Faulconer calls for bipartisan support on longstanding issues
In his 2019 State of the City address, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer stressed the importance of rising beyond political division to solve problems that have long been cumulating in the San Diego region.
“Our national landscape has become one that seeks to divide us. But let us never allow our differences to blind us to the common humanity we all share. We cannot achieve the goal of inclusion using the tools of division,” Mayor Faulconer stated in a press release. “We are stronger than the national political division. We are smarter than the partisan rhetoric. And we are better together than we are apart. The state of our city is strong, and united, we will make it even stronger.”
The mayor touched on key issues including homelessness, climate change, and city infrastructure. He also touted some of the programs he has helped institute such as the Clean SD program which has removed more than 2,700 tons of trash from the San Diego River and the city’s urban canyons.
He outlined several projects with the intention of protecting the region’s energy, water, and natural resources. These included the creation of a new power division to supply renewable energy to residents and businesses, connecting the public trolley system to the airport, and constructing an immense water-recycling facility with the goal of delivering one-third of the city’s water by 2035.
Faulconer has invited other regional public and business leaders to join him in planning and executing many of these goals.
Bill responds to county’s handling of hep. A outbreak
Following a state audit which found the City of San Diego’s response to the recent hepatitis A outbreak inadequate, Assemblymember Todd Gloria of the 78th district announced he had drafted new legislation targeting future potential outbreaks.
“The recent state audit confirmed many of our worst fears: people fell ill and died that didn’t have to. We want to make sure an outbreak like this never happens again,” said the assemblymember. “The public should feel confident that its officials know what to do and how to handle public health emergencies. That’s why I introduced AB 262 – legislation that makes very clear the responsibility of local government and public health officers to protect the public against future communicable disease outbreaks.”
The new bill, titled AB 262, would establish specified duties for local governments in the event of outbreak of a communicable disease. It would require public health officials to inform cities in their jurisdiction about outbreaks, as well as make relevant information about outbreaks available within affected jurisdictions.
The state audit revealed multiple areas lacking in county’s response following the declaration of a public health emergency in August 2017. County officials failed to communicate location date concerning the concentration of outbreak cases to the city. As well, state auditors found that despite talks between the county and city taking place in August, sanitary measures were not implemented until later in September. By April of 2018, the county had reported a total of 587 related cases, with 402 hospitalizations and 20 deaths caused by the outbreak.
AB 262 was joint-authored by local assemblymembers Lorena Gonzalez and Tasha Boeren-Hovath. The bill is pending its referral to the state assembly committee for review.
United Way and 2-1-1 to offer free tax prep
United Way of San Diego County and 2-1-1 San Diego are partnering to leverage funds granted by the California Department of Community Services Development (CSD), to promote the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) and expand free tax preparation services. The two nonprofits are partnering with several other nonprofit organizations to help low- and moderate-income families prepare and file their 2018 taxes for free, and potentially add thousands of dollars to their refunds.
The two nonprofit organizations say their aim is to raise awareness and usage of the more than 60 Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites countywide, as well as increase overall claims for state and federal EITCs that are available to eligible workers.
In 2018 (tax year 2017), United Way of San Diego County, 2-1-1 San Diego and many other San Diego County Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Coalition partners, supported and provided the public with access to 630 volunteers who provided free tax assistance to 31,092 residents and brought more than $40 million in federal and state refunds back to working families in San Diego communities – largely due to Earned Income Tax Credits.
“Each year, too many hard-working San Diegans are missing out on hundreds or even thousands of dollars in tax refunds that they’ve earned,” said United Way President and CEO Nancy Sasaki. “These grants will help us connect with more local residents and share vital information about one of the nation’s most successful anti-poverty measures – the Earned Income Tax Credit.”
To make an appointment for free tax preparation services, eligible families can call 2-1-1 or visit myfreetaxes.org.
San Diego named in top list of movie making cities
On Feb. 6, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer announced that the city of San Diego has been ranked among the top 20 large cities to live and work as a moviemaker according to MovieMaker Magazine, the nation’s leading resource on the art and business of making movies and the world’s most widely read independent film magazine.
“San Diego’s film industry is in the middle of a renaissance,” Faulconer said. “We’re welcoming more and more filmmakers here to tell their stories and capture the vibrant and diverse cultures and geographic landmarks that make San Diego such a special place.”
The city’s film office has been able to put San Diego on the filmmaking map through a streamlined permitting process, online directories of local crews, national and international advertising campaigns and participation in industry events.
As a top film-friendly city in the nation, San Diego continues to draw moviemakers to the region. In 2018, the city welcomed the local production for the “Top Gun” sequel, “Top Gun: Maverick,” and major studios and networks like Paramount Pictures, VICE, E! Network, Comedy Central, HBO and National Geographic all spent time filming in San Diego. In 2018, 1,600 filming dates were permitted on city public property.
