Mayor Todd Gloria's 2022 State of the City Address
SAN DIEGO MAYOR TODD GLORIA
Council President Elo-Rivera, Council President Pro Tem Montgomery-Steppe and the members of the City Council, City Attorney Elliott, Chief Operating Officer Goldstone, Acting Independent Budget Analyst Kawar, City Clerk Maland, and City Auditor Hanau.
I’d also like to welcome our state and regional elected officials; military leaders; local tribal leaders; international officials from Baja California, throughout Mexico, and around the world, and our outstanding City of San Diego employees.
My fellow San Diegans…
Last year, I spoke to you just one month into my service as your Mayor and acknowledged that the State of our City was “fragile.”
I did so amid rising COVID-19 cases, a housing and homelessness crisis, a budget emergency due to the pandemic, careless and possibly fraud-tainted real estate deals with no accountability, an uncertain economy and rock-bottom morale among our city workforce.
Of course, I wish this year I could deliver this address to you in-person with the news that most of our woes were behind us.
I am able to report that, yes, we’ve made a lot of progress on the issues I’ve just mentioned – as well as many more.
However, we still find ourselves in the midst of the pandemic. The difference this year is that we now have widely available vaccines that can spare us from the worst of the virus that's upended our lives, and I’m proud to say most San Diegans have chosen to get vaccinated, including 86% of our City workforce.
To all those who have gotten vaccinated – thank you. Thank you for doing your part to wake us up from this nightmare that has claimed 4,500 precious lives here in San Diego County.
Like the pandemic, none of the challenges that face our city have fast or easy fixes, and all of them are going to take a unified, concerted effort for us to truly solve.
Over the last year, we’ve seen that we have it in us to do just that. Let me explain.
I’m speaking to you tonight from the San Diego Convention Center.
Early in the pandemic, when thousands of homeless San Diegans needed refuge from COVID-19, it was here that we came together – City workers, County workers, social service and healthcare providers – to get folks off the street and keep them safe.
We served 5,000 people over that time as part of Operation Shelter to Home. In the end, more than 1,400 individuals and families were connected to permanent or long-term housing.
It was also here that our region came together to provide shelter to thousands of children who arrived at our border without their families, fleeing horrific violence in their home countries.
Together, we cared for more than 2,400 children until they could be reunited with family or sponsors in the United States.
Both of these operations had dozens of partner agencies and nonprofits that tapped San Diego’s talent, compassion and political will to get things done. And they reminded a pandemic-battered region that we can handle a crisis and solve big problems.
It’s this can-do attitude, spirit of collaboration, and focus on results that has guided my first year as mayor and our approach to tackling the challenges we face.
Now, a State of the City address is typically an opportunity to rattle off a list of accomplishments and give a sunny account of the year ahead. But these are not typical times.
I’d love to rehash the past year's many wins on climate, transportation, fiscal discipline and more -- and to celebrate the people and organizations who made them happen because I’m proud of them.
But the last two years have left all of us short on patience for happy talk.
I listen to San Diegans every day. I know they love our city like I do. But it’s also clear they’re impatient for solutions to the many longstanding problems we face.
And believe me, I am too. When I leave my home every morning, I see what you see:
I see cracked and buckling sidewalks outside my front door, and I ride over rutted and potholed streets on my way to work.
Like you, I see people camping on our sidewalks -- many who are obviously sick and cannot take care of themselves.
I see everything getting more expensive, from gas to groceries to rent.
I see our city falling short of what it could and should be. And like you, I refuse to accept that this is the best we can do.
So tonight is not the time for a typical speech because these are not typical times.
Instead, I’m going to focus this address on four of the most pressing problems facing our city. The issues that are front of mind for San Diegans right now. And I will tell you how we’re going to fix them.
Let’s start with the decades-long backlog of critical infrastructure repairs our City faces – and that I will not put off any longer.
By and large, these core systems are aging, outdated, often neglected, and in some cases in danger of failing.
In 2021, we budgeted nearly one billion dollars for critical infrastructure work. That’s four-and-a-half times the amount we put toward infrastructure a decade ago.
