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Mayor Gloria Chosen to Lead California’s Big City Mayors Coalition

WITH NEW STATEWIDE LEADERSHIP POST, MAYOR GLORIA ANNOUNCES HE WILL NOT SEEK CHAIRMANSHIP AT SANDAG

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
Dec. 15, 2022

CONTACT:
MayorPress@sandiego.gov

SAN DIEGO – San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria today announced that the Big City Mayors has selected him to lead the statewide coalition in 2023 and 2024. The influential bipartisan group is composed of the mayors from the 13 largest cities in California by population: Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Fresno, Sacramento, Long Beach, Oakland, Bakersfield, Anaheim, Stockton, Riverside and Irvine. In assuming this new role in statewide leadership, Mayor Gloria has opted not to seek the chairmanship at the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) and supports County Supervisor Nora Vargas to take up the role.

“California’s cities face daunting challenges, and I’m humbled by the trust my colleagues in the Big City Mayors Coalition have placed in me to lead them,” Mayor Todd Gloria said. "Since taking office, I've worked with the Big City Mayors coalition to secure funding to get thousands of people off the streets into housing and to pass the Governor's CARE Court proposal, enacting badly needed reform to the state's mental health system. Cities are the engines that run this great state, and I'm committed to working with federal and state leaders to leverage our voice to get results on homelessness, housing costs, and mental health for all Californians."

The Big City Mayors Coalition includes Mayors representing nearly 11 million residents in California – more than a quarter of the state’s population. The bipartisan coalition was successful over the last several years in advocating for and securing dedicated funding to address homelessness in the state’s big cities through California’s Homeless Housing, Assistance, and Prevention (HHAP) program.

The group will continue to strengthen HHAP’s focus on accountability for the funding that goes to cities, counties and continuums of care, highlighting the successes cities are having with the funding and conveying the need for continued investment at the local level to help the state address its most critical challenge.

The Big City Mayors coalition also was a powerful voice in working to secure federal pandemic relief and economic recovery funding for cities, ensuring continuity of critical neighborhood services and positioning California’s residents and businesses on a path to faster recovery. The group was also a driving force in pushing for the passage of SB 1338 (Umberg) last year, the bill that carried Governor Newsom’s CARE Act, to reform California’s approach to mental health to help people struggling with mental illness access services. Additionally, the group secured a dedicated allocation through the state’s CaliforniansForAll Youth Jobs Corps program to fund public-service job opportunities for underserved youth ages 16 to 30, engaging them in the workforce.

Mayor Gloria has pledged his support for San Diego County Supervisor Nora Vargas to become the next chair of the Board of Directors at SANDAG succeeding Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear, who was elected to the state Senate in November.

“During the past two years, Supervisor Vargas has established herself as a true champion for the residents of her district and served the region well as SANDAG’s Transportation Committee chair. There’s no doubt that she will be an exceptional leader for the SANDAG board as we work regionally to tackle our housing and climate crises and execute critical projects like the Otay Mesa East Port of Entry and stabilizing the LOSSAN corridor at the Del Mar Bluffs,” Mayor Gloria said. “She will bring to this position genuine empathy, intelligence, courage and a relentless drive to improve the quality of life for all. I am proud to support her.”

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