After generations of injustice, this is our moment to right the wrongs of the past and create a better future for all San Diegans.
Black Lives Matter.
It is time to make good on the promises our nation was founded on.
On Memorial Day, we were witnesses to yet another grotesque act of violence against a Black American. The murder of George Floyd tore a son, brother, and father away from his family and triggered people across the nation to take to the streets to fight against racism. It goes without saying that George Floyd and his family deserve justice. His killers must be held accountable and the calls for police reform should be translated into policy that will help build community trust. These will be steps in the right direction, but we must recognize the struggle to acknowledge that Black lives matter extends far beyond the prosecution of George Floyd’s murderers or the passage of police accountability efforts.
In the most tragic way, George Floyd’s killing was an apt metaphor for America’s relationship with the Black community. A knee has been on the throat of Black people for over 400-years via systemic racism and White supremacy. During America’s best moments, the pressure has eased. Unfortunately, those moments of relief have been intermittent and the pressure points are numerous and placed with the intent to choke off opportunity. The effect is devastating. In every facet of life, we see how, despite incredible resilience, Black America is stifled by systemic racism. Massive disparities in homeownership, health, education can be traced back to decisions that were made with the purpose of holding Black people down.
In every facet of life, we see how, despite incredible resilience, Black America is stifled by systemic racism.
Under the surface sits a massive structure ingrained with the premise that Black lives are of less value. It is one thing to recognize the behemoth that presses down upon our Black sisters and brothers, and another thing to do something about it. For those of us who are not Black, we must ask ourselves if and how we will take action against systemic racism. While I doubt anyone reading this sees themselves as racist, are you being actively anti-racist? The Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said he fired all four police officers involved in George Floyd’s killing because “being silent or not intervening is being complicit.” George Floyd would still be alive if the other officers involved would have taken action.
If that fact enrages you as it does me, then there is only one choice in how we proceed individually and collectively – an intentional dismantling of racist systems and an active pursuit of racial justice. My commitment to you is to continue to learn, to call out racism when I see it, and to organize and advocate for systemic change that will once and for all remove the pressures of racism from atop the Black community. I wholeheartedly believe that San Diego will never live up to its potential until we acknowledge the ugly truth about the injustices committed against the Black community and make amends for the harm that has been caused. I recognize words are not enough. Here are three concrete actions we will take immediately upon taking office:
Fight for Reparations
We will engage San Diego’s Black community in an effort to provide reparations in a manner consistent with the demands set forth by the Movement for Black Lives.
Prioritize full funding
for the Office of Race and Equity
In June of 2020, the City of San Diego acted upon Council Member Monica Montgomery’s proposal to create an Office for Race and Equity. The Office will only achieve its objectives if properly funded. We will do our part to make sure that happens.
Utilize the Government
Alliance on Race &
Equity’s (GARE) Racial
The racial inequity of today is the product of generations of intentional inequitable policies and practices. We will only achieve equity if we are consistent and intentional. As explained by GARE, “Racial equity tools are designed to integrate explicit consideration of racial equity in decisions, including policies, practices, programs, and budgets.” We commit to consistently, intentionally, and transparently centering racial equity.
Support and Empower Refugees and Immigrants.
It is time for San Diego to support our refugee and immigrant communities in a manner consistent with America’s highest ideals.
I fell in love with our community because of its diversity. The many faiths, ethnicities, races, and journeys of District 9’s residents remind me of my own family. See, all across District 9, refugees and immigrants are overcoming institutional and systemic barriers as well as a relentless assault from the federal government to provide their families with an opportunity to achieve their dreams. I’ve seen Somali grandmothers fight to ensure their grandchildren have healthy food, Vietnamese youth lead their classmates in the struggle for social justice, and Mexican moms pour their heart and souls into small businesses while serving as leaders of parent organizations.
Most inspiring have been the moments when I’ve seen folks – who despite not sharing a common language or faith – have banded together with a common cause. It is time San Diego does the same for them. Our commitment to our refugee and immigrant neighbors centers around the notion that everyone in our community should be provided with the opportunity to thrive. There are 2 key principles that will guide our work here – community power and justice. These are the concrete actions I will take upon taking office:
Refugee and Immigrant Justice.
Legal Defense Fund
A lack of legal advice can have devastating consequences. Other cities have developed funds for universal representation to help their immigrant and refugee residents have the legal representation they need. It is time for San Diego to do the same.
Build Upon and
Immigration Protection Policy
A community cannot feel or be safe if it cannot trust that their public safety departments are not coordinating with immigration enforcement. San Diego must further limit surveillance and police collaboration with federal immigration agencies.
Guarantee Language Accessibility to All Public Hearings & City Services
People needlessly suffer when language is a barrier to participating in decision making or accessing essential programs and services.
Issuance of City Identification Card for All City Residents
Many of us take the ability to secure proof of identity for granted, but, for many San Diegans not having an ID card is a barrier to opportunity, shelter, and security. San Diego should follow the lead of many other cities that have taken this common sense step toward protecting their communities.
Contracts & Jobs
Too often, immigrants and refugees can be left out of contracting and job opportunities. The Office of Immigrant Affairs and Office of Race and Equity should collaborate to guarantee opportunity for all.
Refugee and Immigrant Power.
Establishment of an Office of Immigrant & Refugee Affairs
The City has outlined plans for an office of Immigrant Advancement, but has yet to provide funding. This Office will engage refugees and immigrants in decisions about the City’s future and centralize and improve programs and services to meet the needs of all constituents.
Grants & Loan Programs
to Support Refugee & Immigrant
Businesses & Training Opportunities
It’s time for our city to better harness the economic and societal contributions that refugees and immigrants bring by investing in them and therefore in our collective future.
More Participation in
Boards & Commissions
More representative boards and commissions are more effective boards and commissions, the City must do more to recruit and support refugee and immigrant leaders to serve on boards and commissions.
Full Voting Rights
in all City Matters
Refugees and immigrants are pillars of our community. They should be afforded the right to participate in our democracy.