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Thursday, Oct 6, 2022
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Pete Wilson’s Legacy Surrounds Us Everywhere We Go

Many residents who now call San Diego their home don’t even realize that the life and legacy of Pete Wilson surrounds them.

Every night, tens of thousands of people congregate downtown at venues such as Petco Park or in vibrant areas such as the Gaslamp Quarter, unaware that San Diego was once nothing more than a quiet Navy town.

That’s a far cry from what it is today, but it stems from the vision of a man who believed in a future full of limitless possibilities and possessed the foresight needed to lay the building blocks of what would eventually become “America’s Finest City.”

Pete Wilson has done so much to improve the quality of life for all San Diegans.

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The prosperity we enjoy today can be traced back to the time when Wilson helmed the city.

Through his experience, character, ideas and values, Wilson worked tirelessly to transform San Diego into the hub of enterprise it is today.

Individual Dreams

He understood that our individual dreams could only be realized by our common efforts, so he worked to build a city of more partners and fewer opponents.

Always working to reach further and include more, Wilson was not deterred by the daunting challenges of his time.

Instead, he faced those challenges and, with gathering force, he revitalized downtown San Diego, making it the epicenter of the prosperity we enjoy today.

The reverence in which many people remember what Pete Wilson means to San Diego is a reflection of how we feel about the man himself.

He was a person of compassion and integrity, respect and tolerance.

In an ever-changing world full of divisiveness and opposition, he fought for the chance for everyone to live their dreams so that he could realize his.

That philosophy became the pillar of the kind of city he envisioned for us all.

Perhaps the greatest thing about Pete Wilson’s vision for San Diego was that it was a vision that we all could enjoy.

It was a covenant, a social contract that included everyone and reminded us that our true potential had yet to be achieved.

A city built on the promise of dignity and opportunity for all who work for it.

Politics Of What’s Possible

He embraced a philosophy of hope and the politics of what’s possible.

Through his efforts, enterprise and character, Pete Wilson changed the character of San Diego and its destiny.

The statue that has been erected at Horton Square in his honor is as much a tribute to Pete Wilson’s vision as it is to San Diego itself. Few communities boast the kind of diversity, liberty and prosperity that San Diegans enjoy today.

Wherever we go in San Diego, we look around and are reminded of the awesome impact Pete Wilson has had on enhancing our quality of life.


Steve Williams is the chairman of Horton Walk, San Diego’s Walk of Fame.

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