A Conversation with Congresswoman Sara Jacobs

Plus: Learning at Home Brew Mart, and Piñatas, Piñatas and more Piñatas

We are proud to feature District 53 Congresswoman Sara Jacobs in this post of the Linda Vista Update.  The congresswoman was elected in November and has been in office since January 3 of this year.  She succeeded former Congresswoman Susan Davis.  In addition to most of Linda Vista, the District 53 congressional district comprises central and eastern portions of San Diego, portions of El Cajon and Chula Vista, as well as Bonita, La Mesa, Lemon Grove and Spring Valley. 

The past few years have been an especially divisive time in our country in terms of partisan politics.  Accordingly, we chose to interview her by asking a series of non-political type questions, in the spirit that people across the political spectrum can still form a common bond and/or understanding over more personal interests.  

The congresswoman was happy to comply with our request for answers. We hope you enjoy reading the informative, interesting and fun responses she provided to our questions.  

Do you have a favorite book—either one you have enjoyed for a long time, or a more recent selection?  If so, can you explain what it is that you like about this book? 

I read it a while ago now, but I still go back to Algorithms of Oppression by Safiya Noble. She looks at how the Internet and emerging technologies perpetuate racism and discrimination through data biases -- for example, what comes up when you search “Black women” on Google, versus when you search “white women.” It’s a fascinating look into how biases are written into new technologies from the very beginning, and it’s something I’m working on in Congress.

Do you have a favorite San Diego restaurant?  What do you like about it?

I’m obviously biased, but I think most of San Diego’s best restaurants are in the 53rd District. I have too many favorites to name, but the first that come to mind are: Barrio Star in Bankers Hill (it’s right by my apartment and has been a favorite stop after a long day), Sisters Pizza in Bankers Hill (it has such a fun atmosphere, especially with live music on their patio), Ponce’s in Kensington (I love a restaurant that advocates for its workers), Buona Forchetta in South Park (I love their gluten-free pizza), Miss Donuts in Lemon Grove (it’s hard to find a better classic glazed donut), and TJ Oyster Bar in Bonita (for their tacos and micheladas). For Linda Vista specifically, it has to be Rose Donuts – it’s just outside of CA-53 but has some of the best breakfast sandwiches in San Diego.

Do you have a favorite historical figure—perhaps someone that has inspired you, or someone that you just find interesting

Eleanor Roosevelt was the first U.S. delegate to the United Nations and helped shape U.S. diplomacy in the modern world. She also really redefined the role of a First Lady, which has proven to be an important and empowering position in our politics.

Do you have a favorite musical group or genre?

As a true millennial, I love Taylor Swift.

Do you have a favorite professional sports team that you follow?

I used to be a Chargers fan before they abandoned us for LA, but I’m still a lifelong, die-hard Padres fan. They’ve always been so much fun to watch -- and I love the energy players like Fernando Tatis Jr. and Jake Cronenworth have brought to the team. And, of course, it was awesome to watch El Cajon’s own Joe Musgrove throw San Diego’s first no-hitter last month. Between that and the two series against the Dodgers, this has already been such a fun season.

Do you have an all-time favorite movie?  Why this particular movie? 

I love movies, but I don’t have a favorite. I binge TV shows when I have a free evening, and Grey’s Anatomy is still at the top of the list of my favorite shows.

Any additional comments you would like to make to the residents of Linda Vista?

I’m so proud to represent Linda Vista, one of the most diverse and beautiful neighborhoods in all of San Diego. It stands out as one of the few communities where you can attend school from pre-k all the way through college!

I’m also proud that Jawad Al Baghdadi, who works in my office as a Senior Community Representative, grew up on Ulric and Fulton and spent most of his childhood and teen years at the Boys & Girls Club branch. I know he’s just as excited to be representing this community as I am.


The Linda Vista Update wishes to thank Congresswoman Jacobs for taking the time to answer our questions! We wish her good luck in her duties.

You can visit her official congressional website at https://sarajacobs.house.gov

Community Representative Jawad Al Baghdadi can be contacted at Jawad.AlBaghdadi@mail.house.gov

Interested in Learning to Brew Beer?

Linda Vista is closely associated with a number of fine educational institutions. Within our community’s boundaries we have learning venues like the University of San Diego, the Francis Parker School, the San Diego County Office of Education, Kearny High School, Empower Charter School, Montgomery Middle School, San Diego Cooperative Charter School and a number of elementary schools.  Needless to say, lots of learning goes on in Linda Vista!  

However, while taking pride in all these traditional institutions, we can’t overlook one other long time Linda Vista learning hot spot. This one is for a more mature crowd of learners; in this case, we’re talking about individuals 21 years of age and older.  It’s a place where you can learn a craft that represents more than 9,000 years of accumulated knowledge.  The Ballast Point Home Brew Market (located at 5401 Linda Vista Road in the Ford Trolley Plaza) is the place to go if you want to learn how to brew your own beer. The Home Brew Mart has been in existence since 1992—at a location that eventually expanded into the original Ballast Point brewery. As advertised on its web site, Home Brew Mart has “simple starter kits”…and… “advanced all-grain brewing systems…everything you need to brew the beer you want.” The learning process is highly valued here as evidenced by the web site’s claim that “Helping you make great beer is our number one goal.” 

