A message from Labor Council Secretary-Treasurer Richard Barrera on the Mayor's State of the City address
Brothers and Sisters,
Last night, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer gave his State of the City address. Council members Todd Gloria and David Alvarez are to be thanked for offering a realistic counterpoint to last night’s speech. Councilmember Gloria, having served as interim mayor, and Councilmember Alvarez, candidate for mayor in last year’s special election, have the first-hand knowledge of our city upon which to base thoughtful, well-informed assessments of what was and, more importantly, what was not in Kevin Faulconer’s speech.
As they have noted, last night’s speech, while clearly intended to make everyone feel good, was strikingly short on substance. For example:
· The Mayor has created a Task Force to focus on creating middle class jobs, while at the same time he vetoed a universally accepted step to bring low wage workers into the middle class – a modest increase in the minimum wage. There are no details as to how this committee will be able to address the fact that 40% of San Diegans cannot make ends meet.
· On the Chargers: Football fans all over San Diego are anxious to secure a long term commitment to San Diego from the Chargers; however, all the mayor offered last night was yet another committee to discuss the issue of a new stadium. We are still in the dark as to what the implications of a new stadium might be for taxpayers and how any investment in this project might impact other priority city programs, such as ensuring effective public safety services or supporting our city’s small businesses.
· Infrastructure: As Councilmember Gloria so correctly points out, while resurfacing 1,000 miles of city streets may sound good, this represents only a drop in the bucket when compared to our $300 billion infrastructure and maintenance needs. Most San Diegans will continue to endure pot holes as they drive through our city. Mayor Faulconer did not address how he planned to meet the vast majority of the city’s infrastructure needs.
The Mayor plans to host a bus tour of southeastern San Diego, but offers no details on how this will bring good-paying jobs and commercial opportunities to an area of our city that has been long neglected.
To hear first-hand how Councilmembers Alvarez and Gloria assessed the State of the City, follow these links to news clips: