Bagby Beer Company is a laid-back brew pub that is located right of Coast Highway and Minnesota Avenue. This ambient hangout spot, known for its craft beers, signature foods, and its friendly staff, is a large building with both an up and downstairs to accommodate a large number of guests. While the downstairs can accommodate a larger crowd, the upstairs has an outdoor patio area that grants a view of the surrounding buildings, all while catching a gentle sea breeze. Perhaps this is why newly elected Oceanside City Councilmember Christopher Rodriguez chose to host his most recent fundraiser here.
On Thursday, July 11th, more than thirty of Rodriguez’s family, friends, business partners, and supporters gathered atop Bagby Beer Co. so support and donate to the candidate they backed during the 2018 municipal election. Donations were accepted by Rodriguez’s colleagues in both digital and paper form as the guests arrived, all of which is being saved for his next campaign in 2022. Once all arrived, waiters moved in and out of the lively area bringing pizzas, wings, beers, and many other menu items that were enjoyed by the mingling crowd.
Once the sign in list was filled, Rodriguez’s political aid Micheal Murray addressed the guests. “I would like to thank all of you for coming, for your support, and for your donations,” he said. “Chris has been a business partner and best friend of mine for seventeen years now. I have known him since our first of two tours in Iraq together; he’s always had a very high caliber of excellence and he really cares about what his main goals are. He plans to show more and more of this as he progresses as a council member here in the city of Oceanside.”
As a freshman to politics, Christopher Rodriguez is incredibly ambitious and plans on making significant improvements to his district as quickly as possible. His campaign promises are still fresh on the minds of his supporters and he is acting quickly to address and deliver on them. The first of these promises is to uphold public safety, which is a priority to Rodriguez. He plans on accomplishing this by allocating more funding to law enforcement, fire protection, and other emergency services. He has already begun to execute his Police & Fire Pension Protection Initiative, an approach to protecting Oceanside’s public safety workers. Another Issue that he promised to assess is the high pricing of housing, which Rodriguez argues to be tied to the issue of growing homelessness. He asserts that his knowledge of Zoning, Housing Regulations, and Land Use principles will aid him in this issue.
What made Rodriguez stand out among his opponents, however, is how determined he is to make Oceanside the “Most business friendly city in San Diego County”. More than anything, he wants to roll back regulations and waiting periods for permit approvals to attract and cultivate business. By making the development process more streamlined, he hopes to not only bring Oceanside new companies, he wants existing ones to flourish with significantly less government intervention.
“I’ve been a building developer for 38 years,” said Rodriguez’s friend Howard Jacobs. “I’ve developed a lot in L.A., a lot in Santa Monica, and a lot of other busy counties, so I have had to deal with a lot of political leadership. Most of the time I’ve spent with them involved trying to fend off the resistance to the building and development of businesses. When I met with Christopher during his campaign, it was refreshing and unusual to speak to someone who was so completely unapologetic about being in favor of business and the building industry”
Christopher Rodriguez’s political sentiments closely follow his lifestyle outside of his office. He is unashamed of being incredibly pro-business while also being an Oceanside realtor. He argues that his experience has given him more insight as to how business and city policies should go hand in hand.
“I ran for city council because I was always involved in the business community, the school districts, I coached my kid’s baseball team,” he said. “Within all of these you see issues and dynamics on different levels and as I got into more and more leadership positions, I started to realize that you can’t really get things done at this level. You can certainly try by going to city council and sending emails but it really takes being in that role to create that influence.”
Following this, Rodrguez gave a short speech in which he updated his donors on his plans for the future and thanked them for attending his fundraiser. Soon after he concluded, the mingling and the eating continued into the cool evening. As good spirits and laughter rolled off into the summer air, it became clear that this was another step towards the future of Oceanside.