Our infrastructure is aging and, in many cases, developing into unsafe and unlivable conditions that are unacceptable for residents. The Fiscal Year 2020 Budget includes a record investment in our Capital Improvements Program – increasing it to $710.4 million.
Creating an inclusive, successful environment for working families at the City of San Diego is an attainable goal if we invest in supporting and improving access to child care systems. At the urging of Councilmember Ward, for the first time in 15 years, the Fiscal Year 2020 budget includes $118,000 for a dedicated Childcare Coordinator position focused on increasing the accessibility of Child Care facilities and services for City employees and the City of San Diego.
POLICE RECRUITMENT HOUSING PILOT PROGRAM
High housing costs and an overwhelming lack of the attainable, affordable housing that San Diegans need have made it difficult for the City of San Diego to retain a qualified, dedicated workforce - including members of the San Diego Police Department. To provide an additional incentive for police officers to join the Department and assist in the recruitment and retention of SDPD officers, Councilmember Ward supported an additional $250,000 in one-time funding for a Police Officer Homebuyer Down Payment Assistance Program pilot program in the Fiscal Year 2020 budget.
FIREFIGHTER WELLNESS PROGRAM
San Diego counts on our firefighters to face danger to keep our communities safe. The City of San Diego has a moral and legal duty to ensure all first responders are kept safe, well-resourced, and most importantly, have access to preventive care to keep them healthy. With Councilmember Ward’s support, the Fiscal Year 2020 budget secures $300,000 to provide firefighters with a comprehensive annual physical exam to monitor their ongoing health – known as the Firefighter Wellness Program.
Millions of people flock to San Diego every year to enjoy our food, our culture, and our world-class coastline. To keep pace with the ever-growing number of visitors to San Diego beaches, Councilmember Ward supported the allocation of $533,000 to hire four additional Lifeguard Positions in the Fiscal Year 2020 Budget.
BALBOA PARK IMPROVEMENTS
Balboa Park has played an integral role in the story of San Diego for the last 150 years, and today it continues its legacy as a cultural hub of creativity and history educating thousands of visitors every day. This cultural jewel deserves the resources it needs to remain a cultural and economic driver for our region. Councilmember Ward has long been outspoken on the need to increase funding for the park, and the Fiscal Year 2020 budget includes $3,500,000 for facility maintenance needs, $4,300,000 for restroom improvements across the park, $1,200.000 for the Palisades Project, and $300,000 for a Balboa Park Project Implementation Plan in order to prioritize park improvements.
CLIMATE RESILIENCY STUDY
From the rising sea-level and coastal erosion to year-round wildfires, San Diego is already experiencing the impacts of climate change. To manage our exposure to a dramatically changing climate, protect our quality of life, and ensure we remain a thriving, vibrant city, the City of San Diego is developing a Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Plan. Councilmember Ward supported including $300,000 to support these efforts in the Fiscal Year 2020 Budget.
Investing in green infrastructure is a key component of our climate action goals. With Councilmember Ward’s support, the Fiscal Year 2020 budget allocates $100,000 for a City Arborist focused on increasing and maintaining our urban tree canopy in San Diego and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The continued growth and maintenance of San Diego’s urban tree canopy supports the implementation of our Five-Year Urban Forest Management Plan, helps reach our climate goals and improves the overall quality of our neighborhoods. To support these efforts, Councilmember Ward supported an additional $77,800 for tree trimming in the Fiscal Year 2020 Budget.
With so many homes close to the dense vegetation of canyons, it is critical that brush management activity is done efficiently to reduce the risk of fire and damage to the surrounding community. Councilmember Ward and his colleagues heard community efforts to better address need and secured $1.8 million for citywide brush abatement in the Fiscal Year 2020 budget.
GET IT DONE SUPPORT
Get It Done San Diego is the official app for reporting non-emergency problems to the City of San Diego. Additional new positions will be funded in the Fiscal Year 2020 budget to assist and support staff in addressing the Get It Done requests received by the City of San Diego.
LIBRARY TECHNOLOGY UPDATES
Opportunities and success often start in our local neighborhood libraries. Councilmember Ward fought to secure $200,000 for technology updates in the Fiscal Year 2020 budget to improve critical community library services across the City of San Diego.
With the 2015 adoption of San Diego’s Climate Action Plan, the city committed to reducing transportation-related Green House Gas emissions. Councilmember Ward is an outspoken supporter of the Plan, and the Fiscal Year 2020 budget allocates $225,000 to create a new monitoring program that will measure bicycling, walking, and transit use to track progress on the City’s goals for Green House Gas emission reductions.
Climate Action Goals:
Transportation is the largest single generator of Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHGs) in San Diego. Tackling climate change from the street up is an effective strategy that should be our model throughout the city, project by project, and mile by mile, in every community. In a memo to Mayor Faulconer, Councilmember Ward asked upcoming road repaving projects be seen as an opportunity to deliver infrastructure improvements that enable safe access for all residents through Complete Streets, including pedestrians, cyclists, motorists and transit riders. This approach can streamline much-needed neighborhood infrastructure improvements, reduce community disruption and maximize the benefits of our investments up-front. Initial feedback from the Mayor’s office has been positive, and Councilmember Ward looks forward to seeing Complete Streets in action throughout San Diego.
