Meet the 2022 Candidates

John Bertsch

I am a longtime small business owner and familiar face around town; an advocate for enhanced mobility, pedestrian-friendly architecture and dynamic street life. Educated in history, trained in urban design, and committed to taking the steps today that ensure a bright future for our community.

Marissa Tucker-Borquez


I am proud to call North Park my home because of the diverse and amazing people that I get to call my neighbors. I believe its strength comes from its working-class roots and ability to come together to solve communal challenges.

No challenge has ever been as great as our current housing crisis. Like many renters, I am afraid of becoming priced out of the area and I believe that more affordable housing is needed to keep our teachers, retail, service, and city workers here within the community they work. New housing can help relieve pressure while also increasing demand for our local businesses by encouraging families stay and to make North Park their permanent home. We must also ensure that all communities in San Diego contributes to the permanent supportive housing supply so we can move our houseless neighbors into homes.

I believe North Park Planning Committee can help play a pivotal role in rising above the housing crisis by facing it head on by supporting innovative housing solutions.

Marissa is currently Secretary of the NPPC, founder of Rise North Park, President Emeritus of YIMBY Dems of San Diego County, and a Masters Candidate of City Planning at SDSU.

Zaccary Brandt

Zaccary is a renter living in North Park who recently graduated from UC San Diego with degrees in urban planning and political science. He currently works as a transit planner at SANDAG, where he aims to increase access to transit throughout San Diego, including his coordination of the agency’s Social Equity Transit Pilot, which will soon provide free transit passes to all youth in the county. At UCSD, Zaccary researched how to best provide connections between housing and transit, an ideal that he will bring to the NPPC Board by advocating for improved transit service, continued expansion of alternative mobility options for cyclists and pedestrians, and increased housing availability in North Park, one of the most sustainable places to build and live in San Diego. As a renter and a recent student, Zaccary understands the heavy burden that housing costs have on our residents and will actively work to make North Park a welcoming home for our current and future neighbors with abundant and affordable housing, frequent and reliable transit, and a safe and efficient pedestrian environment throughout our neighborhood.

Jessica Ripper


Jessica Ripper is a North Park homeowner and a Principal at LeSar Development Consultants where she focuses on making communities vibrant places for people to live, work, play, and learn. I have more than 20 years’ experience working in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors for organizations focused on population health and well-being, including five years in housing and community development.

I am committed to working with community members to explore issues from multiple perspectives to ensure that it remains a vibrant neighborhood with homes that young professionals, families with school age children, and seniors living on fixed incomes can afford. And we can continue to improve community safety and health by making it a place where more residents can walk or ride their bikes to the grocery store, farmers’ market, restaurants and parks.

In addition to serving on the North Park Planning Committee, I currently serve as the President of the Board of Directors for Episcopal Community Services.

Chase McConnell

Hello! My name is Chase McConnell and I am interested in becoming more involved with the North Park Community Planning Group and would like to run for a Board position. I graduated from UC San Diego majoring in Urban Studies and Planning with a minor in Real Estate and Development. As a North Park resident, I would aim to better our community with the our stakeholders in mind. I believe in responsible and equitable development, community engagement, the pedestrian experience, delicate foresight with regard to our urban realm, and the power of creativity in light of difficult land use-related topics. Land use is local, and it would be my pleasure to serve our Community. Thank you very much for your consideration.

Daniel Molitor


I’m humbled and honored to have had the opportunity to serve the community on the North Park Planning Committee over the past year as a member, and more recently as treasurer. I made the move to North Park after falling in love with its lively yet relaxed character and its wonderful vibes.

As a progressive community fighting homelessness, high rents, climate change, sprawl, and long commutes, so much comes down to building more homes: more homes near where the jobs are, and more homes where people want to live. I see the Planning Committee in a position to help our community rise to these challenges by supporting innovative policies to boost the housing supply.

With as beautiful and walkable as our neighborhood is, there remains huge potential yet for us to encourage car-free habits. That includes taking opportunities like planning infrastructure and new developments to prioritize buses and protect people, whether they’re walking, biking, rolling, scooting or skating.

My vision of North Park preserves its vibes and essence while beautifying our environment, cleaning the air, and improving the safety of our public spaces. In my career as a data analyst, and in my activism as a progressive, I am dedicated to public service informed by evidence and compassion.

Basil Mournian


Greetings, fellow North Parkers, my name is Basil and I’m asking you to reelect me for a voting seat on the board. I’m currently a member and I’m interested in continuing the work that’s been started to improve traffic safety, make housing more affordable, and balance our rapid growth with quality of life. I’ve been renting here for over 25 years and love being able to walk most everywhere, but I’ve had a few close calls with distracted drivers, so we still have work to do.

The past year I’ve regularly attended our monthly board and transportation subcommittee meetings, and I’m devoted to continuing that trend. As an active participant on Nextdoor and Twitter, I’ve heard your concerns about neighborhood happenings. I’ve also gone to the grand openings of the 30th Street Bike Lanes and the Mini Park, and I regularly walk from the East to the West sides of North Park so I see how the neighborhood is changing. I’d be honored to represent your voices again to provide feedback to our local government as an advisory committee. Thank you for your support!

Other Recommended Candidates

While they did not sign onto our slate, we believe these moderate candidates will vote with North Park’s best interest at heart and would be a great addition to the board.

Please consider also voting for the following candidates:

Steven Oechel


Steve Oechel is running for a seat on the North Park Planning committee because he understands the importance of maintaining a sense of community while dealing with issues such as housing density, homelessness, public space, transportation and infrastructure. After receiving an Economics degree from UCSD and a Master’s in Accounting from the University of San Diego, he entered the workforce as a Financial Manager and Cost Accountant for the United States Navy. Managing the financials of large acquisition programs within a complex bureaucracy has afforded Steve many learning opportunities which are beneficial to this planning committee; such as managing development issues, navigating through changes to regulations, interpreting regulations and policy. With these valuable skills and his ambition to be a positive impact on the North Park community, Steve will be a strong contributing member of this committee.

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