Last year, we broke ground on Pure Water San Diego, the largest infrastructure project in our city’s history, that puts us on the cutting edge of drinking-water technology.
Decades in the making, this project will supply nearly half of our city’s water by 2035 and reduce the amount of treated sewage we’re sending into the ocean by upwards of 50 percent.
Phase 1 of Pure Water includes 11 construction projects that provide more than 1,000 high-quality jobs – good union jobs – that pay competitive wages and support working families.
When Pure Water is complete, our city will be far less vulnerable to droughts, natural disasters and the impacts of climate change. It is an example of what we can do when diverse groups – environmentalists, labor and business – pull together to make big things happen.
This is the kind of all-hands-on-deck approach we need to repair our stormwater infrastructure. The fee we charge to maintain our pipes, culverts, drains and treatment facilities hasn’t been updated in almost 25 years, and as a result, we’ve fallen far behind on critically needed improvements to protect our beaches and waterways.
We added 40 positions to the City’s Stormwater Department to help us catch up, and we’ve made real progress on a funding strategy and a path forward.
Infrastructure investments ensure our city is safe and functioning, but they’re the kind of investment that traditionally gets neglected because it hasn’t been considered “sexy.”
For years, the response to our poor street conditions has been to slurry-seal as many miles as possible and call that road repair -- when actually, it’s just maintenance.
Our road network needs more intensive and costly repairs – I’m talking about repaving and reconstruction. In communities like Mira Mesa and Midway, we’re now making the investments and doing the real work that needs to be done.
Rather than chalking up miles of easy fixes in cul de sacs, we’ll be diligently restoring segments of the roads most traveled, like Euclid Avenue, Skyline Drive, Orange Avenue, Balboa Avenue and Clairemont Mesa Boulevard.
And for the first time ever, the City is using equity as a key factor in where we allocate our road-repair funding – ensuring that historically underserved neighborhoods get the investments they need.
My Sexy Streets initiative prioritizes these neighborhoods and will result in 54 additional miles of quality road repairs across the city, from San Ysidro Boulevard in the south to Highland Valley Road in the north. You’ll see my administration is focused on making sure our investments reach all communities.
We will also update our Street Preservation Ordinance to ensure that when anyone digs into our roads to do underground work, they repair their excavation and reimburse the City for its costs.
For years, the City hasn’t recouped the full cost of these repairs, and taxpayers have had to pay the bill. This changes now.
Updating our Street Preservation Ordinance will reverse the slow degradation of our streets, minimize long-term damage, and make sure everyone pays their fair share.
And because we can’t fix the damn roads fast enough, this spring, we will present to the City Council a new initiative aimed at delivering infrastructure improvements faster and more equitably across our city.
Similar to my "Parks For All of Us" master plan that was adopted by the City Council this past year, we'll create a citywide infrastructure funding program rather than the old, siloed system that has left some communities behind and millions of dollars unspent.
This will streamline funding availability and project prioritization citywide, which in turn allows for faster improvements for all our communities.
And we know help from the federal government is on the way.
I want to thank President Biden and our congressional delegation for passing a once-in-a-generation Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill.
Because infrastructure is a regional issue as much as a local issue, and to ensure success, we can’t go it alone.
That’s why I have launched a collaborative, regional working group with our transit agencies, the Port, the County and the Airport, to advocate as a region and ensure San Diego gets our fair share of these new federal dollars.
Working together as a region will help us fund major projects like the transportation improvements that accompany the Terminal 1 replacement at the Airport, an integrated electric vehicle-charging network, and enhancements to our trolley system.
It will help us compete for funding to address our aging water and stormwater systems, expand our City’s bike networks and make our streets safer and more accessible for cyclists and pedestrians of all ages and abilities.
Further, our infrastructure projects are being planned and executed in alignment with our updated Climate Action Plan and our Climate Resilient SD plan, to ensure that we’re moving forward sustainably and with the climate crisis in mind.
I’ll be honest with you: These improvements are costly, and they take time. But we are doing everything we can to streamline these projects to get them done as quickly as possible.
Our public infrastructure is the foundation for a high quality of life -- and improving our core systems is a top priority of mine.
