By Benny Cartwright
There’s a lot going on these days so our Hillcrest Town Council meetings continue to have lots of lively discussion on all sorts of topics. At our Nov. 10 meeting, there was much discussion about two of Hillcrest’s hottest topics: homelessness and parking. Along with that, we also had a visit by state Sen. Marty Block.
Representatives from the San Diego Police Department, Councilmember Todd Gloria’s office and the Alpha Project spoke to attendees about homelessness issues in the neighborhood. While many Hillcrest residents and business owners agree that the area has a big homeless problem, it is also a citywide issue that leaders at all levels are working to address.
It estimated that there more than 8,000 homeless individuals living in San Diego. Residents who wish to report activity (such as public defecation/urination; taking materials from private recycling bins; sleeping on sidewalks, etc.) are encouraged to call the Police Department’s non-emergency number at 619-531-2000. It’s very important that incidents are reported so police have a better grasp on what is going on. Business owners are encouraged to reach out to the Alpha Project to report activity at 619-542-1877.
The city of San Diego also has a webpage with tips for dealing with homeless people at bit.ly/1DrM9os.
As for parking, HTC members voted to support of additional angled parking spots on residential streets in the neighborhood. The motion passed and will be forwarded to groups such as the Uptown Parking District that work to find solutions to the parking problem in the neighborhood.
Block spoke about various things his office is working on, including legislation related to sex trafficking. He shared about the boundary lines of the district he represents, noting that Hillcrest is the central heart of it.
Services that Block’s office provides to constituents include acting as a concierge between state agencies and citizens (visit martyblock.com for additional information); providing education and information through community workshops; working on the state budget; and creating legislation.
Block’s history includes much work in higher education, which he continues to be passionate about. He spoke much about Senate Bill 850 that allows some community colleges to offer select four-year degree programs. Community members asked Block a number of questions about various issues that concerned them.
Also, HTC will be co-sponsoring (with the San Diego Police Officers Association) a City Council District 3 Candidate Forum on Monday, Dec. 7 from 6:30 — 8 p.m. at The Old Globe in Balboa Park. Candidates Chris Ward and Anthony Bernal are scheduled to attend.
With the holiday season approaching, the HTC will not meet again this year. All community members are reminded that Tuesday, Dec. 8 at 6:30 p.m. is the annual Holiday Potluck held in conjunction with the Hillcrest History Guild and Bankers Hill Community Group. More information is at hillcresttowncouncil.com.
Our next meeting will be on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016 at 6:30 p.m., and as always, we hope to see lots of Hillcrest residents — renters and owners — there to speak up about issues of importance to them. Additional information is found at hillcresttowncouncil.com.
—Benny Cartwright is secretary of the Hillcrest Town Council.