Mayor Todd Gloria said Wednesday that San Diego is on its way out of the pandemic and ready for “positive, transformational change” to address housing, public safety, infrastructure and homelessness.
“Our challenges are great, the road ahead is long and there is so much work to do. But SanDiego, we are ready, ”he said in his annual State of the City speech.
Gloria spoke from the convention center in the center and chose the place because of its role in housing both homeless residents and then immigrant children – actions he said showed the best of San Diego.
Recognizing that residents are “lacking in patience and happy talk” after nearly two years with COVID, he focused on what he described as the four biggest problems: housing, infrastructure, public safety and the homeless.
He promised to ease restrictions on new construction to increase the number of homes by 100,000 over the next eight years. He said the city will take advantage of new state legislation to build more apartments close to transit and help developers of affordable housing with financial assistance.
And he urged neighborhoods to accept the new development, saying “we can not lose our ability to house our own children against people who are against change.”
In terms of infrastructure, he promised to “reverse the slow demolition of our streets” with investments in basic repairs instead of just “new slurry sealing.” He said federal funding from the $ 1 trillion infrastructure bill will help San Diego repair its infrastructure.
“Our public infrastructure is the foundation of a high quality of life,” he said.
Recognizing that crime has increased during the pandemic, he promised to balance public safety with respect for civil rights and privacy
“A large city can fully fund and support its law enforcers while ensuring that they follow their oath,” he said. “We will continue to provide our police department and city attorney with the resources they need to keep you and your family safe, respond to crime, and hold criminals accountable.”
Gloria called homelessness the biggest single problem and said it is the solution to offer supportive housing. He said the city used state and federal funds to open hundreds of new homes and shelters.
“It’s by no means compassionate to let people live on the sidewalk,” he said.
He traced the problem to the closure of major psychiatric facilities decades ago, but said it is now “far past time for our community to address this huge problem.”
Gloria said all of these challenges can be met with “a jolt of big city energy” and a can-do spirit.
I lined up for this office on the promise of reviving San Diego with a burst of metropolitan energy and fostering a culture of ‘yes’ that will help us come up with our rightful place as one of the largest cities in the country. ,” he said..