Equally foundational to our quality of life is living up to our obligation to keep San Diegans safe.
Of course, COVID-19 has added a profound burden on that front as well, and we’re so grateful to all public safety personnel who -- at even greater risk to their own lives than usual -- never faltered in their commitment to our residents.
Our police officers, firefighters, lifeguards and paramedics have been handling an incredible surge in emergency calls over the past two years – and they have made us proud.
The past several years have also seen rising crime in cities across the nation, and that includes San Diego.
Crime rose here by 13 percent last year, with violent crime up nearly 11 percent. Shootings, assaults, homicides, domestic and gang violence – are all up. Disturbingly, hate crimes have also increased by 65 percent.
None of this is acceptable.
Lawlessness will not rule the day in our city.
We must get illegal guns off the street. We must disrupt the gang violence taking innocent lives. And those who commit crimes against the people of this city must be held accountable.
So, hear me clearly: We will continue to provide our police department and City Attorney the resources they need to keep you and your family safe, and respond to crime, and hold criminals accountable.
We'll pay them competitive wages, ensure they can retire with dignity – and most of all – we’ll make sure they protect every San Diegan.
You should be able to dial 911 and have an officer show up quickly to give you the help you called for.
And, this help should come without excessive use of force, racial profiling, or any abuse by the men and women who are sworn to protect and serve.
A great city can fully fund and support its law enforcement officers while also ensuring they honor their oath.
This is why I look forward to the City Council’s adoption of an ordinance that implements the voter-approved Independent Commission on Police Practices, which I’ve fully funded in the budget.
I will also be forwarding to the City Council a Privacy Ordinance that will allow us to deploy technology to keep communities safe without infringing on their privacy rights.
We can and will strike the balance between protecting our residents and respecting their civil rights and civil liberties.
San Diego has long been one of the safest big cities in America. As your Mayor, I’m determined to keep it so.
No one will be surprised that what’s highest on San Diegans list of worries is our homelessness crisis. It’s what residents across our city talk to me about more than any other issue – by far – and it remains my highest priority.
During my first year in office, I have deployed a more compassionate, person-centered approach to our homeless residents – offering them shelter and services while also carrying out our responsibility to enforce our City laws.
But folks, here is where I want to level with you: While the complaints about homelessness are common, the proposed solutions for it are wildly divergent and frequently contradictory.
At one end of the spectrum are residents demanding we criminalize homelessness.
On the other are those decrying any enforcement of our laws against setting up camp on the sidewalk.
It’s this kind of conflict that has historically paralyzed leaders on this crisis.
To get past the paralysis, we must first acknowledge that our unsheltered population is as diverse as the general population. They’re people -- people who come from a vast array of circumstances, with different backgrounds, upbringings, and traumas.
Some are merely down on their luck and landed on the street because of a financially crippling medical bill or job loss that led to eviction. All they need is a job and minimal case management, and they're on their way.
Many others are deeply distrustful and traumatized, or perhaps they struggle with substance abuse or mental illness and refuse offers of help.
But let’s be clear: Under no circumstance is it compassionate to let a person live on the street.
No one wants that. You don’t want that. I don’t want that.
So, this is what we are going to do. First, we will continue to aggressively increase the amount of permanent supportive housing in our city.
Housing with services ends homelessness.
In 2021, we created 132 units of permanent supportive housing, and we have nearly 1,000 more in the pipeline.
Last year, San Diego partnered with other big California cities to push for a massive state investment in homelessness response. Governor Newsom and our state delegation came through with a 14-billion-dollar package.
From that, San Diego will receive nearly 55 million dollars, as well as a portion of 3 billion dollars from Project Homekey, which will enable us to purchase hotels and other facilities to bring on an additional 300 units of permanent supportive housing.
In addition, through the American Rescue Plan, the City has received 21 million dollars in federal funding to create new homes for low-income residents, as well as 480 new housing vouchers.
Now, as much as permanent supportive housing is the solution to end homelessness, we have to be realistic: This housing won’t be built overnight.
That’s why, as we work to create more housing, we are expanding shelter bed capacity to get folks off the street now.
After we closed Operation Shelter to Home, we had approximately 1,100 shelter beds across our system. Today, we’ve increased our shelter beds to over 1,300 – a 21 percent increase in capacity.
In addition, thanks to an unprecedented level of collaboration with the County of San Diego and Chair Nathan Fletcher, we opened our first Community Harm Reduction Shelter specifically for people who struggle with addiction and co-occurring mental illness.
This year, we remain focused on exploring every feasible option to expand our shelter inventory. This includes city-owned sites like the Old Central Library in Downtown.
We’re working to add Safe Haven centers in collaboration with the County to provide longer-term care for our unsheltered population with the most acute behavioral health and substance abuse needs.
The bottom line is: The street is not a home – and we will not be a city that's content with allowing people to sleep on the sidewalk, or in a riverbed, or along a freeway.
Our objective will be to make sure there is a safe, supportive place for people experiencing homelessness to go.
It’s also important to note that our shelter system relies on effective outreach to fill those beds. Last March, we launched our Coordinated Street Outreach Program, and then nearly doubled the program in the budget that took effect in July.
These outreach workers are the folks who do the painstaking work of getting an often-reluctant population to accept shelter and get on a path to end their homelessness for good.
We’ve already seen the results of this outreach surge in the increasing occupancy of our shelters which now are regularly 90% full.
It’s encouraging that more and more people are accepting offers of assistance and shelter. It’s not a given that everyone will take steps to improve their situation, but the progress is a hopeful sign.
We’ve working with our homeless service providers like the Housing Commission, Alpha Project, PATH, City Net, the Regional Task Force and Father Joe’s Villages – as well as our local community colleges – to expand outreach in order to reach more people experiencing homelessness.
It saddens me to say that there are people our teams will never be able to reach, and we need to be honest about that.
The truth is there are people on our streets who are not capable of taking care of themselves or making the conscious decision to seek help.
One of our society’s most egregious failings is neglecting to care for people suffering from severe mental illness. This problem has been exacerbated by the explosion of opioids, fentanyl, and methamphetamine on our streets.
This is not a problem unique to San Diego. It is a crisis born half-a-century ago, as large psychiatric institutions closed, involuntary commitments were ended, and a sufficient network of community-based treatment centers failed to materialize.
The result has been decades of homelessness, with jails and emergency rooms becoming de facto housing for those who are too mentally ill to care for themselves.
It is long past time for our society to come to grips with this enormous problem and actually do something.
That’s why I’m working with City Attorney Mara Elliott to use conservatorships in cases of extreme mental illness among our unsheltered neighbors.
But the fact is, current state law on conservatorship is too restrictive.
So, this year, I am pushing for state action on conservatorships so that people who cannot help themselves aren’t left vulnerable to the dangers of life on the streets.
Solving homelessness is made more difficult by the housing crisis we are experiencing – a shortage created over many decades as we failed to build to accommodate our growth.
The shortage of homes everyday San Diegans can afford is splitting up families, making it harder for our businesses to attract and retain workers, and threatening to deprive our region of the talented young people we work so hard to educate in our world-class universities.
We are tackling this issue aggressively, with policy changes and programs that will meaningfully address a disastrous failure to plan for the growth we have long known was coming.
We knew it was coming because most of our growth is from people born and raised here in San Diego. Residents who grew up here and want to remain here to raise families of their own.
And so, we cannot lose our resolve to house our own children in the face of people who fear change and mobilize to block improvements in our neighborhoods. That’s not how a thriving city works.
In 2021, we issued building permits and entitlements that will create as many as 12,000 new homes, with more than 6,500 in the pipeline right now.
Building on that momentum, this past year, I launched my “Homes For All of Us” housing initiative – more than a dozen separate proposals aimed at making it easier to build homes that working and middle-class San Diegans can afford.
One of those proposals, Blueprint SD, will modernize the way we update our community plans -- the plans for how our neighborhoods accommodate population growth.
Blueprint SD will dramatically reduce the time it takes to update them – from more than five years down to as little as two.
This means we can plan for new housing where it makes the most sense for our communities, and then build it, faster than ever.
“Homes For All of Us” also features two Housing Action Packages that include policy changes such as:
Making it easier to include housing above City facilities like libraries and fire stations; creating affordable housing in communities that don’t have it, and implementing Senate Bill 9 -- statewide legislation authored by Senate Leader Toni Atkins that permits duplexes on lots that currently allow just one.
I’m also excited to announce tonight that the City of San Diego will officially opt-in to Senate Bill 10, which will make it far easier to build apartments close to mass transit.
My first Housing Action Package will go to the City Council for consideration tomorrow, with additional proposals coming soon after.
Taken together, “Homes For All of Us” will allow us to build far more homes that San Diegans can afford -- close to transit options, and in all of our communities.
Tonight, I’m also announcing another City housing program – “Bridge to Home.”
This is a program administered by our City’s Economic Development Department – and is so named because it helps bridge the gap that affordable-housing builders face when trying to make their projects work financially.
Seven projects across the city have been selected to receive financing assistance from the City.
These seven projects alone will add 662 rental homes to our supply of affordable housing – 193 of which will be reserved for folks experiencing homelessness.
This is just the beginning. Funding of up to $20 million for Round Two of the program will be announced soon.
In 2022, we will continue our progress on major opportunities to provide housing where it makes sense as we update community plans for University City, Mira Mesa, Hillcrest, College Area, and – the neighborhood where I grew up – Clairemont.
These communities offer the possibility of growing smart with new homes near transit that will connect residents to job centers across our region.
We are legally and morally obligated to plan to add more than 100,000 new homes during the next eight years, and folks, we are getting it done.
I realize the report I’ve given you tonight is likely not what you expected. But this is not the time for telling you what you want to hear; it’s about telling you what you need to know.
And what you need to know is that the road ahead is full of hard work. But I’ve never been afraid of hard work, and neither is our city.
I’m as hopeful and optimistic as I’ve ever been because I do believe San Diego is on its way.
I ran for this office on the promise of reinvigorating San Diego with a jolt of big-city energy, fostering a culture of “YES” that will help us ascend to our rightful place as one of the greatest cities in the country.
We can see it unfolding already – with transformational projects across our city, large and small.
We see it all over town as restaurants take advantage of our new “Spaces as Places” program, establishing permanent outdoor operations, boosting their business and creating more vibrant commercial districts.
We’ll soon see it in the Midway community where we’ll build thousands of affordable homes to help address our housing crisis – along with a new entertainment venue to replace the existing Sports Arena – creating a walkable, bikeable community that is full of life.
We can see it the new innovation hub we are bringing to the Valencia Business Park in Southeastern San Diego. This new campus will host businesses and organizations that focus on sustainability and provide jobs and internships in the neighborhood.
We will see it this spring in Balboa Park, when we break ground on a major restoration of the iconic Botanical Building and usher in a new era of investment in our city’s crown jewel.
You can see it today in the Symphony’s beautiful new Shell on the waterfront, and the soon-to-be-completed Snapdragon Stadium in Mission Valley.
We can see the big city energy in our recently adopted Regional Transportation Plan that will transform our mobility network and protect our quality of life for generations to come.
So while we have daunting work ahead of us, we can see the fruits of our labor all around us.
San Diego, as I think about the people I’ve visited with over the past year, in communities across our city -- and as I consider the progress we’ve made and the work the lies ahead -- I can say that the State of our City is “ready.”
We are ready to responsibly put the COVID-19 pandemic behind us.
Ready to provide homes and services for those who are unsheltered and struggling.
Ready to build back our economy stronger than ever.
Ready to fix ensure our streets, pipes and public facilities.
Ready to fight the housing crisis and the climate crisis with everything we’ve got.
Ready to build equity into everything we do and make San Diego a place where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.
Ready to say “yes” to positive, transformational change and become the truly great city that we should be – a city that others seek to emulate.
And to those who doubt our ability or our resolve, I’d refer you to what San Diego did right here, in this building, just a short time ago.
It would have been unimaginable that we could convert our Convention Center into a homeless shelter practically overnight to provide safety to homeless San Diegans during a pandemic. But we did it.
