Political leadership has been key to alleviating homelessness in other major cities. Virtually everyone agrees it’s been missing in San Diego. Now Mayor Kevin Faulconer says homelessness will be a top priority in 2017.
When Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced he’d be heading up the statewide campaign to oppose Proposition 57, a criminal sentencing reform measure, it took some folks by surprise. Faulconer secured two big contributions from San Diego supporters but has been less successful in winning support from the communities most impacted by over-incarceration.
It’s been nearly two years since a state audit found that less than half of all rape kits at three California law enforcement agencies were actually analyzed. Since then, two of the agencies have made it a practice to test all sexual assault kits. The third agency examined in the audit, the San Diego Police Department, is doubling down on its decision to leave many kits untested.
District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis didn’t clear up much about her relationship with José Susumo Azano Matsura, the wealthy Mexican businessman who’s been charged with making illegal contributions to San Diego political races, in her testimony Wednesday.
Residential hotels, also referred to as single-room occupancy hotels, or SROs, are often the housing of last resort for low-wage workers and folks on fixed incomes. As of October 2015, there were 3,872 single-room occupancy units within the city, down significantly from the 8,950 units counted in a 2003 survey.
Police records show arrests and citations for encroaching on a public space have soared over the last five years. One of the attorneys who sued the city in 2004 over excessive homelessness enforcement believes police are using encroachment to circumvent the settlement in that case, which allows homeless folks to sleep in certain public spaces from 9 p.m. to 5:30 a.m.
Less than two months after the state’s new aid-in-dying measure went into effect, my sister used the law to obtain a lethal dose of drugs. “I’d rather be free than entombed in my body,” she told me.
Assemblyman Brian Maienschein spearheaded Project 25, a local program that’s become a model for combating chronic homelessness. In a Q-and-A, he tells us how he’s trying to make it easier to replicate that success across the state.
Councilman David Alvarez is demanding an apology to Sherman Heights residents after emails showed the city installed jagged rocks under an overpass to deter homeless encampments in preparation for the All-Star Game, not in response to resident complaints, as city staff had previously claimed.
City officials said anti-homeless rocks were installed at the request of Sherman Heights residents. Emails show they were added as part of preparations for the All-Star Game at Petco Park.