SAN DIEGO – As San Diego prepares to move into recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Todd Gloria wants to make sure the city’s youth are supported both this summer and beyond. Today, Mayor Gloria outlined his “Summer for All of Us” initiative as part of his proposed budget which will create more recreation opportunities for youth in historically underserved communities, boost youth employment, and ensure youth are better set up for success.
“As we move into recovery from the COVID-10 pandemic, it’s vitally important we engage and provide supports to our youth which is exactly what this initiative is designed to do,” said Mayor Gloria. “By providing young people access to engaging programming that connects them to opportunities that promote physical activity, learning and employment, we are setting them up for success in our city.”
As reflected in Mayor Gloria’s proposed budget, the “Summer for All of Us” initiative will:
- Create programs to help children and families take part in activities at libraries and recreation centers in traditionally underserved communities;
- Invest $1 million in the Connect2Careers workforce development program to bolster youth employment;
- Invest $500,000 to enhance library youth programming;
- Continue and expand the “SDAccess4All” initiative that aims to close the digital divide by increasing internet and technology access;
- Invest $400,000 in critically needed youth programming that will support equitable access to recreational opportunities at 16 recreation centers, three park venues and five aquatic locations in areas that need it most;
- Invest $250,000 for paid internships with the Parks and Recreation Department through the Summer Youth Environmental and Recreation Corps Program.
“This funding will help staff recreation centers, aquatic centers and park ranger programs providing more opportunities for families to recreate this summer,” said Andy Field, City of San Diego Parks and Recreations Director. “The initiative will also fund community organizations supporting youth employment and scholarship opportunities and provides young adults in their late teens and early twenties the opportunity to acquire valuable life and leadership skills that will help them secure important work experience either at the City or in a future career.”
The San Diego Parks Foundation and the County of San Diego, through the leadership of Chair Nathan Fletcher, have committed to partnering with the City by allocating funding to give families some much-needed fun summer programming and encourage them to “come play outside.”
“Investing in our youth by closing the digital divide, expanding employment skills, and promoting opportunities for exercise and education will truly strengthen our City. Many young people will look back at the summer following the pandemic as a positive turning point in their lives thanks to these investments in the FY2022 budget,” said Councilmember Raul Campillo.
"The Library Foundation is encouraged by city investments to expand the Library's work, especially around providing tools and access to boost student achievement,” said Patrick Stewart, San Diego Public Library Foundation CEO. “ As demonstrated by the growth in the Do Your Homework @ the Library program during the pandemic, the Library's work is now more important than ever. It is an essential lifeline for so many students and parents. The Library Foundation and our donors continue to support programs like Do Your Homework, Summer Reading and Library NeXT because they empower students to succeed, particularly those who may not have access to other support.”
Mayor Gloria’s proposed budget centers on the “Back to Work SD” plan he developed during his campaign, which serves as a framework to help San Diegans devastated by COVID-19 and equip them for a brighter future. It places a focus on traditionally underserved communities to ensure a more equitable recovery in all San Diego neighborhoods.
The full budget proposal can be found at www.sandiego.gov/finance/proposed.