What the County of San Diego COULD do...

Many people don’t really know what the County of San Diego does and how it is different from a city government like the City of San Diego. I wrote a previous post about what the County currently does. Read that here. But now let's talk about what the County could do and the leadership I intend to bring to our region.

The County can and should prioritize the early development, mental well-being and opportunity of every child in every neighborhood across the County. I lay our out our vision in StrongStarts4All, our plan to support every child from birth to adulthood. This could be accomplished by making high quality child care and pre-kindergarten more flexible and affordable for everyone – regardless of whether you are a teacher, a hotel worker, or a small business owner. The County could lead a joint effort of the regional business community, labor unions, and committed San Diegans to create a better safety net to help all families – from Bay Park to North Park to Azalea Park – and get their children ready to succeed.

The County has the power to dedicate staff, leadership, and financial resources to getting the more than 5,600 homeless people who sleep on the street into homes and access to treatment if needed. You can read our vision for greater County leadership in Hope4Homeless, an evidence-based, compassionate approach to tackling the crisis. In June, it decided to use a very small portion of its reserves to do exactly this - but our County could much more fully support a dramatic reduction in homelessness. I will push for strategic investment in this area.  Here's a great example of how Houston was able to see a major reduction in its residents living on the street.

The County could make the process easier and more certain to build homes – especially market rate entry level homes, apartments and other affordable homes – by eliminating barriers where communities have already described their preferences in detail through the General Plan process. We have a serious supply problem and must do better. I spent a career in land use and construction and will push for useful, practical changes. Our campaign has provided in-depth policy options based on my own experience as a construction and land use attorney and working with leaders who build and design homes, protect our environment, and focus on housing policy. You can read our Housing4All plan for greater details.

These are all examples of what our County could do by changing its priorities. The County's ability to support regional economic growth is a key for San Diego. In an era with massively shrinking financial support from the federal government and even budget limitations at the state level, our ability to responsibly and effectively increase support and economic opportunities here at home is critical. This is the type of leadership I will bring to our region.

Omar Passons