Former Encinitas councilwoman dies after battle with lung cancer

Encinitas City Councilwoman Jody Hubbard.
(Courtesy of City of Encinitas)

Jody Hubbard stepped down from council in January, saying her cancer had spread


Jody Hubbard, who served as the Cardiff region’s representative on the City Council for two years, has died after battling lung cancer for the past year, Mayor Catherine Blakespear announced Wednesday, June 9.

“She was a vibrant member of our community and served Encinitas with distinction — first as an engaged citizen, then as a city commissioner and for nearly two years as a Council member representing District 3, which included her home in Cardiff-by-the-Sea,” Blakespear said in a statement. “On behalf of the city, I want to extend my sincerest condolences to her mother, Joanne, the entire Hubbard family and the community who knew and loved her.”

An avid body surfer and cyclist, Hubbard, 64, was known for her upbeat demeanor and outgoing nature. When she was elected to City Council in 2018, one of her longtime friends told a reporter that she was “certainly not shy about approaching people and talking to them” and said she would have no trouble at all admitting when she made mistakes.

Both as a councilwoman and as a city planning commissioner before she was elected to the council, Hubbard was keenly interested in city transportation projects, particularly bike lane improvements. She later would list among her top achievements as council member the opening of the new protected bike lane along Coast Highway 101.

She also said she was proud of casting a vote in favor of establishing an overnight parking lot for homeless people who are temporarily living in their vehicles.

Hubbard’s forthrightness was in evidence both when she announced last summer that she’d been diagnosed with non-smoker, non-small cell adenocarcinoma after an emergency room visit for severe abdominal pain, and when she announced in January that she was stepping down from the council effective immediately.

“Well, the lung cancer decided to spread and now I have brain cancer, too,” she said when she announced her resignation, adding that she no longer had the energy levels to “fight cancer and fight for the city, too.”

A Southern California native who grew up in the Los Angeles area, Hubbard liked to tell people that her interest in civic affairs was a family trait. Her father helped establish the 67-mile Backbone Trail through the Santa Monica Mountains and her mother’s an equestrian who has been active in the Encinitas Trails Coalition.

Hubbard received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from California State University Northridge in 1981 and collected her certified public accounting license in 1983. Her first job was at the international KPMG accounting company and she later went to work for Deloitte.

“I was always encouraged to be independent and to step outside the box,” she told a reporter once when asked why she had pursued accounting as a career.

In the mid 1990s, in what she later jokingly described as a “mid-life crisis,” she left the accounting world and established a business providing long-term care planning advice to families with ailing relatives after seeing her grandparents struggle with this issue.

Displaying a group picture taken when she was on the council and sending a message of sympathy for her family, Encinitas City Council adjourned Wednesday night’s meeting in Hubbard’s honor.

The city’s mayor said Hubbard had such an infectious smile she made people feel better just by being around her. In addition to being known for her environmental advocacy, Hubbard was also very good at helping her Cardiff neighbors resolve small problems with city government, Blakespear said.

Her cancer diagnosis came as a shock — Hubbard had never been a smoker, the mayor said. And, it was doubly tough for her family, she added, mentioning that Hubbard’s sister also died of lung cancer 22 years ago.