When it comes to serving her community, Myrtle Cole isn't afraid to blaze a trail. She is the first African American woman ever elected to the San Diego City Council, the first woman to serve the 4th District, and the first African American woman to serve as Council President.
Myrtle's record of serving San Diegans spans 40 years. After serving in the Tucson Police Department, she moved to San Diego and served the San Diego Community College Police Department, where she rose to the rank of Lieutenant. She pursued her MBA at National University and upon completion, accepted a job with the San Diego City Council implementing community-oriented policing, a model that is still used throughout the country. Myrtle worked with Deputy Mayor George Stevens and Councilmembers CharlesLewis and Tony Young. She also worked for the United Domestic Workers (UDW) providing in-home services to thousands of low-income seniors, children and people living with disabilities.
Myrtle understands the needs of her community and has made bringing good jobs and quality retail to the district a hallmark of her time on the council. Myrtle helped bring the first drug store south of the 94 to the District. She fought for sidewalks on Market Street, acquired funding for the Bay Terraces Senior Center, and helped open the new Skyline Hills Branch Library.
Myrtle believes that San Diego's homelessness problem and the sharp increase in housing prices go hand and hand and is working to solve them. Myrtle helped develop affordable housing units in the District at Independence Point, Trolley Park Terrace, and Ouchi Courtyards. As council president, Myrtle convened a Special Council Meeting on Homelessness and created the Select Committee on Homelessness to discuss and revisit City policies regarding homelessness and to identify funding mechanisms to address the growing homeless population in San Diego. Additionally, she convened a Special Council Meeting on Affordable Housing and Housing Affordability to take action on proposals to address the high cost of renting or buying a home in San Diego. Myrtle will continue to advocate for projects and programs that will enhance public safety, pave streets, build sidewalks, and improve emergency response times.
In 2016 Myrtle was elected Council President by her fellow members of the San Diego City Council. An extremely important role in San Diego's strong mayor form of government, Council President Cole works across the aisle and with organizations throughout the City to develop policies and programs for all of San Diego.
Myrtle serves as Chair of the City Council's Rules Committee. She also serves as the City's representative to the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) Board of Directors and Executive Committee, and as representative to the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS).