San Diegans are eager to get back to work safely, and thankfully, their concerns have been heard loud and clear. Led by County Supervisors Kristin Gaspar and Jim Desmond, an accelerated reopening plan for San Diego was passed and approved by Gov. Gavin Newsom earlier this week. which would be a great step in restoring local control during this pandemic.
The goal was twofold: restore local control to allow the leaders closest to the particular circumstances of their region to make decisions accordingly, and using the same public health standards that have allowed essential businesses to open for “nonessential” businesses to reopen. Coordination with local businesses was crucial in developing a realistic plan that balanced economic and public health concerns, and the Board of Supervisors was able to do just that.
Supervisor Kristin Gaspar was the clear leader of this coordinated effort with local businesses in spearheading the initiative. After reviewing Newsom’s unrealistic standards for reopening, she set out to create a plan that works for San Diego. “We’ve collaborated with our hospital partners, our clinical team, and our public health officer,” Gaspar said. “It outlines reasonable metrics for San Diego… [and a] phased approach for the reopening of our local economy.”
She’s worked with the California Restaurant Association, faith-based leaders, and organized sports leagues to develop safety protocols as part of the reopening plan. Over the course of many Zoom meetings and other forms of deliberation, Gaspar was able to facilitate a reopening strategy that satisfied the concerns of businesses, medical professionals, her colleagues, and even Gov. Newsom.
Additionally, she’s been working with Supervisor Greg Cox to allocate $50 million in funds to cities across San Diego looking to assist their small businesses in reopening, which will also help cover COVID-19 relief efforts—a great way to help get money to those that need it most.
“We have to move forwards, and unfortunately, time is running out,” Gaspar warned as time passed without a solidified reopening plan. Thankfully, her work with local leaders allowed San Diego to achieve an accelerated reopening that will allow our economy to recover and return us to our lives—safely.