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Lifeguard Association endorses Fletcher for mayor

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The San Diego Association of Lifeguards announced it has endorsed state Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher in his bid to become San Diego's next mayor.

“We are proud to support Nathan Fletcher because San Diego needs a new energy, a new vision and a new generation of leadership," said Ed Harris, the president of the San Diego Association for Lifeguards, in a statement. “Nathan will ensure San Diego has the cleanest beaches in the country, adequate beach infrastructure to serve residents and the support we need to keep our beaches and waterways safe. As a surfer and ocean swimmer, he understands why these issues are so important.”

The announcement came in a news conference Tuesday, where Fletcher also released a plan for clean water and safe beaches. The plan consists of 11 points, including supporting indirect potable reuse, working with local companies on technologies to turn sewage into fuel using algae and using the city's resources to find people who break environmental laws.

Fletcher also said he would renew the city's support of the San Dieguito River Park "as the city budget is balanced," advocate for federal and state funding for water testing and "launch a green streets initiative," which would filter rain water through the soil.

He also promised to fix problems such as closed lifeguard towers and public bathrooms at beaches.

“Giving San Diego the nation’s cleanest water and safest beaches will be a key part of my administration,” Fletcher said. “Our beaches and ocean are one of San Diego’s greatest resources, and we must do everything we can to protect them. When I am mayor, I will work with all stakeholders, including lifeguards, environmentalists, the visitor industry and beach users to implement my plan.”

The mayoral campaign for City Councilman Carl DeMaio released a statement in response to Fletcher's endorsement.

“Carl DeMaio feels it is inappropriate to solicit or even accept the endorsement of government labor unions because the next mayor must be ready to fight to fully implement pension reform and renegotiate city labor contracts," the statement said. "San Diego needs a mayor who will fight for taxpayers, not the government labor unions.”

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