Sherri has quickly become known on the Council for her independence from special interests, her knowledge of City issues and policies, and her willingness to ask tough, intelligent questions in fighting for San Diego taxpayers.
She has brought the neighborhood's voice to City Hall and has responded to the community's needs by providing excellent constituent services, ranging from repaving 22 miles of District 1 streets to helping University City residents to recover from the jet crash, securing funding to bring senior transportation to Carmel Valley, implementing a Community Canyon Fire Watch Program in Rancho Peñasquitos, and organizing the new La Jolla Village Merchants Association.
Prior to her election to the City Council, Sherri was a tireless and effective community volunteer and leader, serving on multiple community planning organizations and committees. She has served as President of both the La Jolla Town Council and La Jolla Shores Association, and as Secretary of the La Jolla Community Planning Association.
Through her work in the community, Sherri has become an expert in the planning and development process, which she currently applies to her role as Chair of the Council Committee on Land Use and Housing, where she is working to streamline regulations for community gardens, address homelessness, and provide incentives for sustainable building.
In addition, Sherri has demonstrated her strong commitment to preserving our coastal and canyon environments, creating a sustainable future through her work on the Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve Task Force and San Dieguito River Park Joint Powers Authority, and developing a comprehensive water policy for the City of San Diego.
As a member of the San Diego Science Festival Committee, Sherri advocates for Science, Technology and Math Education and is working to encourage young people to pursue careers in these fields.
Sherri was born in Western Pennsylvania but moved with her family to San Diego while in grade school. After attending public school in San Diego, she graduated from the University of California at San Diego (UCSD), first with a B.A. in both Mathematics and Sociology and later with an M.S. in Applied Mechanics and Engineering Sciences. She is a licensed Professional Mechanical Engineer.
Sherri worked in private industry for 23 years, including 18 years at General Atomics and 5 years at Rohr Industries. After "retiring" from the engineering profession 13 years ago, she formed a small consulting business with her husband, Bruce. Sherri and Bruce have owned and lived in the same home in Council District 1 (in La Jolla Shores) for over 19 years where they raised their family. Before moving to La Jolla, the Lightners were homeowners and residents of Scripps Ranch for 17 years.
For more than a decade, Sherri Lightner was a tireless and effective community volunteer and leader, serving on multiple community planning organizations and committees. Her volunteer service has included the election to the Boards of the La Jolla Shores Association, the La Jolla Community Planning Association, the La Jolla Town Council and the La Jolla Historical Society. She served as President of both the La Jolla Town Council and La Jolla Shores Association, and as the secretary of the La Jolla Community Planning Association. She has served on other committees and boards in various capacities. (You can find a complete list HERE.)
Over the years Sherri has become a knowledgeable expert in the overall planning and development processes, the application (and abuse) of the San Diego Land Development Code, the applicable sections of the San Diego Municipal Code relating to community planning and development, and the California Environmental Quality and Coastal Acts. She has been active in many projects that affect La Jolla's quality of life, and has appeared many times before the San Diego City Council, the San Diego City Planning Commission, and the California Coastal Commission.
Sherri's volunteer work also includes being a Girl Scout Leader for many years (recognized as Girl Scout Leader of the Year), a team parent for various soccer teams, a Sunday school teacher, the Treasurer of the Muirlands Foundation and an active participatant in various functions for her many children's schools and church.
Sherri met her husband, Bruce, at UCSD where they both worked in the cafeteria (washing dishes) while attending school full-time. They were married soon after graduating from UCSD and have been happily married for over 38 years. Bruce and Sherri have three children. They reside in La Jolla Shores with their daughter, two dogs and two cats.
In June of 1998 the Lightners became foster parents and then guardians for Bruce's late sister's five minor children. (They had to purchase a vehicle that had seats for nine!) They retained custody and provided care for their wards for just over six years.
The Lightners have been resident homeowners in San Diego City for over for 36 years: Seventeen years in Scripps Ranch and nineteen years in La Jolla.
Sherri is co-owner of Lightner Engineering, a small technology hardware and software consulting firm in San Diego.
She started her professional career as an Engineering Aide at General Atomics (GA), hired by the High Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactor Division after graduation from UCSD. While working full-time at GA, Sherri was certified as an Engineer in Training and took engineering course work at San Diego State University (SDSU) and UCSD. She was quickly promoted to engineer and then earned a M.S. degree from UCSD. Sherri worked as an engineer in the Structural Engineering Department at GA for eight years and GA's Fusion Division for another five.
Sherri then accepted a senior engineering position with the Structural Dynamics group at Rohr Industries to work on high velocity (ballistic) impact analysis. After five years at Rohr, she returned to GA to work on the New Production Reactor (NPR). After another five years at GA working on the NPR and other projects, Sherri retired from the engineering profession to take up new challenges.
Sherri (and her dog Bobbi) graduated from UCSD's Revelle College with a Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in both Mathematics and Sociology. While working at Gulf Energy and Environmental Systems (General Atomics), she continued her education at San Diego State University (SDSU) and the University of California at San Diego (UCSD), graduating with a Master of Science in Applied Mechanics and Engineering Sciences from UCSD.
Sherri is licensed by the State of California as a Professional Mechanical Engineer (License No. M20020).
Sherri Lightner was born in Warren, Pennsylvania, and lived in various communities in Pennsylvania and Connecticut before moving to San Diego with her parents and sister in 1959. After moving to San Diego, Sherri lived with her family in the San Diego State area and attended local public schools: Phoebe Hearst Elementary, Lewis Jr. High School and Crawford High School. Upon graduating from Crawford High School, she was accepted by Revelle College at University of California at San Diego (UCSD).