The 14-year-old is today the mayor of San Diego

“Mayor for a Day” winner Uma Onwuchekwa met with Mayor Gloria, the police chief and the city council.

SAN DIEGO — How does it feel to rule America’s seventh-largest city for a day?

In this Zevely Zone, I joined the winner of the San Diego mayoral contest for a day.

The town hall is a huge building, and waiting inside was even more of a chore for a 14-year-old boy. After passing through security, Mayor’s Day winner Uma Onwuchekwa made her way to the 11th floor.

“I feel really good this morning and I’m happy that I have this moment to meet with the mayor,” said Uma, who was scheduled to meet not only the mayor but his entire staff.

“Hello, Mr. Mayor,” Mayor Todd Gloria said as Uma entered the staff meeting.

San Diego’s top officials breathed a sigh of relief when they heard Mayor Uma would not step down from his position on day one.

“All these works seem very important and necessary for the city to function,” Uma laughed.

Mayor Uma’s daily schedule was busy. We followed him and Mayor Gloria in front of the media at the groundbreaking at Brown Field.

When Mayor Gloria was in elementary school, he entered the Mayor’s Day competition as a ten-year-old. “

An interesting fact is that in 1989 I took third place in this competition. It took a lot of work to get this job,” said Mayor Gloria.

The mayor resumed the tradition in 2022 and says Uma’s ideas will help the city stand out from the rest. “I was struck by his understanding of our housing and homelessness crisis,” said Mayor Gloria.

Uma then told us about some of his ideas: “Well, some of my solutions were to try to include more quadplexes and duplexes in terms of actual housing.”

Mayor Gloria says she loves her job and wants to inspire the next generation to consider public service, which has led them alongside policing.

“Mr. Mayor, how are you?” said newly appointed San Diego Police Chief Scott Wahl.

It was Chief Wahl’s first full day on the job and Mayor Uma briefed him on issues such as homelessness and the importance of engaging with youth. “What are your biggest problems right now when it comes to crime?” she asked Uma. Chief Wahl replied, “You know San Diego is a very safe city.”

The police chief appreciated the difficult questions.

“I want to give him an application and that’s what I want to do. This is something amazing. Never give up. Keep that passion,” Chief Wall said. After the ride-along with the officers, Uma visited the fire station, still keeping the mayor’s advice in mind.

“Remain who you are. People want to see authenticity in their leaders. They won’t always agree with you, but they want to know you’re coming at it with the right heart,” Mayor Gloria said.

Mayor Uma spoke heartfeltly to the City Council and then reflected on what he learned. “You have to cooperate, but you also have to be strict and have a good moral compass to be able to say that this is the right thing for the city,” Uma said. He told me that the key to America’s Finest City was an open mind, teamwork and lots of handshakes.

I asked him when he would like to work full time. “I would say a year after I can apply. A year after I can apply, I will accept the offer,” said Uma, who is entering her freshman year at Kearny High. Uma believes that higher housing density and more multi-family properties would help alleviate the homelessness and housing crisis.