VOSD Podcast: Homelessness Ignites Political Fights and Residents' Fears
This week on the VOSD podcast, hosts Scott Lewis, Sara Libby and Andrew Keatts discuss Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s final State of the City Address, his plans for homelessness and how Encinitas is grappling over a smaller solution.
This week was Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s final State of the City address. In the podcast, hosts Scott Lewis, Andrew Keatts and Sara Libby picked up on two major points from the speech. The first was a persuasive argument Faulconer made in favor of Measure C, which would raise hotel room taxes to fund a Convention Center expansion, road repairs and homeless services.
“If you can’t believe this is the tenth State of the City when a mayor talks about the Convention Center expansion, you can make it the last by voting for Measure C,” the mayor said.
City Councilwoman Barbara Bry, who’s running to replace Faulconer, tried to capitalize on the moment by declaring Faulconer was following her lead on homelessness. She said the “housing first” approach to homelessness was a “tragic disaster” and that she was glad Faulconer came around to her thinking that would include additional services to start solving the crisis. (Her remarks were especially notable given that she for years was a big proponent of housing first.)
VOSD reporter Lisa Halverstadt joined the podcast to talk about housing first and the extent to which Faulconer has really been following the approach to address the crisis.
A Parking Lot Plan Infuriates Encinitas Residents
Speaking of homeless solutions, Encinitas had one. City leaders there recently voted to allow a safe parking lot for homeless people living in their cars. A meeting where people gathered to discuss the lot got tense.
Residents floated concerns about children’s safety and the possibility of the lot attracting even more homeless people to the area. County Supervisor Kristin Gaspar was there. “I fundamentally believe that housing will not end homelessness,” she said. “It is a community that will.”