The County of San Diego has a Live Well framework that it employs to guide an approach to improving the quality of life of San Diego residents. There is a great deal of information about the framework on the County’s site here, but this post is specifically about the proposed Live Well center location in Southeastern San Diego, the process for moving forward, and the elements that will need meaningful attention and community participation to ensure local voices are heard and embraced in the leadership and development of the region’s future.This post is not about what the Live Well framework is or what it can mean for improving quality of life if implemented completely. However, it would be irresponsible not to provide a reader with some basic information. The clip below is a short video explaining the Live Well vision.
A few critical issues
Although the County of San Diego has pledged to do what it can to make the arrival of a new Live Well center in Southeastern San Diego at Market and Euclid an asset to the community and to bring many critical family-supportive services, there are reasons to be vigilant about what that means. Here are a few critical issues that, if elected, I will be extremely attentive to with regard to this center:
- Economic. Our Opportunity4All economic inclusion plan calls for greater investment in areas that have been intentionally disinvested, the area around this Live Well center has been impacted. As a result, the County should be looking to the community for multi-year contracts for the various current and future needs in this facility. Our campaign has also called for entrepreneurship training and information to be made available at the Live Well center so that everyone has access to growth within our own communities.
- Transparency. It is not possible to build trust without transparency. If this is a permissible use for the location, it is important that the County do a better job not merely of communicating its plans to the community but in shaping those plans with the community. Town hall style meetings are not as helpful as actual sessions and interactions that incorporate direct community feedback. True transparency is about more than access to information, it is about sharing in the process.
- Accountability. Whether we are talking about long-term contracts or ensuring the services that are offered reach all nearby residents, maintaining a high level of accountability is critical. That means ensuring the community has access to proof about the County’s follow through with any promises, that the County has an open-door policy for ongoing engagement, and that it is open to modifying operations when or if those operations are not working as intended.
For those interested in the evolution of the project, it is important that we be honest about the role of a candidate versus the role of the current elected officials. As a candidate for the Board of Supervisors, I think it is not responsible to suggest that I can do anything other than raise issues at this point. Much of the work related to the Live Well center will be done by current staff and Board leadership. It is critical to stay plugged in to that staff and to hold them accountable for communication, transparency, and ensuring community benefits, before, during and after construction and completion of the project.
I look forward to fighting to ensure every voice in our community is heard and respected and would be grateful to engage every member of our region about this important process.