San Diego County has many plebiscites on its March 2020 ballot. Two are focused on managing the development of rural areas. One is yet another bond to redevelop the convention center. Two of these three claims they will help with San Diego’s homelessness crisis.
The City of San Diego’s Measure C has lots of words about homelessness and housing, but it doesn’t have what it takes to deliver for the homeless. Every ballot seems to have another initiative to raise funds for a new convention facility owned by the City of San Diego or to expand the current facility or to repair the current facility on Harbor Drive. The proponents know that the fatigue of another plebiscite for a convention center has set in on San Diegans. San Diegans have long known that the city’s funding mechanism is imperfect; the most obvious example is how lodgers with facilities in Coronado don’t have to pay this tax but lodgers in the City of San Diego further away do.
The greatest flaw of Measure C (described in the voter pamphlet starting on page 54, then discussed starting on Page 58 at the previous link.) is that it has more verbiage about housing for the homeless than the capacity to accomplish anything that relieves the problem. Business interests that have a stake in a well kept and adequate convention facility think that they have to go to voters with something new and different to get the votes to pass the new tax. The supporters of Measure C picked some current civic concerns and balled them up with another increase to the occupancy tax. That’s clever by half. It’s also insufficient to give homeless San Diegans what they need.
The lodging industry has made too many dubious claims about the part that it plays in giving San Diegans opportunities to earn a living. It took California’s legislature and governor to enact increases to the minimum wage to give those claims some validity. The promises of housing the homeless and filling potholes in San Diego seem to be more empty promises. The San Diego County Central Committee of the California National Party urges voters to defeat Measure C on March 3, 2020.