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Questions Surround Supervisor Lawson-Remer's Professional Titles, Refers to Herself as “Economist”

Claims of Misrepresentation Continue to Haunt San Diego County Official.

San Diego County Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer, is under scrutiny once again over alleged embellishment of her professional qualifications, an issue that first surfaced during the 2019 election. Her critics maintain that she misleadingly described herself as an "economist" and an "environmental attorney" to voters - a claim that spurred a court petition asserting that Lawson-Remer was "neither an economist nor an environmental attorney.”

"The law sets out very rigid rules for how candidates may describe their current profession..." the petition explained, adding that the court’s intervention was vital to protect county voters from being led to believe something untrue.

Despite this controversy, Lawson-Remer has not ceased using these contested titles in her bio on her official website, and even extends to a promotional site she sponsors for her 2024 re-election campaign to the Board of Supervisors.

Questions still linger around the veracity of her titles. Although she is authorized to practice law in New York, she does not hold a similar authorization in California. Lawson-Remer earned her undergraduate degree from Yale, majoring in Ethics, Politics and Economics - an interdisciplinary program involving research in social sciences and humanities, including philosophy, macroeconomics, and microeconomics. But this doesn't equate to being an economist, which is what her critics point out.

The court petition elaborated, "Although ..(she) may have completed some economic-related 'academic research' during her studies, her graduate degree is in the entirely different field of Philosophy. In sum, talking to clients about labor markets, automation, property rights, economic development and econometrics" does not make one an Economist, and preparing research papers in graduate school, while pursuing a PhD in philosophy, also does not make one an Economist.”

In a twist of events on Christmas Eve 2019, a San Diego judge declared that her job title was misleading and instructed her to amend it. In compliance, Lawson-Remer adjusted her job title to "Economist/Community Organizer" for the 2020 elections.

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