No Longer America’s Finest City?

| August 8, 2022 | 0 Comments

 It saddens me when I am reminded of the time and resources spent developing a campaign message for San Diego’s guests and residents. It’s obvious to me and others that we’re no longer able to use this statement: San Diego – America’s Finest City!

That’s because we now have lots of negative points that are becoming prominent among guests and residents.  I hear it on a regular basis from visitors and from people who live in the city of San Diego. 

The homeless situation is out of control. Downtown looks like a homeless campground, not a world class city.  Our parks throughout the city are deluged with homeless encampments and there seems to be no effective program to turn this around. And it really doesn’t seem to be an urgent issue with our elected officials who seem more interested in spending tax dollars on wasteful projects, including 101 Ash Street.  (I will defer to an article by Paul Krueger on page 4 that further explains this topic.)

Though we are constantly being told via various governmental sources that there is a HUGE surplus of money that the state is managing, there is still a serious issue with streets and sidewalks in disrepair. 

On that topic, a resident in District 2 recently informed me that she has reached out to Councilperson Jen Campbell’s office about a very dangerously damaged sidewalk in front of her house.  She has used “Get it Done” several times with no success.  And when she called Campbell’s office their response was, “We need a grant to complete sidewalk repairs.”  What is this about?

After hearing from numerous angry residents about the bike lanes, round abouts and street modifications on Fifth Avenue in Hillcrest, it appears that our government doesn’t feel it needs to reach out to the community first to discuss changes.  And, even if you do your part to weigh in on what the community wants, our government officials won’t listen.

This I heard directly from Carmen Cooley-Graham, museum curator/executive director of the JA Cooley Museum, located at 4233 Park Boulevard. 

She shared with me that she sent more than 25 emails to Mayor Todd Gloria; 22 to the city attorney; eight to John Kirk, a SANDAG attorney; and countless others; including Jay Goldstone. She only received two emails in reply in early May.  Both were standard responses. 

Cooley-Graham communicated that she has gathered 1,700 petition signatures (in person and online at SaveParkBlvd.Org) all requesting that the city be more communicative and transparent.  

She asked the question, “Isn’t the City required to acknowledge and respond to concerned citizens?” 

Then she invited me to investigate “why Mayor Gloria and elected officials, paid by taxpayers, won’t respond to citizen’s concerns and refuses to attend in person any public meetings.”

I had to agree that this is unacceptable.  Yet it’s becoming the norm, not the exception.

It’s very unfortunate and telling when visitors to San Diego complain about the homeless, increased traffic issues, bad streets, and safety concerns.  These concerns aren’t just directed to downtown, they include our parks and beaches, our major attractions.

Thankfully, thousands of San Diegans are starting to speak up and asking that their voices be heard.  Even those who share their concerns on are making it obvious that the issues I presented are not being properly handled.

As I remind those who complain yet don’t act, you can’t expect changes if you aren’t willing to do your part.  Get involved and help those who are doing more than their share to change the course, including SaveParkBlvd.Org,,,

Together we can make a difference.

Park Boulevard business owners and surrounding residents speak to the media about their concerns on street modifications without community input.

Tags: , , , , ,

Category: Business, feature, Government, Local News

About the Author ()