Mayor Todd Gloria: I’m not doing enough to combat homelessness crisis

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – After The Lucky Duck Foundation’s powerful press conference calling out Mayor Gloria for being a failure, he finally responded to the group when a reporter asked him about it during his monthly press briefing.

NBA Hall of Famer and San Diego icon Bill Walton emotionally shared his personal experiences being assaulted by members of out out-of-control homeless situation, as he blasted San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria for failing to address the crisis.

Walton even called on Mayor Gloria to resign, and declared the failed state of “our once great city” to be known as, “Gloriaville.”

Despite Walton’s words getting national attention, Mayor Gloria decided to ignore him and the leaders of The Lucky Duck Foundation, Drew Moser and Dan Shea. Instead, all San Diegans got was a statement in response, where Mayor Gloria called the three men who called him out “liars.”

Gloria’s full statement is below:

“Today’s ‘news conference’ was simply a tantrum full of self-aggrandizing hyperbole and outright lies. San Diegans are frustrated with the worsening homelessness crisis, and Mayor Gloria shares that frustration. But unlike Mr. Walton, Mayor Gloria is translating that frustration into decisive, sustained action to improve the situation. To say that he has done nothing on homelessness is objectively false.

“Let’s be very clear: Addressing homelessness has been Mayor Gloria’s top priority since day one, and he has done far more to address it than anyone else in our region’s history. He has dramatically increased and diversified the City’s network of shelter beds, launched and expanded and highly effective street outreach program, initiated 18 different policy reforms to make it faster and easier to build affordable housing, directly invested City funds into 10 affordable housing projects, championed efforts at the state level to enhance access to mental health care, and stepped up sidewalk cleanups and law enforcement to protect health and safety in our public spaces. Homelessness is a crisis up and down California and across the nation. It’s an uphill battle and we’re nowhere close to winning it yet, but Mayor Gloria is doing the hard work and leading effectively. We encourage others to do the same.

“I’d like to add that you, the news media, know all of this to be true because you cover Mayor Gloria’s progress on the creation of shelter, housing and services to get people off our streets. You visit these new shelters as they open and meet the people being helped; you examine the numbers provided about how our shelters and services are leading to permanent housing; you witness and ask questions about enforcement operations designed to clear and clean the streets. So you know the ‘nothing is being done’ assertions by Bill Walton and Dan Shea to be false. And they know it too.

“The Lucky Duck Foundation knows the City of San Diego is the only city that took its donated tents – after other cities rejected them – and funds their operation and maintenance to the tune of over $5 million each year without a dime of support from Lucky Duck. Further, the implication that the two tents constitute a large portion of our homelessness efforts is also years out of date. In this administration, the shelter capacity we’ve created far outstrips the Lucky Duck structures – and it’s growing by the week, along with our other efforts to address this crisis.

“Finally, Mayor Gloria is clear-eyed and has been completely honest with the public about the enormity of the challenge our city is facing. It’s unfortunate Bill Walton is quitting on San Diego, but you can be damned sure Todd Gloria never will.”

But Thursday, Mayor Todd Gloria could not hide from the question, as a reporter asked him his thoughts on Walton’s strong words.

Gloria insisted that he still believes Walton, Moser and Shea are liars, but admitted that he hasn’t done enough to contain the now out-of-control problem. He went on to say he will “continue to expand all of the things that we know that work.”

But the problem outlined by Walton is exactly that, the things Gloria claims to work, aren’t actually working, and have resulted in a record high number of homeless people living on the streets in our city.

Gloria said every mayor in the country is dealing with this problem, but he hasn’t done as much as he could.

The reporter then questioned why the leaders of The Lucky Duck Foundation and Bill Walton targeted Mayor Gloria, to which Gloria said “this job causes you to be held accountable for everything.”

Gloria concluded by making himself the victim by saying people protested outside of his home once for “doing too much” to combat homelessness.

Gloria’s complete monthly press briefing can be seen below:

Categories: California News, Good Evening San Diego, Good Morning San Diego, Local San Diego News, Politics