Councilmember Ward has led the city discussion around cool pavement: a technology that can reduce urban temperatures, assist our city with adapting to climate change, and relieve heat stress on vulnerable populations. Cool pavement is a tool to mitigate the impacts of climate change and rising temperatures.
Councilmember Ward recently proposed a consolidated Mobility Board to be representative, thoughtful and mindful of the ever-changing transportation landscape, and advise city officials of how to use our rights-of-way holistically to balance infrastructure for all modes of transportation. In 2019, the San Diego City Council approved the Mobility Board and its first members.
Since their arrival in San Diego, Councilmember Ward has fought for an environment that permits responsible scooter use, while maintaining safe sidewalks for pedestrians. With the passage of initial scooter regulations in May 2019, Councilmember Ward added in a provision to require companies to only stage the devices in the on-street parking locations throughout Downtown. This will help promote ridership in the street and keep the devices off our sidewalks. As a member of the Active Transportation Committee, Councilmember Ward will continue to review scooter regulations and data to continue making scooters safer for users and those around them.
CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS
With Councilmember Ward’s support, the Fiscal Year 2020 budget delivers $148,000 to hire two additional Code Enforcement Officers to protect the public from a variety of health and safety violations.
Councilmember Ward is developing a package of tenant protections and adjustments to our City’s Just Cause Eviction Ordinance to help protect renters and to ensure that landlords do not engage in unethical property management practices. After meeting with a number of stakeholders, he is currently in the process of developing a comprehensive tenant protections policy to bring to the City Council for consideration, gathering community input in the process.
CIVIC SAN DIEGO
Since 2012, Civic San Diego has overseen development in downtown and several other San Diego communities on behalf of the city. As needs have shifted and operations of the organization faced legal challenge, Councilmember Ward supported the transfer of these development responsibilities back to the city where there will be more direct public oversight of future development.
INCLUSIONARY HOUSING POLICY
San Diegans are struggling under the weight of this housing crisis. The longer we wait to address this crisis, the more time the ripple effects spread throughout our economy and hurt the thousands of working families struggling to make ends meet. The San Diego City Council recently took a substantial step in the right direction, updating a 16-year-old inclusionary policy will help produce affordable housing for our communities.
State & Federal Legislation:
Fostering a trusting relationship between law enforcement and community members is a critical component of keeping everyone safe. Councilmember Ward voted in favor of the City's support for AB 392, which updates use of force standards for law enforcement and improves public safety.
Banking in the United States is largely controlled by large, for-profit entities, which may limit the range of banking opportunities available to San Diegans. Councilmember Ward helped secure official City support for AB 857, state legislation which would allow cities the option to establish a public bank that would protect taxpayer dollars and expand banking access and opportunities for residents.
TRANSGENDER MILITARY BAN
Banning transgender service members from serving openly deprives us of those willing to defend our country. This undermines our military and our nation. Councilmember Ward has called upon the community to stand with and fight for our trans and non-binary community, the same way they fought for us during the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell days. Councilmember Ward authored a resolution in opposition to the Trans Military Ban, which was [unanimously] adopted by the San Diego City Council in July.
General Policy Highlights:
GUARANTEED EQUAL PAY FOR CITY CONTRACTORS
Authored San Diego’s Equal Pay Ordinance, now ensuring those doing business with the City adhere to pay equity standards regardless of gender or race. Read the full ordinance here.
ELIMINATED STYROFOAM AND SINGLE-USE PLASTICS
On January 8, 2019 the San Diego City Council approved Councilmember Ward’s ordinance to Ban Polystyrene Foam and Restrictions on Single-Use Plastics to make San Diego the largest city in California working to protect marine ecosystems from this source of trash and contribute to our Zero Waste Goals. Find the ordinance here.
TRANSFORMED THE CITY’S RESPONSE TO HOMELESSNESS
Reformed and enhanced City approaches to homelessness; fought for a wide range of new support systems and investments that will reduce homelessness and mitigate neighborhood impacts throughout our City. Review additional information on Councilmember Ward's efforts to address this crisis here.
PRIORITIZED INCLUSIVE ECONOMIC GROWTH AND INVESTMENT IN UNDERSERVED COMMUNITIES
Enhanced the council’s focus on small business support, inclusive economic development approaches, and stronger relationships with other governmental agencies to benefit our city. Learn more about Councilmember War's efforts as chair of the Economic Development and Intergovernmental Relations committee here.
ENSURED SAFE ACCESS TO CANNABIS FOR ALL SAN DIEGANS
Led opposition to City’s proposed two-year moratorium on licensed marijuana retail operations and instead supported framework to permit citywide opportunity for access and production.
SPEARHEADED BALLOT MEASURES TO STRENGTHEN TERM LIMITS AND ETHICS RULES
Measures K & L were each overwhelmingly approved by more than three-quarters of San Diego voters in 2018.
UNIFIED TRANSPORTATION PLANNING TO SUPPORT CLIMATE ACTION GOALS
Created the City Mobility Board to provide citizen input and advocacy for comprehensive planning and active transportation networks and align right-of-way planning.
FUNDED LANDMARK PURE WATERPROGRAM
Led successful Council efforts to approve more than $1 billion in construction contracts for the City’s landmark Pure Water program, providing a local, clean, renewable water supply with landmark job quality standards to ensure the benefits of project construction stay in San Diego. Find additional information on the Pure Water project and its status here.