10 Questions with Ocean Beach community leader Tracy Dezenzo

Tracy Dezenzo has degrees in fine art and graphic design and is pursuing one in American Sign Language.
(Provided by Tracy Dezenzo)

Ten Questions is a series in the Point Loma-OB Monthly that shines a spotlight on notable locals we wish we knew more about. This month’s featured personality is Ocean Beach Planning Board and OB Town Council member Tracy Dezenzo.

Tracy Dezenzo is a native Southern Californian who has been an Ocean Beach resident for more than 25 years. She lives with her husband, Bill, and her rescue dogs, Ava and Gia.

She became an OB Planning Board member in September 2018 and currently chairs its Transportation Committee. In December 2019, she was recommended by San Diego City Councilwoman Jennifer Campbell and appointed by then-Mayor Kevin Faulconer to the San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture and currently is on the Policy and Funding Committee. In September 2021, she was elected to the Ocean Beach Town Council board of directors and currently is chairwoman of its Advocacy Committee.

She also has volunteered as a teen mentor, was in three local pop/rock bands and received bachelor’s degrees in fine art from UC San Diego and graphic design from the Art Institutes. She was a graphic designer for more than two decades and still does occasional freelance design. She also was a graphic design instructor for almost 10 years. She’s now pursuing a degree in American Sign Language.

Now on to the 10 Questions:

Q. What attracted you to the Point Loma-Ocean Beach area as a place to live?

A. In all honesty, I was looking to escape a bad marriage and my father owned a property in OB. It was a free place to live while I figured out my next chapter. I had no idea I would be staying as long as I did, but OB was a special place and it felt like home.

Q. What are your favorite places to go in Point Loma and Ocean Beach?

A. I really love my neighborhood. I enjoy walking around the “war zone” and having impromptu chats with my neighbors. During the spring, when it’s not too crowded or hot, I enjoy Dog Beach and walking through the estuary dunes. I’m not a drinker, so I don’t have any favorite bars, but some of my favorite places to eat are Blue Water Seafood, BBQ House and Northside Tavern.

Q. If you could snap your fingers and have it done, what might you add to improve Point Loma or Ocean Beach?

A. I would get the city of San Diego to clean all the sidewalks in OB at least two to four times a month. They clean the streets, why not get a tiny street sweeper and clean the darn sidewalks? I’m not talking just Newport [Avenue] or Voltaire (Street], I’m talking all sidewalks.

Q. Who or what inspires you?

A. Anyone who volunteers to do things for someone or something outside of themselves or their families.

Q. If you hosted a dinner party for five guests, who (living or deceased) would you invite?

A. Let’s stick to deceased persons because I don’t want to offend any of my living friends and family whom I would love to make dinner for any time. I’m sure there’s a bunch of people I would love to talk with, but off the top of my head, my list would probably include Freddie Mercury, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Barbara Walters, Tom Petty and Robin Williams. Think of all the amazing life stories!

Q. Tell us about what you are currently reading or watching on TV.

A. I record and watch a bunch of shows because I can multitask when I watch TV and rewind or pause if I miss something juicy. The shows I watch typically fall into the fiction realm with sci-fi, fantasy or crime drama being like catnip. I pick up books every once in awhile, but they are feast or famine for me. If I don’t get interested within the first couple of chapters, a book will lose me forever. I think the last book I read was “Qualityland” by Marc-Uwe Kling. It was a nutty and fun read but with glimpses of some of the absurdity of modern times and a glimpse into a future that doesn’t seem so unimaginable. Another fun book was “Year Zero” by Rob Reid.

Q. What would be your dream vacation?

A. Anywhere I can sit and have conversations with people about their communities and lives. I find that good conversation and getting to know people really nourishes my soul and helps me have a healthy perspective. Oh, and anyplace that is not hot, humid or has a lot of bugs.

Q. What are your five favorite movies of all time?

A. “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory,” “Mary Poppins,” “Blade Runner,” “National Treasure” and “Defending Your Life”

Q. What is your most prized possession?

A. My college degrees. I essentially dropped out of junior high school and it took me until I was 31 to get my first college degree. I was bored to tears in school and always felt like the world and the “street” was more interesting — and it was. Later in life, I discovered that college was interesting and I could control what I studied. Going to college sparked a love of learning that I’m sure I will take to my grave.

Q. What is your motto or philosophy of life?

A. Don’t dwell in the past. It will only keep you there.

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