Faulconer touched on some of the city’s major accomplishments in 2015. The city’s successes include the City Council’s unanimous passage of his Climate Action Plan, the opening of a new city fire station for the first time in several years, improving response times of its emergency services, extending library and park hours, building new parks, and passing a salary-benefits package to attract and retain its police officers. He reiterated his commitment to repair a thousand miles of city streets, legally defend the city’s voter-approved pension benefit plan, expansion to the San Diego Convention Center, and keep the Chargers NFL Football Team in San Diego. He also endorsed an infrastructure funding measure proposed by Council Member Mark Kersey, mentioned that the city’s website will be modernized, and that the city will adopt a new Master Parks Plan.
While Mayor Faulconer focused on San Diego’s achievements, he believed the city could do much more to provide opportunities to San Diegans who continue to struggle financially. The mayor announced a program to expand online high school classes for adults who want their high school diploma, labs to expose grade school students to high-tech careers, and a new initiative to house homeless veterans.
“Housing our Heroes” is a new initiative to find apartments for 1,000 homeless veterans this year - there are approximately 1,700 homeless veterans in San Diego County. The San Diego County Apartment Association, San Diego Housing Commission, San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, and other organizations will help the Mayor identify available apartments. The initiative will cost $12 million, but Faulconer will ask the City Council to contribute $4 million to start the program; the rest of the money will come federal and state subsidies and other sources.
2016 SDCAA President Jeff Hickox announced a similar initiative to find housing for 200 homeless veterans at the Mark of Excellence Awards Dinner last November, and urged all member property managers and owners to participate. See the article on page XX for more information.