District three residents quiz new mayor on local issues
Hutton Marshall | Uptown News
On Tuesday, April 22, Mayor Kevin Faulconer arrived at The LGBT Center in Hillcrest, his chosen site for the District Three installment of his “Meet the Mayor” series held in each of the nine San Diego council districts.
There, alongside Council President and District Three Representative Todd Gloria, Faulconer opened the event with an update of projects and issues he’s addressed since being sworn in two months prior. Following his introduction, which focused largely on his recently proposed budget, as well as infrastructure spending and the San Diego Police Department, he opened the floor up to a lengthy Q&A session with Uptown residents. Many individuals in the audience got the opportunity to directly ask the City’s chief executive multiple questions.
Questions addressed to Faulconer during the approximately 40-minute Q&A session ranged from racial profiling by police officers to supporting the homeless population to policing the homeless more strictly in Hillcrest.
Hillcrest Town Council President Luke Terpstra asked Faulconer about City oversight of the SANDAG bike corridor plan, which has been criticized for its potential impact on parking spaces, especially along University Avenue in Hillcrest.
Faulconer responded that he and Gloria would ensure the final plan is a “good fit for the community,” but did not speak about specific aspects of the project. A Faulconer spokesperson has previously stated that there will be a formal review process of the SANDAG corridor once SANDAG completes the planning phase, although according to a SANDAG planner for the project, significantly rerouting the bike corridor away from University Avenue is “unrealistic” at the current stage in the planning process.
Another resident asked Faulconer about his opposition to the Barrio Logan community plan, and whether or not Faulconer respects the community plan process, given that he supported efforts by those outside the community to rescind the plan.
Faulconer answered that while he respects the right of communities to tailor their community plans — which dictate growth, development and broad land-use issues — to their individual interests, he said ensuring that the plans work for the city as whole is important to consider.
Faulconer allowed several residents to ask follow-ups to their initial questions, and no arguments or outcries were heard during the course of the event. However, the event was silently picketed by Canvass for a Cause, a local LGBT-rights nonprofit, because of three issues they felt Faulconer was not supportive of: workers’ rights to organize, homeless funding and the rights of “queer and trans people of color.”
Visit sandiego.gov/mayor for news and information on Mayor Kevin Faulconer.