Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear, who has been serving as mayor since 2016, has family roots that go back nearly a century in Encinitas. Her great-grandparents moved to Encinitas in the 1920s to grow flowers.
Catherine was elected to the Encinitas City Council in 2014 and won her mayoral election in 2018 with 83% of the vote.
She grew up in Del Mar and Encinitas, moved away for college and career reasons, and returned to Encinitas with her husband and two children in 2009.
Graduating from Torrey Pines High School in 1994, she played varsity basketball for four years, earning the MVP award for her last three years. She attended college at Northwestern University in Chicago, earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.
As her first professional job, Catherine was hired to work as a reporter at the Los Angeles Times in its Ventura County bureau. Her beat was transportation, which sparked an interest in urban planning that still inspires her today. Before the 2002 Winter Olympics, Catherine became a reporter with the Associated Press and moved to Utah to work in their Salt Lake City bureau.
After several years in journalism, Catherine decided to follow the path of both of her parents and earned a law degree. She attended the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law, graduating in 2006. She served as editor-in-chief of one of the law school’s three law journals, The Journal of Law and Family Studies. She subsequently clerked for the Honorable Pamela Greenwood on the Utah Court of Appeals and worked for the highly regarded law firm of Ray, Quinney & Nebeker in Salt Lake City.
Catherine met her husband Jeremy on a competitive co-ed Ultimate Frisbee team. Jeremy is a Physician Assistant, working at North County Health Services as a primary care provider. He hails from Knoxville, Tennessee, and has worked as a Park Ranger for the National Park Service in Yellowstone, Joshua Tree National Park and other national parks.
After marrying in 2006 and having two children, Catherine and Jeremy moved back to Encinitas in 2009 because they wanted to live in the best city in America and raise their young family closer to Catherine’s multi-generational family that included her mother, father, aunt and grandma.
Catherine co-founded her own estate planning law firm in 2009, helping clients transition their values and assets from one generation to the next. In addition to serving as the mayor, she maintains her license to practice law.
As mayor and a representative of the City of Encinitas, she serves on several outside boards, including as Vice-Chair of the SANDAG Board of Directors, and as a board member on San Diego’s Airport Authority, the Encina Wastewater Authority, and the San Elijo Joint Powers Authority, as well as the San Dieguito Water District.
Catherine is passionate about our American democracy and all elements of the governmental structure that support the equality, liberty, freedom and happiness that Americans enjoy. She also loves to run and play with her family on the beach and in the ocean, follow politics and policy issues, read books, watch musicals and theatre (Hamilton is a recent fascination), and mountain bike with her husband.