Some could never have envisioned that we could come together under this same roof to provide refuge to thousands of immigrant children and show them the very best of America. But we did it.
And in that very same year, after the worst economic slowdown in a nearly 100 years, pick ourselves up and welcome major conventions and events back to this center – including our beloved Comic-Con. But we did it.
All right here in San Diego.
This is why I have so much faith in our ability to drive change on the major issues I outlined tonight.
Because amid the darkest of times and under the most difficult circumstances, we’ve seen a challenge, stepped up, come together, and we triumphed.
This says to me that we can, and will, do it again.
Our challenges are great. The road ahead is long. And there is much work to do.
But San Diego, we are ready.
Thank you. May God bless you. And may God bless our great city.
- Engaged the former Executive Director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness under President Obama, Matthew Doherty, to evaluate the City's homelessness strategies and response system.
- Released Matthew Doherty's recommended actions to the public and use his report to guide the City's approach.
- Created the City's new Homelessness Strategies and Solutions Department and hired its Director, Hafsa Kaka.
- Successfully concluded Operation Shelter to Home, which sheltered nearly 5,000 San Diegans during the pandemic and connected more than 1,400 individuals, as well as 43 families, to permanent or long-term housing.
- Announced a historic $15 billion state investment in homelessness with Governor Gavin Newsom in San Diego and successfully secured more than $55 million in state funding to operate core homelessness programs through the Homelessness Housing, Assistance and Prevention Program, as well as continued investment in Project Homekey to create new permanent housing units.
- Successfully lobbied the state to create and fund a new 9-8-8 universal crisis line for residents to call to respond to mental health crises.
- Started new City-County partnership, known as Mobile Crisis Response Teams, to provide non-police response to individuals experiencing mental health crises.
- Launched the City's new Coordinated Street Outreach Program, which employs a compassionate, person-centered, housing-focused, neighborhood-based approach.
- Overhauled how the City conducts sidewalk abatements to be more compassionate, avoiding nights and rainstorms and providing additional notice to residents experiencing homelessness.
- Formed new partnerships with three local non-profits to bolster outreach to youth experiencing homelessness, who make up approximately 10% of the City's homeless population.
- Worked with Gov. Gavin Newsom to establish first-of-its-kind homelessness outreach for encampments located adjacent to freeways and in the Caltrans right-of-way and enlisted a service provider new to the region, City Net.
- Expanded homeless shelter capacity by 21 percent.
- Opened the region's first Community Harm Reduction Shelter for people experiencing homelessness who suffer from substance abuse and co-occurring mental illness.
- Inaugural member of the Department of Housing and Urban Development's House America initiative.
- Successfully secured $299 million in direct federal assistance through President Biden's American Rescue Plan Act to maintain city services in emergency response, public safety, water and wastewater, trash service, and community services like libraries and parks.
- Enacted Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policy for city employees.
- Signed executive orders directing stronger enforcement of public health orders and capping the fees third-party delivery apps charge to local businesses.
- Enacted a citywide eviction moratorium protecting renters and businesses unable to pay their full rent due to the impacts of COVID-19, with City Council approval.
- Trained 267 Fire Department personnel to administer COVID-19 vaccinations and administered 79,656 total doses of vaccine, including at the City's vaccination site at the Balboa Park Municipal Gym.
- Financially supported 1,055 small businesses and 137 nonprofits through the City of San Diego Small Business & Nonprofit Relief Fund.
- Created the Housing Stability Assistance Program, which has provided more than $148 million in rent and utility relief to more than 14,500 households.
- Partnered with the State of California and County of San Diego to launch a Monoclonal Antibody Regional Center to treat those exposed to COVID-19.
- Launched "Homes for All of Us" housing package, which aims to produce more homes across the City that residents of all income levels can afford.
- Gained approval from the State of California for the City's Housing Element, which committed to building approximately 107,000 housing units to the city over eight years.
- Formed Middle-Income Housing Working Group consisting of resident volunteers who will formulate ways to incentivize building of more housing for families earning 80-150% of the Area Median Income.
