Many people don’t really know what the County of San Diego does and how it is different from a city government like the City of San Diego. I wrote a previous post about what the County currently does. Read that here. But now let’s talk about what the County could do and the leadership I intend to bring to our region.
The County can and should prioritize the early development, mental well-being and opportunity of every child in every neighborhood across the County. This could be accomplished by making high quality child care and pre-kindergarten more flexible and affordable for everyone – regardless of whether you are a teacher, a hotel worker, or a small business owner. The County could lead a joint effort of the regional business community, labor unions, and committed San Diegans to create a better safety net to help all families – from Bay Park to North Park to Azalea Park – and get their children ready to succeed.
The County has the power to dedicate staff, leadership, and financial resources to getting the more than 5,000 homeless people who sleep on the street into homes and access to treatment if needed. In June, it decided to use a very small portion of its reserves to do exactly this – but our County could much more fully support a dramatic reduction in homelessness. I will push for strategic investment in this area. Here’s a great example of how Houston was able to see a major reduction in its residents living on the street.
The County could make the process easier and more certain to build homes – especially market rate entry level homes, apartments and other affordable homes – by eliminating barriers where communities have already described their preferences in detail through the General Plan process. We have a serious supply problem and must do better. I spent a career in land use and construction and will push for useful, practical changes.
These are all examples of what our County could do by changing its priorities. The County’s ability to support regional economic growth is a key for San Diego. In an era with massively shrinking financial support from the federal government and even budget limitations at the state level, our ability to responsibly and effectively increase support and economic opportunities here at home is critical. This is the type of leadership I will bring to our region.