Climate Action Plan, including a resolution declaring a Climate Emergency in San Diego and saving Fiesta Island as a Dog Park and a safe habitat for endangered bird species. Campbell worked with the Parks and Recreation Department to ensure the City’s pesticide and herbicide programs reduce toxicity for plants, people, and animals. She supported a balance between recreational use and climate progress around Mission Bay and signed our City to the International Monarch Butterfly Pledge to save pollinating bees and butterflies.
Defeating the COVID-19 Pandemic
Campbell Co-Chaired the COVID-19 Committee, providing her medical expertise on how the City could navigate the pandemic. As a physician, she also administered vaccines and explained how testing, masking, and vaccines were critical in protecting San Diegans and preventing COVID-19 deaths. District 2 was host to the first, and only, Monoclonal Antibody Regional Centers (MARC) in the County. The MARC made a significant impact in fighting the pandemic.