San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria Turns His Back on Unhoused Residents with Vague Anti-Encampment Ordinance
Mayor Todd Gloria’s campaign promised to help solve the homelessness crisis in San Diego. However, his recent proposal to ban homeless encampments in public spaces shows a lack of understanding and empathy towards the unhoused. Gloria’s ordinance would make it illegal for homeless people to camp within two blocks of schools or shelters, at transit hubs, and other sensitive areas at all times. It would only allow encampments elsewhere on public property when there is shelter available.
While Gloria and Councilman Stephen Whitburn proposed an increase in safe spaces and shelters, their plan has yet to be implemented. There is still no ballot measure that will provide more shelter for homeless residents, and the promised petition by former Mayor Kevin Faulconer has yet to circulate. Gloria has not yet been clear about his intentions, but it appears that he is trying to communicate that unsheltered people are not welcome in San Diego.
At a hearing of the proposal, Councilman Kent Lee asked important questions that revealed the true intent of the ordinance. How will homeless people know where they can camp if it’s illegal to camp near schools or in sensitive areas? How will they be able to tell if there is shelter available? The response from the mayor’s director of policy was that the ordinance would provide clear rules and clarity on where people can and cannot be. They hope that through signage and education, there will be a deterrent in certain sensitive areas.
However, the city already has a law that prohibits encampments. The new ordinance does not create a new city law but is a message that holds no weight other than Gloria gearing up for a reelection bid. The “here” in that message is essentially the entire city of San Diego. Gloria’s proposal is a failure to address the homelessness crisis in San Diego. Instead of providing adequate shelter for the unhoused, he has made this whole situation more difficult for all involved.
Gloria’s lack of leadership is not only a moral failure but also a practical one. Homelessness in San Diego is a crisis that affects everyone. It creates public health hazards, increases crime rates, and damages the economy. Gloria must realize that homeless people are not a problem to be swept under the rug but individuals who need help. He must come up with a functioning plan to provide shelter for the unhoused and not just hide them from public spaces. Mayor Todd Gloria’s proposed ordinance is not a solution but a failure to address the homelessness crisis.
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