2022 IB Mayoral Candidates Forum

“Imperial Beach City Council Candidate Question #1:

This week is your introductory piece … your “elevator pitch” if you will … “Why did you decide to run for the Imperial Beach City Council, and what do you offer that sets you apart from the other candidates?”

Hello! I am Shirley Nakawatase, a Certified Public Accountant, and a candidate for Imperial Beach Mayor.  I have lived in Imperial Beach for more than 50 years, ever since my father was stationed here at North Island. I am a local business owner who knows how to balance progress with tradition. As an active volunteer and leader of many local committees, I have cultivated a deep understanding of Imperial Beach’s uniqueness — both as a neighbor and as someone who wants to work to improve our quality of life. Running on a campaign of transparency in government, fiscal responsibility, public safety, and infrastructure, I want to return the focus of city government back to the city and its residents.”

Shirley Nakawatase To Run For Mayor Of Imperial Beach

“Life-long Imperial Beach resident and business owner, Shirley Nakawatase has announced her intention to seek the office of mayor in the upcoming 2022 election.

Running on a campaign of transparency in government, fiscal responsibility, public safety, and infrastructure, Nakawatase is pledging to return the focus of city government back to the city and its residents.

For Nakawatase, this campaign and her desire to serve Imperial Beach as mayor is a labor of love. She was raised in the city from a young age, attended our public schools, raised her own family, founded her business, and has served on a multitude of community groups in Imperial Beach.”

First Candidates Forum Gives Insight On Those Running In November

“Seven candidates for office took part in the first candidates forum on August 30 thanks to the League of Women Voters and the Imperial Beach Chamber of Commerce. The event was held at Burgess Auditorium and was well attended with many residents wanting to get an idea of who’s running for office in the next election. 

Nakawatase was raised in IB after her family moved from Japan when she was a little girl. She has served Imperial Beach in many ways through the Girls Scouts, Boys & Girls Club, Kiwanis Club, San Diego Regional Center and Sun and Sea Festival. She would like to focus on the safety of children walking to and from school, explore ways to generate more revenue, and traffic and parking issues. She is a certified public accountant.”

Kiwanis Club Book Giveaway

“South Bay Kiwanis have teamed up with The UPS Store and the San Diego Council on Literacy for a book giveaway event to put books in the hands of local kids in Imperial Beach and surrounding areas.

“We’re thrilled to have this opportunity to bring books and reading to kids with this great event from The UPS Store and the San Diego Council on Literacy,” said Shirley Nakawatase, president of the Kiwanis Club of South Bay. “It’s been a tough year for all of us, but especially for kids and anything we can do to help expand their world is just the right thing to do.”

IB Star-News Digitized Thanks To The Effort Of Local Resident

“Before the Imperial Beach Eagle & Times and before the Imperial Beach Times, there was a newspaper called IB Star-News. Local resident Shirley Nakawatase remembers the IB Star-News as the hometown newspaper. When an opportunity came up to share the old newspaper with everyone Nakawatase took a chance.

Nakawatase grew up in Imperial Beach and cares deeply about preserving its history. In fact, she and her brother Randy Chase, who are passionate about the history of their town, created a website called More recently her brother started a Facebook page called “You Know You Grew Upon Imperial Beach When…” where many old photos are posted and shared.”

I.B. successfully returns two iconic events

“July was a busy month for Imperial Beach, its residents and businesses, who banded together to bring back two major events to the city.

The Sun & Sea Festival held July 18, replaced the city’s famed U.S. Open and Sandcastle Competition. Imperial Beach hosted the iconic event for more than three decades, but it was canceled two years ago due to lack of funding and volunteers.

“The dream was as soon as we saw the U.S. Open and Sand Castle Competition disappearing we wanted to resurrect a community event and really make it ours,” said Shirley Nakawatase, who co-spearheaded the event. “This last summer you all proved to us that it is ours.”

Imperial Beach Kiwanis Club Holds Fishing Derby

“It was a perfect Saturday morning on the Imperial Beach Pier as 75 children turned-out for the IB Kiwanis Fishing Derby and dropped their hooks, lines and sinkers into the sea.