- Passed long-delayed Barrio Logan Community Plan enhancing requirements for affordable housing and providing strong anti-displacement protections.
- Advanced seven affordable housing projects that will create 662 apartments for families and individuals at or below 80% area median income through the City's "Bridge to Home" affordable housing funding program.
- Issued building permits and entitlements in 2021 to create as many as 12,000 housing units, with more than 6,500 new units currently in the pipeline.
- Mayor Gloria joined Mayors and CEOs for U.S Housing Investment.
- Invested nearly $1 billion in critical public infrastructure projects.
- • Broke ground on the City’s landmark Pure Water project – the largest infrastructure project ever undertaken by the City of San Diego – which will supply San Diego with nearly 50 percent of our drinking water by 2035.
- Launched the "Sexy Streets" initiative, investing $40 million toward road repairs across San Diego, focusing on heavily traveled thoroughfares and prioritizing historically underserved neighborhoods.
- Secured more than $200 million in state investments for community projects throughout the region, including Pure Water, Ocean Beach Pier, and a number of libraries and parks.
- Completed first phase of the West Mission Bay Drive bridge project and successfully opened a portion to vehicle and pedestrian traffic.
- Secured $23 million in state funds for La Media Road improvements.
- Completed protected bike lanes on 30th Street, Pershing Drive and West Washington Street.
- Invested $1.2 million in the creation of the Safe and Sustainable Transportation for All Ages and Abilities Team, which will be dedicated to building protected bike lanes throughout San Diego.
- Secured City Council approval for the Mayor's "Parks for All of Us" parks master plan update, which seeks to create park space in areas of the City with the greatest need.
- Announced $8.5 million in state grants with U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and state Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot to fund the construction of Beyer Street Park in San Ysidro.
- Broke ground on New Children's Park in Downtown - a $9 million project.
- Broke ground on La Paz Mini Park in Valencia Park, which will include a shade structure, plentiful trees, two new play-area structures, fitness equipment, security lighting and accessibility improvements for people with disabilities.
- Re-opened the J Street Mini Park in the Stockton neighborhood after completing $1.5 million in upgrades, including new landscaping, play structures, fitness equipment, benches, security lighting, and more.
- Expanded free Wi-Fi to over 300 new locations through the City's "SD Access 4 All" program to help close the digital divide.
- Secured City Council approval of the Mayor's "Spaces as Places" program to allow for permanent outdoor dining.
- Approved a community benefits agreement at SANDAG to ensure regional infrastructure investments result in good local jobs for San Diegans.
- Following his inauguration, immediately streamlined city operations team to save the City $1.2 million.
- Garnered unanimous City Council approval of the Mayor's "Back to Work SD" budget, which seeks to erase the structural budget deficit and get San Diego back on track financially while investing in neighborhood services and workers.
- Recovered $1 million in back wages from employers who circumvented the City's Minimum Wage and Earned Sick Leave Ordinance.
- Secured new gas and electric franchise agreements with SDG&E that provides of $3 billion in revenue to the City over 20 years.
- Passed and signed into law the City's short-term vacation rental ordinance to finally put regulations on the books.
- Hired new department director, Penny Maus, to manage the City's real estate assets.
- Invested in the City's workforce through new labor agreements.
- Restarted the process to redevelop the Sports Arena site to prioritize affordable housing and compliance with state law.
- Launched San Diego Community Power - the City's first community choice energy provider and transitioned the City's utility accounts to San Diego Community Power's 100% renewable power program.
- Created City's Climate Equity Fund to help underserved communities effectively respond to the impacts of climate change.
- Launched "Our Climate, Our Future" initiative, which includes an update to City's Climate Action Plan, setting goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2035.
- Secured City Council approval of "Climate Resilient SD," the City's plan to prepare our communities for the impacts of climate change like extreme heat, wildfires, flooding, drought and sea-level rise.
- As vice chair of SANDAG, Mayor Gloria led the passage of the 2021 Regional Transportation Plan, setting forward a vision for the region that expands options, fights climate change and supports building new homes to address the housing crisis.
- Divested the City's investments from fossil fuel companies and prohibited future direct investment in fossil fuels.
