Erica Stewart appointed mayor, Michelle Shoresman to the SLO Council

October 6, 2021

Councilwomen Jan Marx, Carlyn Christianson and Andy Pease appointing Erica Stewart’s mayoral appointment


The San Luis Obispo City Council appointed Vice Mayor Erica Stewart on Tuesday to replace Heidi Harmon as SLO’s mayor.

Following the mayoral appointment, the council selected Michelle Shoresman to fill the seat vacated by Stewart. Shoresman is a SLO County Health Agency division manager and had been serving on the city planning commission, as well.

Erica Stewart

With Stewart as the new mayor and Shoresman becoming a councilwoman, the SLO council remains all-female and all-progressive. Additionally, Stewart has become the first African American mayor of the city.

Last month, Harmon stepped down as mayor amid allegations that she received gifts from local marijuana mogul Helios Dayspring, who has been charged by federal prosecutors with bribery and filing a false tax return. Harmon said it was necessary for her to resign as mayor in order to fulfill the duties of her new job as a climate policy advocate for a nonprofit.

Stewart and council critic Jeffery Specht sought to replace Harmon as mayor. Matt Ritter, a Cal Poly biology professor, applied for the vacant mayoral seat, too, but later withdrew his candidacy.

Likewise, Joshua Cohen, the owner of Foothill Cyclery, applied for both the mayoral and council seats. But during Tuesday’s meeting, Cohen endorsed Stewart for mayor and Shoresman for council.

While presenting her candidacy on Tuesday, Stewart said she previously thought she could not “do the mayor position full-time,” but she later reconsidered. Stewart reached an agreement with her employer, Cal Poly, to shift from working for the university full-time to a three-quarters-time role.

Stewart received unanimous support from councilwomen Carlyn Christianson, Jan Marx and Andy Pease.

“What an awesome honor and awkward moment at the same time on Zoom,” Stewart said after reciting the oath of office during Tuesday’s virtually-held council meeting.

Michelle Shoresman

In addition to Shoresman and Cohen, applicants Emily Francis, Joe Benson, Michael Draze, Mike Multari, Mila Vujovich-La Barre, Robin Wolf and Sharon Whitney sought to replace Stewart on the city council.

Shoresman said during her presentation that, if appointed, she would run in the next election in an attempt to keep her council seat. The council applauded Shoresman for making that pledge.

Following presentations by council candidates, Stewart, Christianson, Marx and Pease did not debate the various applicants’ candidacies. Rather, they all agreed Shoresman should be appointed to the council.

Both Stewart’s mayoral seat and Shoresman’s council seat will be up for election in Nov. 2022.


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There ya go! Thank goodness a diverse choice wasn’t made! You know, possibly a MALE to go with the 4 other FEMALES on the council! Thank goodness they didn’t choose a LATINO! After all it’s only people of other skin tones that deserve a leg up!

Thank goodness they didn’t select someone who’s a CENTRIST or heaven forbid even a bit RIGHT of center! Let’s hope that Shoresman at least lives in SLO proper! Hell, even if she doesn’t, that would be explained away as well, right?

Shame on you mayor/council members. You had the chance to do the right thing and instead you did the sexist/racist/political thing! Just as expected! All of you disgust me.

Now we’re stuck with yet another govt employees who could never get elected on her own. But with enough name recognition in the coming couple of years, she’ll be good for what, 3, maybe 4 terms? Sad!


I have to ask who is Shoresman.


Yep. This all checks out. CCN points out her race, her gender, calls her progressive (works at Cal Poly!). Let the trolling begin!

Thats only 8 strongly negative comments so far. You guys can do better.

Adam Trask



Meet the new boss same as the old boss yep we’re screwed again!


This is shaping up to be a bigger disaster than the last one. Good grief Charlie Brown.


Another out of touch academic employed by the government. Just what we need.




“The first black Mayor…” Appointed, not elected. An closed ended appointment by a biased council, is not a duly elected person, by the vote of the city residents. The council could have appointed a Giraffe, and brag that it was the first cloven hoofed Mayor of SLO.

Pretty sure even SLO has had enough of the thieving, graft ridden, racist, bribery driven government forced onto the city by the so-called progressive party.


Nice try, but mayor and city council are non-partisan positions. Also the “progressive party” was dissolved in 1955 so you are whimpering about something that doesn’t even officially exist. I know partisan extremists like you love to think everyone either agrees with your radical views 100% or they are an evil progressive socialist, but the truth ain’t like that.


Oh! Sorry! I could have sworn that the “SLO County Progressives” dot org meets regularly at The Guild, to discuss socialism and communist political maneuvering through the democrat party. Did I mention that Heidi is an Honorary Founding Co-Chair?

Heck! I’m so radical. I think the Constitution should be followed, and everyone has the right to their own opinion, regardless of how offended others may be.

I know! Scary stuff that freedom, right?


Did the city of SLO just get Heidi 2.0?


Holding my nose from the stench.


If you think Stewart is a clone of Harmon, you haven’t been paying attention. Stewart was no fan of Harmon and disapproved of many of the former mayor’s actions, both off and on the record.


The lack of diversity is startling, not.


Any diversity of thought here?

(Rhetorical question)