Why Bother To Attend This Meeting?
Isn’t It All A Waste Of Time?
It’s difficult for residents to attend City Council meetings during working hours. And after 5 years of attending community planning group subcommittee meetings, it seems the city planners have either never listened or don’t care what residents have to say or both.
Our mayor, Kevin Faulconer, appointed the Director of the planning department and set their course to follow his Climate Action Plan (CAP). The city planning department, while implementing the Mayor’s long-range goals, has done so at the expense of a true dialogue or exchange of concerns residents have with the 2 Specific Plans scheduled for final approval on August 1, 2019.
Attendances at meetings seem like futile attempts by homeowners and tenants to have the city officials listen to us. Most of us are aware that the current city councilmembers are in lock-step with the mayor’s CAP and will most likely approve the 2 Specific Plans. It seems that the fix is in and what most in the community have to say is meaningless.
Do we really expect the City Council to hear what the Planning Department has ignored, deflected, or overridden?
So why bother attending?
Because for better or for worse, this is the democratic process! We must hold onto it dearly because it could soon be swept away by current state legislation aimed at doing just that!
Nothing can be done about correcting the city planning department’s legacy of bad faith negotiations with the community for the past 5 years. It will take a change of leadership in San Diego to accomplish that. Some of our “leaders” would happily usher in state control just so that they would not have to listen and work to make the hard decisions with us and for us.
It’s no wonder then that only one City Council member has openly opposed state legislative attempts to override local control and remove or limit public participation in local housing decisions. The community voice is in danger of being removed entirely from the process of city and county planning and replaced with the state dictating housing decisions.
But for all the things we dislike about the local process, at least we still have the power of the ballot box to make the changes we want and need. Attendance at City Council meetings allows voters to meet face-to-face with the elected.
Your attendance is more important than the immediate need to oppose or accept the two specific plans. Your attendance is a statement that we the people are present and refuse to give up the civic life of our community and our voice in the community planning process.
Support your First Amendment Right and attend the City Council meeting on Aug. 1. Attendees may speak for 1 – 2 minutes depending on speaker count. If you are not comfortable speaking, please sign the log-in sheet at the meeting and cede your time to others.
Your presence at this meeting is extremely important.
Thank you! We hope to see you there!
RTB Committee & Volunteers