Though Home Brew Mart has all the equipment and ingredients needed for both beginners and advanced home brewers, during our visit we focused on what might be of interest to someone thinking about brewing their first beer.  Home Brew Mart has two starter kits designed for beginners. One sells for $99.00 and brews 2 ½ gallons, while the other one sells for $175.00 and produces 5 gallons. Each kit comes with instructions, and a batch of ingredients assembled by Home Brew Mart staff members. The brewing process takes 3 to 4 weeks.  Home Brew Mart staff members are available during business hours to help novices with questions they might have during the brewing process. 

Home Brew Mart also conducts classes for both beginner and advanced brewers. Prior to the pandemic, classes occurred twice a month at the site. Since the pandemic, however, the classes have been virtual.  According to their web site, the next virtual class is scheduled for June 6. 

Once you graduate from the starter kits, you can take advantage of the recipe sheets compiled by Home Brew Mart and select your own grains, malts, hops and yeast from their collection. 

Of course, if all you want to do is learn about beer via actual sampling, or if you are in need of some tasty inspiration for learning more about brewing, you can go visit the Ballast Point Tasting Room which is conveniently located adjacent to Home Brew Mart. They have quite a selection of outstanding beers—some of the best craft beers in the country.  While there, you can taste the Swingin’ Friars Ale, which happens to be the official craft beer of the San Diego Padres, or you can try a popular classic like the Sculpin India Pale Ale, which I learned was originally created by one of the Home Brew Mart staff members—George Cataulin— who currently works behind the Mart’s counter, and who along with general manager Jim Johnson, is available for brewing advice. While visiting Home Brew Mart, I was impressed by both their friendliness and willingness to share their knowledge of beer making.

You can learn quite a bit at the Home Brew Mart…about brewing beer.  And learning about beer is nothing to scoff at.  After all,  according to Wikipedia, chemical tests of ancient pottery jars reveal that beer was produced as far back as 7,000 B.C. in what is today Iran. A lot of beer learning has gone on since that time.  Algebra, on the other hand, has only been around since 1700 B.C..  

Home Brew Mart

Hours: 10:00 am to 8:00 pm daily


Piñatas—A Harbinger of Better Times to Come

How will we know when the pandemic is over? One sure fire way will be an increase in the sale of piñatas. This Mexican tradition is a staple of birthday parties and other celebrations where large groups of people gather and have a good time; needless to say, many of these types of events were cancelled over the past year. In that sense, the sight of more piñatas is a harbinger of hope for a more healthy and social time. And as I recently came to realize, they are also like a lens that reveals a little about our popular culture.

If you are finally looking forward to planning a celebration in this post-pandemic world, you may want to pay a visit to Dulceria El Mexicano, located in the Linda Vista Plaza Shopping Center (just around the corner from Rite Aid). As you walk into the store, you will be awed by the all the colorful piñatas hanging from the ceiling. The store and its numerous piñatas provide a colorful feast for the eyes; it’s like walking into a piñata cathedral where paper mâché figures are given a lofty status for their ability to provide us with innocent fun. It’s like they are all eagerly awaiting their opportunity to be smashed and mutilated while in the process of giving us cheap and sweet entertainment.

The variety of piñatas also has the capacity to give us some insight regarding pop culture. We get to see what movie and TV characters are most treasured by our people, especially our young people. You’ll see piñatas of SpongeBob Squarepants, Spiderman, Snow White, the Mario Brothers, and dinosaurs, to name just a few popular characters.

As explained by Lizbeth Munoz, who works behind the counter at Dulceria El Mexicano, you don’t need a birthday party to buy a piñata. They are bought for all kinds of celebrations, including graduation parties, baptism parties, Mexican Independence Day, and family reunions. And though they are a Mexican tradition, they have grown to be celebration staple for many nationalities and ethnic groups.

The owner of Dulceria El Mexicano—Ernesto Alvarez—says that the piñatas range in cost form $14.95 to $29.95

And even if you’re not in the market for buying a piñata, just walking in the store and taking in all those colors, shapes, and characters is guaranteed to put you in a good mood!

While you’re there, you can also buy a healthy amount of Mexican candy to pack into the piñata.

Dulceria El Mexicano

6941 Linda Vista Road, Suite C

San Diego, CA 92111

Upcoming Community Events

San Diego Loyal FC Home Opener: Our local professional soccer team will play its 2021 season home opener on May 29 (7:30pm) at USD’s Torero Stadium. For detailed ticket info, click here.

Linda Vista Serve Day (Sponsored by the Linda Vista Town Council) : June 5 is the next Service Project Day. 9:30am to Noon. Volunteers meet in the parking lot of 2130 Ulric Street at 9:30 am on the 1st Saturday every month. We have various projects going on to help the citizens of Linda Vista.

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