April 19, 2024
Todd Gloria speaks on Wednesday evening. Picture from metropolis video

In his fourth state of town tackle, Mayor Todd Gloria touted progress on a variety of civic points, from clearing homelessness to filling potholes and decreasing crime, however saved his strongest language for efforts to reverse “a long time of underbuilding.”

“The one true resolution to handle each our homeless and housing affordability crises is to construct extra housing,” Gloria stated.

He blasted “politicians surrendering to the mistaken noting that new housing endangers communities,” and outlined steps starting from dramatically quicker allow occasions to public funding in new inexpensive housing.

Permits had been issued for over 8,000 new houses in 2023 — a 51% improve over 5,300 houses in 2022.  A 3rd of the houses permitted in 2023 had been deed-restricted inexpensive housing. 

“As a renter myself, I perceive the housing actuality of immediately,” Gloria stated. “Not solely is typical hire on a one-bedroom condominium round $2,600 a month, however it comes with the anxiousness and problem of racing in opposition to dozens of others simply to use for that hard-to-find vacant unit.”

The mayor spoke for 45 minutes within the historic Balboa Theatre earlier than a crowd of elected officers, metropolis staff and civic leaders. At one level, a small group protestors supporting Hamas interrupted the speech, prompting Gloria the reward the First Modification after they had been escorted out of the theater.

He touched on a variety of points, typically drawing applause from the viewers. Amongst his key factors:

Fentanyl — He urged state legislators to toughen legal guidelines coping with lethal fentanyl, and praised efforts by San Diego Police to arrest sellers.

“I see what it’s doing to our homeless inhabitants after I stroll by means of Downtown. I see the way it’s destroying households. I’ve met the dad and mom who needed to bury their kids,” he stated.

Homelessness — He plans so as to add 1,000 beds to to town’s homeless shelter system over the
subsequent yr at new websites, together with the previous H Barracks close to the San Diego Worldwide Airport. And he stated the brand new Unsafe Tenting ordinance banning homeless in public areas has been profitable.

“We’re clearing encampments with out widespread arrests,” he stated. “Because the ordinance handed in June, just one particular person has been arrested, however tons of have accepted shelter.”

Retail crime — He known as for adjustments to Proposition 47, the 2014 poll measure which reclassified sure drug and theft crimes as misdemeanors. He blamed a spike in retail crime throughout California on this measure.

“These will not be crimes of poverty,” he stated. “These are felony enterprises gaming the boundaries set below Prop. 47 and making a cottage trade out of retail theft.”

Roads — He stated town repaired or resurfaced 252 miles of roadway — a 20% improve over
2022 and a 57% improve over 2021. And crews stuffed 61,305 potholes in 2023, a 94% improve over the prior yr and an 122% improve over 2021.

Proposition 1 — He urged help of Proposition 1, which is able to fund greater than 11,000 new behavioral well being remedy beds throughout the state in a return of what was once known as psychological hospitals.

“All of us acknowledge that our homelessness disaster has many causes, and fixing it’s going to imply
tackling it from each angle,” he stated.

Public security — He cited elevated police salaries and stepped up recruiting as contributing to declines in crime charges. Homicide is down 12%, rape 16%, theft 7% and housebreaking 16% in 2023.

“This a testomony to the dedication of our cops and our metropolis’s dedication to
help them,” he stated.

All through the tackle, Gloria undertaking a way of optimism about fixing town’s issues.

“One factor I do know for positive is that I’ve by no means had extra religion within the skill of this
metropolis to reverse a long time of neglect and take its rightful place as not only a ‘superb’ metropolis, however one
of our nation’s biggest,” he stated.