Written by Michael Palomba
Unemployment in the United States has hit a staggering 14.7 percent, the highest level since the Great Depression. In San Diego, the numbers are even worse, approaching 25 percent. Meanwhile, many states and localities still have their economies shut down, only contributing to this financial disaster.
Last week, San Diego City Councilmember Scott Sherman issued a statement in coordination with regional mayors and local business leaders urging the county government to allow more businesses to open.
“San Diego residents have done their part to flatten the curve and ensure that hospitals are not overwhelmed. Our region has followed every order and request asked by government and health officials to protect fellow San Diegans,” the statement reads. “Through this action came much sacrifice. Today, thousands of San Diegans have found themselves without jobs or their pay severely cut. Some economists suggest that the unemployment rate could be over 20 percent. With this comes increased cases of depression and mental illness. It is time to responsibly reopen San Diego’s economy.”
These local leaders also stress that we need more control at the local level and less of a one-size fits all approach crafted by Governor Gavin Newsom.
“I appreciate the strong efforts of the Governor to flatten the curve of this dangerous virus,” said El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells. “But now is the time to give local governments more control to safely open up our economy.”
Last Friday, the governor accounted that the state was moving into phase two of the reopening plan, allowing for more businesses to begin opening. This update prompted the following inclusion in the released statement:
“Additionally, the Governor’s orders allow individual counties throughout the state to move more quickly through stage two if the county creates and submits a readiness plan. Today, Councilmember Scott Sherman, El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells, San Marcos Mayor Rebecca Jones, Phil Pace, founder of Phil’s BBQ, and East County Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Rick Wilson urged the County Government to begin the process immediately.”
Increased local control is something many elected officials in San Diego have been pushing for over the last month. City Councilmember Scott Sherman has been among the most adamant voices for this deference to local institutions.
“The individuals with the best knowledge of the situation on the ground are the elected officials who live in the same neighborhoods as those who are currently locked down. We need more local control,” Sherman explained.
The reality is that the safe reopening of our economy is of the upmost importance. With millions unemployed and more layoffs likely to come, the worst is not behind us yet. This isn’t about the stock market or political points, this is about helping the average American. Right now people are struggling, and what they want—and need—is to return to work.