Filner's First Lady
Meet the new mayor’s fiancée
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The day after Bob Filner was elected mayor of San Diego, he held the obligatory post-election press conference. He thanked his supporters, congratulated his opponent on a campaign well fought, and laid out some preliminary plans for his new administration.
Then, in response to a question about the woman at his side, Filner shot the camera his trademark grin, put his arm around her, and introduced San Diego’s next First Lady.
Bronwyn Ingram is a 48-year-old disability analyst for the Social Security Administration. She grew up in Orange County, earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Cal State Fullerton, and has worked for the disabled community for more than 20 years. She helped found Americans Against War with Iraq. She has traveled to Vietnam with governmental representatives and organizations to figure out how to finally rid the country of the remnants of Agent Orange.
In short, the petite, soft-spoken, driven woman is a doer.
And in January of 2012, after meditating with a monk at a Buddhist temple in Vietnam, she told Filner, 70, that she would spend the rest of her life with him.
The wedding—his third, her second—likely won’t happen until October. Ingram is expected to move from her current home in LA to San Diego when the Social Security Administration opens an office in Rancho Bernardo. Despite the delay, her relationship with Filner makes Ingram San Diego’s newest First Lady. It’s a role for which both she and Filner have big plans.
“I think you’re going to see a different First Lady,” Filner said during the November 7 press conference. “You’re going to see a team that is really aggressive and visible in terms of communities that tend to be neglected in our city.”
Unlike other major cities such as New York City and Philadelphia, San Diego hasn’t always been home to visible and active First Ladies. Even in smaller places such as Albuquerque, the First Lady, Maria Berry, is an active player in city functions. She and her team refashioned the mayor’s annual charity event into a ball that has raised half a million dollars for area organizations. She also helps survey the homeless throughout the city to determine how City Hall can serve them better.