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Ryan Keim: Leading Oceanside Towards a Brighter Future

Meet Deputy Mayor Ryan Keim

Deputy Mayor Ryan Keim has been a dedicated public servant to the City of Oceanside for many years. Appointed to the Oceanside City Council in January 2019, Ryan was selected to fill a Council seat vacated due to the transition to district elections. In 2020, he was elected to his first full term representing District 3 and now serves as the Deputy Mayor.

Ryan’s connection to Oceanside spans almost four decades, during which he has committed himself to the community’s well-being. His career began as a lifeguard at City of Oceanside pools while he was in college, and he later graduated from California State University San Marcos with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. His early public service roles included serving on the Police and Fire Commission in 2005, which paved the way for his career in law enforcement when he joined the Oceanside Police Department in 2006.

From Policing to Advocacy

During his time with the Oceanside Police Department, Ryan worked on various assignments such as the Neighborhood Policing Team and the Gang Suppression Unit. He collaborated with community groups to address quality-of-life issues and worked closely with students in vulnerable neighborhoods to emphasize the importance of education and healthy activities. Unfortunately, an on-duty injury led to his medical retirement as a sworn officer, after which he served as the Public Information Officer for the Oceanside Police Department.

From Officer to Spokesperson

Ryan’s career continued to advance when he joined the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department as the Public Affairs Director and primary spokesperson. There, he was part of the Executive Management Team, overseeing Media Relations for one of the largest sheriff’s departments in the country.

Commitment to Oceanside’s Future

As Deputy Mayor, Ryan’s priorities include restoring Oceanside’s beaches for future generations, enhancing public safety by strengthening community relationships, and diversifying economic opportunities within the city. His leadership has been instrumental in reducing crime, delivering balanced budgets, and increasing transparency and trust in the local government. He has championed significant projects like the new Navigation Center and the Coastal Management Program, which are set to make substantial improvements in the community’s quality of life.

Ryan Keim’s deep roots in Oceanside, combined with his extensive experience in public service and law enforcement, make him a pivotal figure in the city’s ongoing efforts to tackle pressing issues such as the homeless crisis, crime, and environmental sustainability. As he continues to serve and potentially runs for Mayor in 2024, his vision remains clear: to support and advocate policies that address Oceanside’s challenges while preserving its unique character and making it the most livable beach city in California.

The interview

We are honored to have Deputy Mayor Ryan Keim with us today to share his insights and discuss his plans for the future of Oceanside. Interview with Deputy Mayor Ryan Keim

What inspired you to get involved in local government and serve as Deputy Mayor of Oceanside?

“As a lifelong Oceanside resident, I’ve always felt a deep connection to our community. My journey in public service began with roles that allowed me to directly impact the lives of Oceanside residents, from being a lifeguard to serving on the Police and Fire Commission, and then as a police officer. After my injury and transition to the Public Information Officer role, I continued to see the immense needs and potential of our city. My desire to address critical issues like public safety, homelessness, and our disappearing beaches inspired me to step into local government. Serving as Deputy Mayor allows me to leverage my experience and passion to make meaningful changes for Oceanside.”

What are some of the main priorities or initiatives you’re focusing on in your role as Deputy Mayor?

“My main priorities include restoring our beaches for future generations, enhancing public safety by strengthening community relationships, and increasing economic opportunities for Oceanside. These initiatives are not only about addressing immediate concerns but also about laying a foundation for a sustainable and prosperous future for our city. Projects like the new Coastal Management Program and partnerships with community organizations are key to these efforts.”

Can you discuss any recent or upcoming projects in Oceanside that you’re particularly excited about?

“I’m particularly excited about the new Navigation Center and the Coastal Management Program. The Navigation Center is a comprehensive approach to addressing homelessness, providing resources and support to help individuals get back on their feet. The Coastal Management Program is crucial for preserving our beautiful beaches, which are a vital part of Oceanside’s identity and economy. Both projects represent significant steps forward in improving the quality of life for our residents.”

How do you see Oceanside evolving and growing in the coming years, and what role do you envision yourself playing in that growth?

“Oceanside is poised for significant growth and development. I see our city becoming a model for balancing economic development with environmental sustainability. My role will be to ensure that as we grow, we maintain the unique character of Oceanside and address the needs of all residents. This means advocating for policies that support local businesses, protect our coastlines, and provide opportunities for everyone in our community.”

What are some of the biggest challenges facing Oceanside, and how do you plan to address them?

“One of the biggest challenges is the homelessness crisis, which requires a multifaceted approach. We’re addressing this through the Navigation Center and other support services. Rising crime rates are another concern, and we’re working on strengthening community relationships and enhancing public safety measures. Additionally, our disappearing beaches pose a long-term threat, which we’re tackling through the Coastal Management Program and other environmental initiatives.”

How do you collaborate with other local government officials, community leaders, and residents to address issues and implement policies in Oceanside?

“Collaboration is key to effective governance. I work closely with fellow council members, city staff, and community leaders to develop and implement policies. We hold regular meetings, public forums, and engage with residents to ensure that their voices are heard. This inclusive approach helps us create solutions that reflect the diverse needs of our community.”

Oceanside is known for its vibrant culture and diverse communities. How do you ensure that all voices are heard and represented in decision-making processes?

“Ensuring that all voices are heard is a top priority. We have established various channels for community input, including public forums, surveys, and advisory committees. I make it a point to engage with residents from different backgrounds and listen to their concerns. This inclusive approach helps us make decisions that are equitable and representative of our entire community.”

Are there any specific measures or initiatives aimed at promoting sustainability and protecting the environment in Oceanside?

“Absolutely. The Coastal Management Program is a significant initiative aimed at protecting our beaches and coastal areas. We’re also working on expanding green spaces and promoting renewable energy solutions within the city. These efforts are part of a broader commitment to sustainability and ensuring that Oceanside remains a beautiful and livable city for future generations.”

How do you balance the needs of residents, businesses, and visitors in Oceanside when making policy decisions?

“Balancing these needs requires a nuanced approach. We strive to create policies that support local businesses, enhance the quality of life for residents, and make Oceanside an attractive destination for visitors. This involves careful planning and community engagement to ensure that the benefits of any decision are shared broadly across different groups.”

Lastly, what advice do you have for individuals who are interested in getting involved in local government or community activism?

“My advice is to start by getting involved in your community. Attend city council meetings, join local organizations, and volunteer. Understand the issues that matter to you and your neighbors. Building relationships and gaining a deep understanding of your community’s needs are essential steps. Don’t be afraid to step up and take on leadership roles—your voice and efforts can make a significant impact.”

Thank you!

We appreciate Deputy Mayor Ryan Keim for taking the time to share his insights and plans for the future of Oceanside. His dedication and vision for the city are truly inspiring, and we look forward to seeing the positive impact of his initiatives. Thank you, Ryan, for your continued commitment to making Oceanside a vibrant, safe, and thriving community.

Ryan Keim and Severino Ricci - The Interview
Ryan Keim and Severino Ricci – The Interview

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