For the past four years, it has been an honor and privilege to represent District 3 on the San Diego City Council. The foundation of my service as your Councilmember is to do everything I can to ensure the community receives the responsive and efficient city services we expect. Our team has always been the most effective when working closely with the community to identify needs and respond to issues that arise, and some of our best work comes out of close collaboration between my office and you.
It’s never been lost on me that our district has a special role for LGBTQ representation and civil rights. After all, our city council district has been represented by an out member of our community for almost 27 consecutive years – a record for any elected office in the United States. Together we’ve worked hard for our neighborhoods and built on our legacy as the most dynamic, vibrant, and inclusive district in the City of San Diego. We opened North Park Seniors, San Diego’s first affordable LGBTQ affirming housing opportunity for those who paved the way for our civil rights. We took a stand against the Trump’s administration’s cruel transgender military ban by passing a City of San Diego resolution in opposition to make our feeling on the matter clear. We displayed, for the first time in our City’s history, the transgender pride flag at City Hall in honor of Trans Week of Visibility. And this past January, hundreds of community members came together to celebrate our City’s first rainbow crosswalk in the heart of Hillcrest. The crosswalk explicitly includes black and brown stripes and the trans pride flag in its inclusive design.
We have launched the Hillcrest Focused Plan effort for the Uptown Community Plan, to strengthen the community and bring neighborhood benefits where they are needed most. With an ever-growing housing crisis and a changing climate, more is needed to enhance housing of all affordability levels, access, use of transit, and provide public spaces for all to use. This effort will further memorialize our community’s unique LGBTQ+ history to ensure Hillcrest thrives into the future.
In the last few months, the global COVID-19 crisis challenged our ability to maintain the health and safety of the public, forcing a series of lockdown and quarantine measures to mitigate the spread of the pandemic. I introduced a series of policies to shape San Diego’s local recovery and provide real relief to working San Diegans struggling under the financial weight of the pandemic. I introduced, and passed, San Diego’s first Emergency Rental Assistance Program to meet our obligations to the renters of this city. Because of this program, over $18 million in assistance will be directly available to thousands of individuals and families struggling to make rent. We have moved small business relief out to the community in two direct allocations, supported childcare for our essential workers, and more in motion.
With 40% of homeless youth identifying as LGBTQ, my office will continue to aggressively advocate for additional resources and outreach to assist these young members of our LGBTQ+ community. Currently, I am working with the San Diego LGBT Community Center through our expanded youth programs I fought for as Chair of the Regional Task Force on the Homeless, including additional shelter and service opportunities for LGBTQ+ youth.
The City’s ongoing response to protect our homeless neighbors from COVID-19 has been intentional and prioritized. In the last few months we have acted to ensure the safety of our unsheltered population during the pandemic. Public health nurses and workers are deployed with teams conducting outreach in our streets and shelters, hundreds of hand washing stations are now installed throughout the region, motel rooms were secured, and hundreds of new shelter beds are now available through the utilization of the Convention Center as a temporary shelter. And we have improved our housing navigation to get hundreds into permanent housing rapidly, opening up more beds to get people off the street.
2020 has been a pivotal year: testing us with a global pandemic and calling on us to participate in a mass movement against systemic racism. Both have been tiring endeavors, but both have also brought out some of our greatest strengths as a community. Non-profits, community organizations, and everyday San Diegans have gone out of their way to support those most in need. Together, we have worked to protect and recognize our LGBTQ seniors, fight this administration’s attack on civil rights, and push for greater visibility in our city. It has made me proud, and I look forward to serving you in greater ways through a new opportunity as your next State Assemblymember.
If you need any assistance with city services or have ideas you’d like to share, please contact my office at (619) 236-6633 or email my office at email@example.com.