New Ballot Proposal for a City Department of Public Health and Social Welfare

San_Diego_City_Seal-300x300On Monday June 6, 2016 the Democratic Woman’s Club of San Diego County delivered a ballot measure proposal to the City Clerk calling for the reinstatement of City Departments for Public Health and Social Welfare created in 1931 and later disbanded in 1963.

The Rules Committee will meet Wednesday June 15 at 9:00 a.m. in the Committee Room on the 12th Floor of the City Administration Building at 202 C Street 92101 to consider our proposed ballot measure that is the second item on the Agenda (PDF).

Consideration of a ballot measure proposal by the Democratic Woman’s Club of San Diego County to reinstate Charter sections 61 – Social Service Department and 60 – Department of Public Health.

We need your support. If you can attend the meeting that’d be great, and if you can’t make it in person please contact Council President Sherri Lightner, Chair or your City Councilmember to voice your support.

This department will recommend and implement systems that will  improve the social conditions which lead to poverty, crime and disease.

On June 6th, 2016, Democratic Woman’s Club submitted the attached ballot proposal to focus city responsibilities on human services.

Our city is challenged by ever increasing homelessness, drug and alcohol abuse, communicable diseases, including but not limited to AIDS, Zika, West Niles and others; affordable housing unavailability, aging issues, new American and refugee inclusion issues and other social conditions which lead to poverty, crime and disease. We see these issues accelerating due to climate change, overpopulation and a lack of services provided for those in need.

What is interesting to us is that this was originally approved by voters on April 7th in 1931 in Section 61 and was repealed in 1963 by voters who believed that these services would be carried out by the county. To date, whatever meager services that have been offered by the county have failed to meet the needs of San Diegans.

The County’s failure in its responsibility to enroll and provide meaningful access to CalFresh (food stamps), Calworks, and basic healthcare to our most vulnerable population has been well documented. All this, while the county grows an unconscionable $2.2 billion reserve.

The City of San Diego has a responsibility to ensure and safeguard the public health and wellbeing of The City of San Diego and it’s inhabitants. Through this department, The City can play a stronger role in ensuring that families of all socioeconomic backgrounds are able to enjoy and thrive in their city.


References:

Rose Institute of State and Local Government, Comparing San Diego County Services - A Twelve-County Analysis

Food Action Research Center, SNAP Access in Urban America

The Brookings Institute: Metropolitan Policy Program, Leaving Money (and Food) tn the Table

Thanks to Ramla Sahid, Stephanie Johnson, Andrea Carter, John Stump and many others for their work on this ballot measure proposal.

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