Meet Simon Silva
Candidate for Chula Vista City Attorney
Simon Silva is running to be your next City Attorney for the City of Chula Vista. Simon has lived in Chula Vista since 1997, where he and his wife, Claudia, bought their first home. Simon has a lifelong record of serving his community, he has been an attorney for 28 years and most recently as a Deputy City Attorney for the Chula Vista City Attorney’s Office for the past 12 years. In addition, he served as Marine Reservist, a Reserve Sheriff’s Deputy, a Deputy Attorney General and a Deputy City Attorney for the City of San Diego.
Simon Silva and his brother grew up in Salinas, California. He was raised by his Dad, who first arrived in the US under the Bracero Program as a farm worker, and then became a sugar factory janitor. A key event in 6th grade drove Simon to become a lawyer. His Dad’s work at the sugar factory was seasonal and in the winter his father received unemployment benefits. That winter, his father’s benefits were terminated. Simon, 11 years old, advocated and translated for his father, successfully restoring his Dad’s unemployment benefits. This was not first time Simon was called to help. It was not uncommon for Simon to help his neighbors, too--translating and explaining documents to them. Helping his father and his neighbors motivated him to become a lawyer.
Simon grew up in poverty, living in a two-room house just outside of Salinas. For Simon, the choice was either work the fields or go to school. Simon believes education can lift a person (and subsequent generations) out of poverty. Simon Silva is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara with a double major in Law and Society and Spanish. He received his law degree from the University of San Diego School of Law. He has been married to Claudia Gacitua Silva over 27 years, whom he met in law school—she is a lawyer, too. They have two daughters, Gabriela and Isabel. Gabriela graduated from the University of Chicago and is pursuing a Master’s in Education from Notre Dame. Isabel is a sophomore at Scripps College.
Simon has always felt the need to serve and advocate for his community. While in college, at age nineteen, he joined the Marine Corps Reserve and was a mortarman and forward observer for a Weapons Company. He also joined the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department and became a Reserve Sheriff’s Deputy, where he worked weekends patrolling in the City of Goleta, foot patrol with the UCPD, and mountain patrol. As a Deputy, he was able to help victims of crime. It was also during this time when he experienced the importance of having high ethics and compassion. After law school, he became a Deputy Attorney General and worked on felony appellate cases, advocating in the California Court of Appeal and the Ninth Circuit. He then came to San Diego to be a Deputy City Attorney for the City of San Diego. There, he spent four years in the Domestic Violence Unit committed to helping the victims of domestic violence and elder abuse, and then served in the Civil Division assigned as a Police Legal Advisor to the San Diego Police Department. Simon then became a Deputy Commissioner for the Board of Parole Hearings, where he presided over parole matters as a hearing officer. When an opening came up in the Chula Vista City Attorney’s Office, he knew it was time to come home.
Simon Silva is currently a Deputy City Attorney for the Chula Vista City Attorney’s Office. He has worked on a variety of City matters, including labor and employment law, redevelopment law (Redevelopment and Successor Agency), affordable housing, and government ethics laws. He also advises City boards and commissions, including the Board of Ethics, Civil Service Commission, Mobile Home Rent Review Commission, Sustainability Commission, and Human Relations Commission. He has helped update the Civil Service Rules; update the Board of Ethics processes and create the City’s Code of Ethics; negotiate and reach agreements with the City’s labor unions; saved the City twenty-one million dollars from being taken by the State allowing those funds to be kept by the City for essential services; and, in times of crisis, he has prepared emergency declarations and the City’s eviction moratorium.
Simon Silva is running to be the next City Attorney for the City of Chula Vista because Chula Vista is his home. It’s where he bought his first house, his children grew up, has seen his City grow, and where he sees how amazing Chula Vistans are on a daily basis. Chula Vista has done and will continue to do purposeful work in the future. Chula Vista has a future filled with opportunity. Simon brings a wealth of experience, knowledge, and commitment to the community. Simon Silva will work hard to ensure the City reaches its full potential.
As City Attorney, Simon is committed to advancing transparency in City activities; ensuring high ethical standards; seeking out community engagement by engaging with the community, listening and being responsive; and, ensuring the City acts in an inclusive and equitable non-discriminatory manner. Simon Silva is a tested leader, doing the job now to make sure the City receives unbiased, honest, and straightforward legal advice. Simon Silva is the right person for Chula Vista City Attorney.