Kiddie Candidates Contest for Corner Office, San Diego's "Mayor for a Day" Dreams Big

Kiddie Candidates Contest for Corner Office, San Diego's "Mayor for a Day" Dreams BigSource: City of San Diego
Ben J. Costas
Published on December 04, 2023

The future honchos of San Diego take note as the city's youngest brains gear up to become "Mayor for a Day" in a contest that blends youthful ambition with civic engagement. According to the official San Diego government website, the Mayor’s Office has announced the annual "Mayor for a Day" contest for K–12 students, with submissions due by the stroke of midnight on December 15.

Imagine it: a day in the mayoral shoes, trailing the city’s chieftain, hobnobbing with officials, and even taking the spotlight at the State of the City address come January 2024. The entrants must pen an essay or craft a video elucidating their vision of a San Diego made better under their hypothetical mayorship. The contest, rekindled from the mayor’s childhood encounter with civic leadership, was a nostalgic tipping point that, as they remarked, sparked a fire for public service that burned for over three decades, culminating in their election as the 37th Mayor of the city.

Last year’s pint-sized policy whiz, Emma Smith, a fifth-grader from Tierrasanta, nabbed the title with her earnest prose on aiding neighbors, sprucing up streets, and reviving parks and beaches. Flashback to 2022, and you had Aiella Niles, a third-grader with an eco-warrior’s pen, pitching in on the importance of litter collection and the upkeep of San Diego’s enviable cleanliness, per the program's records.