Civic San Diego is one step closer to completing an important development project in southeastern San Diego, but some in the community aren’t pleased with the process that led the organization to choose a developer. The complaints are stirring up the same issues that have kept Civic San Diego from expanding its authority outside of downtown for years. Namely, many in the community just don’t trust the organization.
San Diego could be getting a preview of what a controversial bill to add a check to Civic San Diego’s power would have meant for downtown development.
Civic San Diego can’t be killed.
Civic San Diego is trying to find a reason for existing. It was working to build a giant investment fund. But its partner discovered a conflict of interest.
The future of the city-run nonprofit that was tasked with handling development downtown is a little unclear and in the meantime, it’s divided local leaders. Here’s how that’s played out so far.
Civic San Diego is searching for more funding to expand in the city. But there’s a battle under way over what the group should be to the city, and whether it should even exist.
The assemblywoman’s bill aims to give the City Council control over downtown development. But it also opens the door for greater labor involvement in downtown decision-making.
Civic San Diego’s role downtown shouldn’t change. But its future lies in revitalizing other neighborhoods and building affordable housing.
Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, who wants more oversight of Civic San Diego, asked the nonpartisan office to weigh in on the legality of the city’s arrangement. Cities can outsource certain “administrative functions” to nonprofits – it’s just unclear how far that power goes.
It’s time for San Diegans to start paying much closer attention to Civic – especially as it’s seeking to expand its authority around the city. That more oversight is needed has been driven home by the events of the past week.