Missiongathering Church sues the city
More than two months after the city of San Diego ordered that Missiongathering Christian Church in North Park cease operations of its weekly homeless youth shelter and cancel rentals of its sanctuary for music events, Missiongathering officially filed a lawsuit against the city of San Diego on Oct. 11.
“Our church has continually reached out to the city for over two months, urging them to come to the table and negotiate with us to restore our homeless ministry and music outreach,” said Lead Pastor Brandan Robertson. “After hearing not a single official response from the city, we have decided at the direction of our legal counsel to file a lawsuit against the city for violating our first-amendment right to the free exercise of our faith on our property.”
The lawsuit cites several violations by the city, including violations of the Federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act and the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. “We have avoided filing a lawsuit at all costs, but the city’s unresponsiveness has put our congregation in a dire position where our very survival is being threatened,” Pastor Robertson continued. Missiongathering is represented by Jennifer L. Bursch of Tyler and Bursch, LLP.
The church has launched a GoFundMe Page and is hosting a Community Oktoberfest Fundraiser on Oct. 27, from 3-8 p.m. to help raise funds for their legal fees and repairs of the campus.
Majority of Asm. Gonzalez’s bills signed by Newsom
As time ran out for Governor Gavin Newsom to sign bills that made it to his desk at the end of the legislative session, it was unclear which of Assembly member Lorena Gonzalez’s bills would get through. Although Newsom vetoed a few bills, including Gonzalez’s bill that would have given school employees paid maternity leave, he signed many the San Diego lawmaker’s major bills — handing her a series of legislative victories. The most significant among them is AB 218, which gives adults who were victims of childhood sexual abuse more time to file charges. While schools and other organizations that have been operating for decades worried that civil suits could cost them millions, the governor signed the bill, which aims to empower survivors. Newsom also signed bills ending forced arbitration and “no rehire” clauses, both of which have been controversial ways corporations tamped down on sexual harassment claims. Another bill aimed at preventing the sexual harassment of janitorial workers was signed into law.
“Janitorial workers are overwhelmingly immigrant women. They work alone and at night, leaving them particularly vulnerable to workplace sexual harassment and assault,” Gonzalez said in a statement. “It’s time that we empower these workers to directly take on this industry’s culture of fear through peer-to-peer training.”
Two bills aimed at protecting immigrant rights were also approved by the governor. AB 1747 prevents the misuse of law enforcement databases to target unauthorized immigrants who have been issued drivers licenses. In sum, it protects the data of Californians from immigration officials. AB 668 protects immigrants from civil arrests in courthouses.
Other San Diego lawmakers were signed by the governor, including Assembly member Shirley Weber’s bill providing housing and education assistance to people who were wrongly convicted, and Senate leader Toni Atkins’ bill to create a tax credit for the preservation and rehabilitation of historic buildings.
Nathan Fletcher is new MTS chair
Gonzalez’s husband Nathan Fletcher had his own win in San Diego, when he was voted as the new chair for the Metropolitan Transit System on Oct. 10. The County Supervisor is taking over for City Council President Georgette Gomez, who is pursuing a run for Congress. Fletcher’s election comes as the agency is pursuing a potential tax measure to boost transit service in 2020.
$15.1 million loan to build luxury condos in Bankers Hill
INI Greenfield, a development company based in San Diego, has obtained a $15.1 million loan arranged by JLL for the development of Palatine Bankers Hill, a five-story, 16-unit luxury condominium project at 2750 Fourth Ave. in Bankers Hill.
JLL worked on behalf of the developer to arrange the one-year, floating-rate construction loan through a New York City-based debt fund.
Palatine Bankers Hill is due for completion in early 2020. The property will consist of 16 for-sale residential units, 1,121 square feet of ground-level commercial space and 38 subterranean and grade-level parking spaces.
Residences will include a mix of two-, three- and four-bedroom layouts that will feature luxury finishes, including Turkish stone tile and hardwood flooring, quartzite countertops, sustainable wood cabinetry, Miele appliances, large private terraces, customizable closet systems, ThermoPad thermostats, automated Lutron lighting, keyless entry and electric car charging stations.
Homelessness plan unveiled
In efforts to improve San Diego’s system for helping individuals experiencing homelessness, a coalition of civic leaders, service providers and advocates announced the city’s Community Action Plan on Homelessness — a comprehensive, 10-year plan that builds on recent progress, lays out short-term achievable goals and will serve as a guide for long-term success.
The Community Action Plan, announced Oct. 11, is designed to be a living document to adapt as San Diego continues its efforts to reduce homelessness through programs and services, including expanding proven, successful programs and new initiatives.
Through extensive analysis, three short-term goals were developed to be achieved within the first three years: decrease San Diego’s unsheltered population by 50%, end veteran homelessness, and proactively prevent and end youth homelessness.
The framework set forth will help the city address the varying needs of individuals and families experiencing homelessness and meet critical benchmarks, including adding 5,416 permanent housing opportunities over the next 10 years for a total of $1.9 billion. Housing needs include: building more permanent supportive housing units, providing more rapid rehousing assistance, creating additional housing for San Diegans with low income, and helping those who are new to homelessness to find alternative housing outside of the shelter system.
The guiding principles of this plan include measured accountability to meet clearly defined goals, valuing the input of San Diegans with lived experience, and improving housing and service options through evidence-based models.
Scare away hunger with Meals on Wheels
October is Scare Away Hunger Month and Meals on Wheels San Diego County (MOWSDC) is asking for the public’s help so that no senior will go hungry. MOWSDC delivers more than 430,000 meals per year to nearly 3,200 homebound seniors, many of whom are not able to afford this valuable service. For the 49% who live alone, this is often the only outside interaction they will receive each day. People can help support a senior with lunch and dinner for only $7 per day or $217 for the month to truly “scare away hunger” this October.
For more information and to support the Scare Away Hunger campaign, please visit meals-on-wheels.org or call 619-278-4041.