The City of San Diego’s longstanding Democratic Council majority was often undermined by having a Republican in the Mayor’s Office. But with Mayor Todd Gloria in office, our electoral gains promise much stronger movement on Democratic policy goals.
In the last election we won two more seats, in Districts 5 and 7, both historically Republican. (District 5 in particular has long been the most conservative area of the City and is home to Carl DeMaio.) Our increased supermajority can now work with a Democratic mayor to turn campaign promises into realities.
These Democratic leaders have a lot to navigate as San Diego begins to rebuild its economy after suffering through a year of pandemic setbacks. The City Council recently created a COVID-19 Response and Recovery Committee that will be responsible for focusing on vaccine equity throughout the city, the use of federal aid, renewing tourism, and building on the innovations that were a result of the pandemic.
The Council is also taking action to implement Measure B, the police reform ballot measure that passed in 2020. In April the council approved the creation of the Office of the Commission on Police Practices, greenlit the hiring of an interim executive director, and took steps to establish standard operating practices for the commission.
A proposal to make the cannabis industry more equitable has received a state grant worth $75,000. Those funds will be used to study the negative local impacts of past criminalization laws, evaluate possible professional avenues, and research policies to support equity and diversity in the cannabis industry. This could create more opportunities for those who have been disproportionately impacted by past laws.
San Diego City Councilmembers also recently took the first step in passing the Vacation Rental Ordinance, taking on a long-festering issue. They voted to cap short-term rentals at 1% of the city’s housing supply and prioritize good actors in a lottery system that will determine who gets to offer homes for whole-home rentals. The ordinance places short-term rentals into four categories: part-time rentals rented 20 days a year, home-sharing rentals, whole-home rentals, and whole-home rentals in Mission Beach. The council will vote again in October to specify what “good actors” means and how the lottery system will work.
From these to many other initiatives in the pipeline, the San Diego County Demoratic Party is thrilled to see the momentum at City Hall and hopeful that we’ll continue to make progress on more of our priorities. As always, thanks to you for making this supermajority a reality!