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2008: Heroes, Pioneers & Trailblazers
Ben Dillingham III
Delores Jacobs
Cleve Jones
Christine Kehoe
Klein & Reise
Stanley Lewis
Robert Lynn
Doug Moore
Teresa Oyos
Steve Padilla
Regina Reinhardt
Matt Stephens
Kevin Tilden
Ted Weathers
Bridget Wilson
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Steve Padilla
Consultant, former mayor of Chula Vista

photoSteve Padilla is a public policy and land use consultant and a noted former California politician. Between 1989 and 1990 he was appointed to various city boards and commissions including the Board of Ethics, and Safety Commission. He served as mayor of the City of Chula Vista from 2002 to 2006 and as a member of the California Coastal Commission from 2005 to 2007. He served two terms on Chula Vista’s City Council from 1994 to 2002 prior to being elected mayor, and was the first person of Latino descent elected to that office in city history, despite the city’s diverse population. Padilla served in numerous San Diego County local and regional offices and held statewide and national affiliations during his term as mayor, including the board of the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), the League of California Cities and as a member of the United States Conference of Mayors.

Padilla’s first career venture was in law enforcement. After graduating from Bonita Vista High School, he became the youngest cadet accepted into the Southwestern Police Academy. A police officer for 13 years, he served as a detective, specializing in domestic violence and child abuse. While a police officer, Padilla returned to school and received his bachelor’s degree in public administration.

An openly gay Democrat, he remains active in local, state and national public affairs. He is president/CEO of Aquarius Group, Inc. a consulting business he began in 2007, and a monthly public affairs columnist for La Prensa San Diego. He is currently serving as a member of The Independent Task Force on U.S. Immigration Policy for the Council on Foreign Relations.