Written by Justin Culetu
Mayor Todd Gloria signed his first executive order which will recruit police officers to enforce COVID-19 restrictions on hardworking San Diego business owners, whom he calls “public nuisances.” Mayor Gloria directed the San Diego Police Department to give out fines and shut down any ‘non-essential’ business, who’s owners are just trying to make a living. The executive order went into effect on December 30th.
In his press briefing, Gloria touted his commands to the City Attorney, asking them to “pursue fines and potentially other enforcement actions against public nuisances who choose to endanger the lives of others, and blatantly and egregiously defy the provisions of state and county public health orders.” Unfortunately, Gloria failed to make his enforcement strategies and plans transparent during his briefing, but went on to criminalize and shame anyone who doesn’t obey the public health orders, calling them “selfish”.
The people of San Diego who have been affected by these measures expressed their frustrations and have continued to do so the past couple of months. If these measures were scientifically accurate and proven, this executive order would make some sense. However, data from multiple states, including California, shows that restaurants, gyms, and other small businesses account for a small portion of cases. Clearly Mayor Gloria is not putting the people’s best interests first, nor is he basing his decisions on science.
While increasing enforcement measures on struggling business owners, Gloria did not hesitate to accept a mayoral salary increase of $206,000, which more than doubles the $101,000 per year salary of former Mayor Kevin Faulconer.
With California implementing some of the most restrictive lockdown policies in the country, yet continuing to see a rise in cases and low ICU capacity, it remains a mystery as to why state officials continue to advocate for stay at home orders instead of devising an alternate solution that does not negatively impact struggling business owners and employees. Restaurants and small businesses have gone above and beyond in terms of providing a safe environment for their customers by implementing outdoor dining, practicing social distancing, carrying out more frequent sanitization policies, and more. In fact, these businesses have done more than California government officials have in terms of letting people enjoy themselves while still keeping them safe. Yet these same businesses are being targeted by bureaucrats like Mayor Goria, Gavin Newsom, and Nancy Pelosi, who have not lost a dime of their salaries since the start of the pandemic.
Photo by Rich Pedroncelli/AP