ACLU Hails Public Participation in First Meeting of San Diego’s New City Council; Vows to Hold New Mayor, Council Accountable for Equitable, Inclusive Solutions to City’s Challenges
SAN DIEGO – The ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties commends the more than 350 San Diegans who participated in today’s meeting of San Diego’s 73rd City Council to voice their expectations of qualified representation and preference for City Council President. The will of the people matters, yet the council elected Councilmember Jen Campbell in a 5-4 vote that did not align with the overwhelming majority of public testimony.
San Diego has daunting challenges ahead, responding to and recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic, our housing affordability crisis, confronting biased policing and meeting the goals of our climate action plan among them. The inauguration of a new mayor and five new city council members brings new energy and determination to come together to address these challenges and to advance equity and opportunity for everyone.
All San Diegans want access and opportunity, food security, housing security, public safety, justice and representation. Among the priority concerns ACLU-SDIC will seek to advance in the coming year are:
Responding equitably to Covid-19: San Diego governments’ Covid-19 response and recovery efforts must be grounded in science and reflect San Diegans’ shared values of equity, fairness and public safety. By meeting the needs of the region’s most vulnerable communities, we can ensure an equitable, efficient process that is inclusive of all.
Addressing Homelessness: San Diego must provide access to permanent affordable housing and work to develop solutions, not further criminalization, in addressing our crisis around people experiencing homelessness.
Combatting Biased Policing: San Diego must drastically reduce the role, responsibilities and presence of police in our communities, divest from police budgets and deepen investments in community-based services, non-law enforcement interventions and mental health services. ACLU-SDIC will continue to work with Councilmember Montgomery Steppe and others to pass the Police Accountability Now policy package.
“San Diegans deserve a city government that is committed to equity and is accessible, transparent and accountable to the people. The City Council has chosen Councilmember Jen Campbell as its president to set the example in this regard. I urge her to lead with justice, integrity, courage and equity in mind,” said ACLU-SDIC Executive Director, Norma Chávez-Peterson. “The ACLU looks forward to working with this new Council and Mayor to advance effective policy solutions that address the historic, systemic inequities that harm many San Diegans and hold us all back. And the ACLU will hold this administration accountable, as we have their predecessors and as we will all who follow.”