“With Mayor Faulconer’s support, we have been able to attract local, national and international filmmakers to San Diego,” said Brandy Shimabukuro, the city’s film liaison. “Film productions such as the ‘Top Gun’ sequel and others have bolstered our civic pride and positively impacted our local economy.”
To rank each city, MovieMaker Magazine looked at film activity, infrastructure, population and geographic size, state and local tax incentive programs and ease of movement and traffic. San Diego was included in the Big City division which included top U.S. and Canadian cities.
SDCCU retains naming rights for stadium
SDCCU Stadium will remain SDCCU Stadium following a vote by City Council on Feb. 5 that extends naming rights for the property to San Diego County Credit Union. The naming rights agreement for SDCCU Stadium, which was made between the City of San Diego and Fox Sports College Properties, extends through December 2020.
“As one of the most recognizable brands in San Diego, there’s no question that SDCCU understands the importance of being an influential and responsible corporate citizen within the communities where they do business. SDCCU has been a valuable partner and we are ecstatic to continue to work with them,” said Duke Little, vice president and general manager of Fox Sports College Properties in a press release.
“SDCCU is incredibly proud to be the naming rights partner for SDCCU Stadium and we are thrilled that Fox Sports College Properties and the City of San Diego have elected to extend the partnership for another two years,” said SDCCU President and CEO Teresa Campbell. “As an engaged community partner, we look forward to continuing to help position SDCCU Stadium as a premier events venue to host all types of events, including the SDCCU Super Shred Event and the SDCCU Holiday Bowl.”
The SDCCU Super Shred Event and SDCCU Holiday Bowl are just two of many major events planned for SDCCU Stadium. The stadium serves as the home stadium for San Diego State University Aztecs football home games and the San Diego Fleet, one of eight teams playing in the all new Alliance of American Football league. For a complete list of events, visit sandiego.gov/stadium.
SDCCU Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium. With a seating capacity of 70,561, SDCCU Stadium is located in the heart of Mission Valley. The stadium has hosted three Super Bowl games and has also hosted the 1978 and 1992 Major League Baseball All-Star Games, the 1996 and 1998 National League Division Series, the 1984 and 1998 National League Championship Series, and the 1984 and 1998 World Series. It is the only stadium ever to host both the Super Bowl and the World Series in the same year (1998).
Franciscan School relocates to USD
The University of San Diego (USD) and the Franciscan School of Theology (FST) announced today that the FST campus, currently located on the grounds at Mission San Luis Rey in Oceanside, CA, will be relocating to the USD campus in San Diego in the summer of 2019.
FST is the only freestanding, graduate-level school of Franciscan theology in the English-speaking world transmitting the rich heritage of Catholic theology flowing from the spiritual, social and ethical teachings of St. Francis of Assisi and developed by Franciscan theologians such as St. Bonaventure and Blessed John Duns Scotus.
In 2013, USD and FST entered into an affiliation agreement to expand USD and FST graduate student opportunities across the breadth of their respective graduate curricular offerings and advance their respective missions in the Catholic intellectual tradition.
Through the affiliation, FST graduate students can enroll in selected and approved USD graduate courses offered through the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, the School of Business MBA program, and in certain undergraduate courses in the USD department of philosophy. These courses enhance the capabilities of FST graduate students to serve in stewardship roles in the Catholic Church and other mission-oriented institutions. Likewise, USD students may complement their graduate education with select coursework in theological studies through FST.
With FST’s Oceanside campus moving to the USD campus, FST and USD graduate students will have more convenient access to both USD and FST courses that complement graduate degree programs. The affiliation and integrated location also provides new opportunities for USD and FST faculty and students to collaborate in service, research and other scholarly activities.
“Our move to the USD campus builds upon our relationship with USD and provides FST an opportunity to explore new ways of expressing and sharing our faith and service,” said Father Michael Higgins, TOR, president of the Franciscan School of Theology. “We are excited about bringing together the spiritual, theological and social riches of the Franciscan tradition and USD’s excellence in contemporary sciences, non-profit management, public service, peace work and more. USD’s strong dedication to its Catholic heritage and its vibrant Catholic community create a supportive environment for graduate studies in theology in the Franciscan intellectual tradition.”
FST temporary facilities at USD will be located adjacent to the St. Francis Center for Priestly Formation.
“The affiliation between the University of San Diego and the Franciscan School of Theology offers opportunities for special academic and program collaborations that will benefit the faculties, students, and communities of both USD and FST,” said University of San Diego President James T. Harris. “As an anchor institution for the region, we look forward to warmly welcoming FST faculty and graduate students to the USD campus community in the coming months.”