A massive blue wave swept across San Diego in this year’s election, at last affording Democrats for the first time in a generation to command a 3-2 majority in the San Diego Board of Supervisors.
In District 3, Supervisor Kristin Gaspar, the Republican incumbent, has fallen behind Democrat Terra Lawson-Remer by a significant 16% margin, according to the latest count. In District 1, the contest between Democrats Nora Vargas and Ben Hueso has been in the favor of the former by 14%.
Democrats expect to make use of the county’s $2.4 billion reserves—built up by Republicans over the past three decades—to invest in the betterment of San Diego’s public and behavioral health, as well as alleviate the enormous homelessness issue. They argue that the government cannot sit idly by and make minimal use of its reserves and that instead, it exists to assist the people of San Diego who are in need of services.
“Historically the county has viewed its role as a bank or hedge fund, and they tout their success based on the size of their reserves and not the size of the positive impact on the community,” said Democrat Supervisor Nathan Fletcher.
As a consequence of the Black Lives Matter movement that affected cities across the nation, we can expect that the new San Diego Board of Supervisors will place more pressure on Sheriff Bill Gore. In particular, Democrats have set their attention on fighting back Gore’s proposition to outsource the county’s inmate health services.
Lawson-Remer has proposed that the Health and Human Services Agency be in charge of county jail’s mental health services. Additionally, she has expressed her desire to expand the role of San Diego’s social workers, who already respond to calls related to nonviolent behavioral incidents.
Ultimately, we will have to wait and see what a Democrat-run Board of Supervisors will mean for the county. Democrats will certainly focus on environmental justice by means of a new Climate Action Plan.
“Instead of planting three trees under an overpass, you pay into the bank and then we’ll have the resources to do the things that are much more hard-hitting and can scale,” said Lawson-Remer.
Finally, the coronavirus pandemic continues to be among the county’s top concerns. As countless remain without work or without a classroom, the people of San Diego will continue to demand the efficient reopening of schools and business. We’ll see if the new Board will listen and deliver.