Looking to the future

Posted: September 21st, 2018 | Columns, Featured, Hillcrest Town Council update, News | No Comments

By Mary McKenzie | HTC Update

Hillcrest Town Council (HTC) Chair Benny Cartwright opened this month’s meeting with a moment of silence recognizing the sacrifices of Sept. 11, 2001. The remainder of the meeting focused on “The Future of the Hillcrest Town Council,” and the topic fostered lively discussion and interesting ideas for the HTC.

Congresswoman Susan Davis’ community representative Zach Bunshaft reported Davis is a cosponsor of the DISCLOSE Act which would repeal Citizens United, the U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing corporations and other undisclosed interests to donate unlimited amounts to election campaigns. Additionally, Bunshaft reported that Davis will continue to fight against any weakening of the Endangered Species Act, a target of current Republican efforts.

Brittany Bailey McIntosh, council representative for Chris Ward’s District 3, first spoke to Ward’s dedicated efforts to reduce homelessness. McIntosh said the county has funds from property taxes, which are meant to help alleviate San Diego’s housing crisis, that are not being spent. She encouraged those present to contact our county supervisor about this crucial problem.

McIntosh also reported that Ward will host a homeless forum on Oct. 16, from 5:30–7 p.m. at the Joyce Beers Community Center. Additionally, Ward’s measure to ban the use of several types of Styrofoam will be debated by the council next month.

David Mier of University of California San Diego (UCSD) Medical Center addressed the long-range development of the Hillcrest campus to meet the requirements for earthquake safety. The next step is an Environmental Impact Report (EIP) which will be the subject of a public forum on Nov. 28 at 6:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist church in Hillcrest.

HTC Board member David Vance then led a discussion about the future of HTC with an eye toward serving more Hillcrest residents. Community members suggested that meetings around a theme are a bigger draw than meetings without one.

Occasionally changing the meeting location for a more casual, conversational feel was proposed, which might also increase the visibility of the HTC. John Hartley added that the HTC ought to continue to provide a forum for hot topics. Increasing outreach to local condominium residents was also recommended. Vance thanked everyone for their thoughts and noted HTC remains open to new ideas for the organization to be more inclusive.

Hartley announced that he is organizing a Clean Elections campaign to put a measure on the ballot in 2020. Miah Sperling, one of our two representatives to the Uptown Community Parking District, informed the group of a new daily shuttle service. Details can be found at

HTC’s holiday party is tentatively scheduled for Dec. 7; more details will be announced at the next meeting. Attendees were also reminded to support the AIDS Walk on September 29.

HTC meetings are held at 6:30 p.m. on the second Tuesday of every month at the Joyce Beers Community Center. Next month, the HTC is focusing on the November elections.

HTC always welcomes new volunteers. If you have any comments or questions, visit our Facebook page or contact Benny Cartwright at

—Mary M. McKenzie is the secretary of the Hillcrest Town Council.

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