As City Councilwoman Barabra Bry and Assemblyman Todd Gloria begin their 2020 mayoral campaigns, it appears that their respective positions on San Diego’s housing situation may prove to be a pivotal battleground issue.
The topic became an issue of controversy when Bry attacked Gloria for supporting Senate Bill 330. The bill seeks to prohibit cities from enacting policies that would prevent new development and force them to approve developments that follow local rules. The bill is viewed by many as an excellent first step towards increasing the quantity of affordable housing in the county.
Bry opposes SB 330 as she feels that it gives state legislators too much control. She argues that it would strip influential cities of their right to regulate housing projects. Moreover, the legislation would enable high rises to be built in primarily single-family homes, stripping the character of the neighborhoods. The councilwoman also personally criticized Gloria for his support of the bill, asserting that Gloria’s endorsement is representative of the lobbyists and Sacramento insiders behind the legislation.
Gloria favors SB 330 because it streamlines the regulations placed on new housing, which will allow new residential construction projects to be built more efficiently. He explained his view that high rises and neighborhood character can and should coexist. Gloria pushed back against Councilwoman Bry’s suggestion that corporate special interest groups are the only ones who want more housing. He also argued that average citizens, who are struggling with the price of housing, are supporters of his perspective.
In response to Bry’s criticism, Assemblyman Gloria fired back with the following tweet:
San Diego shouldn’t settle for a Mayor who won’t tackle the housing problem head on. We can move San Diego forward and build the housing we need while protecting our neighborhoods. A candidate who views our future as a choice between the two isn’t right for our city. (1/5)
— Todd Gloria (@ToddGloria) June 25, 2019
However, Gloria wasn’t the only Democrat to tweet at Bry. San Diego County Democratic Chairman Will Rodriguez-Kennedy also gave some advice to the councilwoman:
How Not To Run For Office 101: Impugning the motives of a group of middle/working class millennials who’s main fight is affordable housing from a multimillion $ home in La Jolla. Extra Credit for fearmongering w/ hyperbolic coded language that reinforces every ism possible
— W. Rodriguez-Kennedy (@willrk787) June 25, 2019
If the recent conflict between Councilwoman Bry and Assemblyman Gloria is any indication, the mayoral race will be a hotly contested one among Democrats.