The Fishing Derby was not just a Kiwanis effort led by Sha-Ron Cobb; she pulled together community-wide partnership with many merchants including Boca Rio Ink Team, IB Printing, Carls Jr., 7-11 on Palm Ave, Market-to-Market, Chula Vista Kayaking, Wildcoast, Seacoast Pizza, Surf Hut, Bodyworks Collision, IB Beautiful, IB Farmers Market, Twisted Kettle Popcorn, and Mar Vista High School. Individuals like Shirley Nakawatase, Leon Benham, Gary Trieschman, Candy Unger, Evie Ramsier, and Jason Kaminsky contributed their creativity to make the event logistically possible.”

Sand castle contest returning to IB

“Imperial Beach residents and businesses along with the Port of San Diego are bringing a professional sand castle competition back to the city.

“Almost immediately some of us here in town wanted to do something — find a happy medium by the community for the community,” said Shirley Nakawatase, an Imperial Beach resident, business owner and co-chair of the committee.

Nakawatase said a unique aspect this year is the outreach to nonprofits.

“For example the Boys & Girls’ Club is handling the Sandcastle Ball,” she said. “We want to enrich the community and get everybody involved with volunteerism and community service.”

Shirley Nakawatase Elected Chair of San Diego Regional Center

“Imperial Beach resident Shirley Nakawatase has been elected as the chair of the board of the San Diego-Imperial Counties Developmental Services for a one-year term.

“I am honored to step into this position,” Nakawatase said. “There is a huge amount of good work to do to support the developmentally disabled and I am looking forward to a bright future as we get started this year.”

Nakawatase has been involved with the regional center for many years and this is her fourth year serving on the board. As the chair of the board, Nakawatase is on all of the center’s committees as the chair.”

Dreams Come True In The Sand At Imperial Beach

“Five rambunctious kindergartners. two captains of an award-winning sandcastle building team and a CPA may seem like an unlikely group, but to one family, they will be remembered as the faces that helped five-year-old Braden Van Eperen’s dream come true. Braden, who suffers from Duchenne muscular dystrophy, was asked last year by Make-A-Wish volunteers in his hometown of Bennett. Neb., what his dreams were. His request was simple — to go to the beach and build a sandcastle.

“I wanted to make it special for them,” said Shirley Nakawatase. CPA. “I knew that 1 would gain more from this experience than I was giving them — and I was right.” Nakawatase also happens to be the captain of a castle-building team called Sandquest. who competes every year in Imperial Beach’s lI.S. Open Sandcastle Competition. This world-renowned competition is one reason Make-A-Wish chose Imperial Beach to make this wish come true.”

Imperial Beach Locals Shine In 2008 Sandcastle Event

“An estimated 300,000 visitors came to IB for this year’s U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition but Imperial Beach locals stole the show.

On the north side of the pier, in the executive sandbox division, a youth-adult combined team SandQuest was the focus of national network coverage. The national syndicated kids’ show, “Curiosity Quest,” teamed up with SandQuest for a half-hour show explaining how sandcastles are made.

SandQuest was sponsored by well-known local Shirley Nakawatase and her CPA firm, The Nakawatase Company.”

Safer, Successful Sandcastle Welcomes Smaller Crowds

“Shirley Nakawatase received a sentimental homage from her team of kids who entered a shell-decorated wave in the Executive Sandbox category. The kids kept Nakawatase away from one corner of the plot as they carved a block of sand with words that thanked her for being their captain. “I knew something was up because they kept having these secret meetings. They finally outgrew Kids n Kastles after last year so I said I’d be their corporate sponsor this year. Us old folks did all the shoveling and the kids carved and decorated the sculpture,” explained Nakawatase.”

The Fifth Annual Imperial Beach Chili & Jazz Festival

“Thousands of chili and jazz aficionados are expected to turn out for the Fifth Annual Chili Cook-off and Jazz Festival to be held Saturday, May 30 at the Imperial Beach Pier Plaza on Seacoast Drive.

The first Chili and Jazz Festival Committee meeting was held in 1994 in Sally’s living room with her husband. Mayor Mike Bixler, Dorrance Aldridge, Shirley Nakawatase, Connie Rodriguez (former manager of Union Bank), and Barbara Hopkins (now deceased) attending. Today the group has twenty sub-committees and nearly fifty members will be working on the day of the festival.”