- Represented the City of San Diego on the world stage by attending the United Nations' Global Climate Conference, COP26, and signed on to the joint zero emission vehicle declaration.
- Put forward a public safety and police reform plan within the first six months of the administration.
- Joined the "Mayors Against Illegal Guns" coalition to promote policies to prevent gun violence.
- Initiated official transition of the Commission on Police Practices to be independent of the City. Fully funded the new independent department as part of the Mayor's "Back to Work SD" budget.
- Worked with the District Attorney and City Attorney to eliminate civil gang injunctions.
- Established the "No Shots Fired" gang diversion pilot program.
- Signed the "Eliminate Non-serialized Untraceable Firearm (E.N.U.F.) Ordinance" authored by Councilmember Marni von Wilpert, banning ghost guns in the City.
- Revised the Police Department's consent search policy to enhance transparency and accountability.
- Implemented a new Police Department policy governing how officers should respectfully interact with transgender San Diegans.
- Launched a new Safe Place program in collaboration with the Police Department and local businesses to respond to recent nationwide increases in hate crimes. More than 750 businesses signed onto the initiative.
- Through intentional recruitment, the Police Department welcome the most diverse group of new recruits in the department's history.
- Appointed the most diverse Mayoral administration in City history.
- Hired the City's first Chief Innovation Officer, Kirby Brady.
- Appointed the City's first Afghan Immigrant Affairs Manager, Farhat Popal.
- Launched the following advisory groups made up of community leaders to provide guidance on City policy initiatives and increase the Mayor's presence in the various diverse communities throughout the region:
- Appointed Kenneth Malbrough to the Planning Commission -- the first person to serve on the Commission from Council District 4 in nearly 20 years.
- Increased representation of people of color on City Boards and Commissions by 70% and women by 50%.
- Appointed City's first Chief Race and Equity Officer, Kim Desmond.
- Released the City's First Pay Equity Study, which identified issues behind the gender, racial and ethnic pay gaps among City of San Diego employees -- one of the first of its kind to be publicly released by a municipality in the nation.
- Developed the City's first Black Empowerment Plan to ensure greater diversity, inclusion, and equity in San Diego for the Black community.
- Completed Disparity Study to assess whether minority-, woman- and disabled veteran-owned businesses face any barriers as part of the City's contracting processes.
- Created the City's first-ever Office of Global Affairs to strengthen its international presence and engagement and foster new friendships and ties with other countries and sister cities.
- Successfully advocated for the lifting of travel restrictions at U.S. ports of entry, including in San Ysidro and Otay Mesa, which had unnecessarily separated families damaged small San Diego businesses.
- Opened San Diego Convention Center to shelter and protect unaccompanied migrant children fleeing violence in Central America and reunited 2,408 of them with family or sponsors in the U.S.
- As part of a comprehensive strategy to address cross border pollution, worked with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to advance solutions for the Tijuana River Valley.
- San Diego-Tijuana Selected as 2024 World Design Capital.
- Secured City Council approval of resolution designating San Diego as a Welcoming City.
- Mayor Gloria appointed Vice Chair for Border Policy for the United States Conference of Mayors.
- Mayor Gloria appointed Vice Chair of the Cities for Action Immigration Coalition.
- Brought back the City's Youth Commission in order to amplify youth issues and voices at City Hall.
- Created the City's "Summer for All of Us" initiative to create more recreation opportunities for youth in historically underserved communities, boost youth employment, and ensure youth are better set up for success.
- Secured $19 million in state funding to launch a hiring program to create meaningful pathways for young people to get jobs in public service.
- The Mayor's Community Engagement Team attended 935 community meetings and events across the City to provide civic updates and be accessible to residents.
- The Mayor's Office responded to more than 25,000 constituent inquiries, which includes phone calls and e-mails.
- The Mayor's Community Engagement Team resolved 3,986 constituent issues that were reported to the Mayor's Office.
- Elected to Board of Trustees at the United States Conference of Mayors and successful in advocating for five different important policy resolutions.
- Launched Mayor's Military, Veterans, and Families Advisory Council.
- Released a Spanish-language mobile version of the Get it Done app.