New San Diego Mayor Bob Filner called his appearance Thursday at a rally for a skate park in City Heights one of his “first official acts.”
Filner ran on a neighborhoods-first campaign, saying he would redistribute development and infrastructure dollars from downtown to the city’s other neighborhoods. Now in office, he’s turning City Heights’ years-long fight to build a skate park into a poster child for that platform.
“I was just elected by the people of neighborhoods who were tired of not getting things they have deserved while downtown gets hundreds of millions of dollars, and we’re going to change that,” Filner told a crowd of mostly teenagers. “We are going to bring things into this neighborhood that you deserve and we may as well start with a skate park.”
Skaters in the neighborhood have long said they need a formal place to skate, citing peers who have been hit by cars while skating through the dense, urban neighborhood. They also say a skate park would help fill a shortage of park space in the community.
The youth and adult community organizers have identified three locations for a skate spot: a pending mini park on Central Avenue, a dirt lot in Park De La Cruz and the Copley Family YMCA grounds, which the YMCA could vacate once a larger facility opens nearby. All are owned by the city.