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The Council Can — and Should — Move the Hotel Tax Measure to March 2020

There are some who believe all ballot initiatives should only come forward in November elections; however, as elected leaders, Section 23 of the San Diego City Charter gives the City Council the flexibility to make this decision.

The San Diego Convention Center / Photo courtesy of the San Diego Convention Center Corp.

As Council president, my job is to lead and fight for progress on the serious challenges our families and neighborhoods face – homelessness, housing affordability, poverty, infrastructure, environmental protection and building a world-class transit network.

My leadership has always reflected these priorities. My direct approach to governance has been shaped by those I serve. From my Housing Action Plan, to the transportation goals I have worked to advance as the chair of MTS and the creation of the first Council President’s Work Plan, I have responded to the critical issues we face and I have laid out the plans to address them.

As many of us would agree, there is a large gap between the San Diego we are and the San Diego we aspire to be. There are solutions to this, such as securing new funding streams that will advance equity in all neighborhoods. Therefore, ballot measures that move us forward in addressing the challenges San Diego faces require a fair chance to be heard.

There are some who believe all ballot initiatives should only come forward in November elections; however, as elected leaders, Section 23 of the San Diego City Charter gives the City Council the flexibility to make this decision.

These are the reasons why I docketed the resolution of intent to place the “A Better San Diego” initiative on the March 2020 ballot for consideration by the City Council on Monday, April 15. This initiative would increase the transient occupancy tax to create funding streams to address homelessness, street repairs and the expansion of the Convention Center. I will support bringing this measure to the voters during our primary election in March 2020.

Considering this measure on the March 2020 ballot is just one step among many. We have a lot of work to do to make San Diego a city that creates equity, access and opportunity for all.

Georgette Gómez is president of the San Diego City Council and represents District 9.

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