Bill Walton’s speech on homeless forces San Diego City Council and Supervisors to meet
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Last week, Bill Walton partnered with The Lucky Duck Foundation to deliver a powerful and emotional speech about his personal experiences dealing with San Diego’s now out-of-control homeless crisis.
Walton detailed how Mayor Gloria’s failed leadership has resulted in the destruction of “our once great city,” as he called on Todd Gloria to resign.
Walton shared personal experiences of being assaulted by the homeless while riding his bike in Balboa Park, and even getting his property stolen from his house. Walton emotionally said he’s brokenhearted to “no longer say that my hometown of San Diego, is the greatest place in the world.” Adding that he can “no longer urge my family, friends, tourists, and businesses to come to SD to live, work and play.”
Under Mayor Todd Gloria, there is a record high 1,609 homeless people living in downtown, at least according to the official August count. To make matters worse, there has also been a record high number of deaths among members of the homeless population in San Diego, people are literally dying on the streets.
Saturday on Good Morning San Diego, Bill Walton, The Lucky Duck Foundation’s Executive Director Drew Moser, and Feeding San Diego CEO Dan Shea all appeared to share the immense support they have received since their press conference last Tuesday. The three leaders detailed their efforts to help the members of our homeless population, and even provided solutions for Mayor Gloria, but unfortunately explained Gloria does not want to work with them.
The Lucky Duck Foundation press conference made national headlines, and San Diegans were quick to thank Walton for using his influence to say what they’ve been noticing themselves.
Almost a full week since the press conference, and the San Diego County Board of Supervisors and San Diego City Council led a joint meeting, the first time the two bodies met since 2000. Supervisor Nathan Fletcher’s assistant, James Canning, insists the meeting was not a result of Walton’s powerful words, as he calls San Diegans who point out the obvious “conspiracy theorists.”
The meeting resulted in a resolution aligning the two bodies in plans to construct 10,000 units of housing on government-owned land by 2030, use available funding for housing and explore residential and density options.
The resolution commits the county and city to:
— Support efforts to strengthen, streamline and address permitting and other barriers to accelerating housing production;
— Support efforts to build 10,000 affordable homes on government- owned land and maximize the community benefits on these properties, including alignment with transit lines, Climate Action Plan goals and ensuring that construction creates well-paying jobs;
— Support efforts to leverage public, private and other funds to accelerate affordable housing with urgency; and
— Support the exploration of the densification of properties owned by the San Diego Housing Commission or its nonprofit affiliate and further expand housing services.
The groups called the meeting the “Joint County-City Housing Summit,” emphasizing their belief that our out-of-control homeless crisis is because of a housing shortage.
Four of the five members of the Board of Supervisors and eight of nine city councilmembers voted in favor of the resolution. Supervisor Jim Desmond and Councilwoman Vivian Moreno were absent.