Keith Blackburn takes his work as a Carlsbad councilman seriously. Since 2008, he has worked hard to improve the quality of life for residents and increasing the city’s revenue base.
While Blackburn’s work as a councilmember is important, he also serves his community in several other ways outside of City Hall.
Blackburn has a daughter and two grandchildren, who live in Carlsbad as well.
He worked 40 years as a police officer, having retired after 28 years of full-time police work and volunteering as a reserve officer for the last 12 years. Thirty-three of those years were spent with the Carlsbad Police Department.
He grew attached to the dogs he worked with as a K9 officer. After retiring, Blackburn began volunteering at the Carlsbad Animal Shelter. There, he nurtures dogs with behavior issues that are considered hard to place in homes and that requires an extra bit of attention.
Years ago, Blackburn took on the challenge of walking 10 pit bull terriers that were seized from a fighting operation and kept at the shelter.
One of those dogs was Red, Blackburn’s favorite of the group. He was in bad condition when he was first brought to the shelter.
“When he first came in he was so steroid-ed out that he had muscles growing out of his muscles and scars all over him,” Blackburn said. “He was a full-fledged fighter.”
A few years later Red became the average, happy dog with young children and cats as his best friends in his forever home with Blackburn’s daughter, where he lived the rest of his life peacefully.
Blackburn even championed laws in Carlsbad that prevent the sale of dogs and cats from puppy mills. He continued pushing this law until it became law for the entire state of California.
Blackburn is also passionate about his volunteer work for children, which has earned him several related rewards. He served on the Boys & Girls Club Board of Directors for nearly seven years, and his non-profit Blackburn Foundation has awarded more than $1 million to community-based organizations and children’s groups.
The councilman donates his entire Council salary to local non-profits, which is usually split between youth organizations and animal rescues. Those organizations include The Mitchell Thorp Foundation, after school children’s programs, animal rescue organizations and the Boys & Girls Club.
He also volunteered for Meals on Wheels for five years delivering meals to the elderly.
Besides his service as a police officer, councilman and volunteer, Blackburn also has a background in business. He was the founding partner in the development of the Carlsbad Premium Outlets and is a managing partner in a real estate group that owns and operates residential units.
Outside of City Hall, Blackburn is continuing to work hard for his community whether it’s ensuring better treatment for animals, improving opportunities for children and providing access to meals for the elderly.
Don’t forget to vote Blackburn for City Council on Nov. 3.