Steph Johnson on Ballot Measure Proposal for Public Health and Social Welfare

Steph Johnson and Ramla SahidYesterday I experienced a first when I walked into the City Clerk’s office, and Mayor’s office, to drop off the ballot proposal that was created by the committee I am co-chair of – here’s why this should interest you…

  1. Back in 1931, there was an existing charter which stipulated the city would provide public health and social welfare for the people in need. (Section 26.1 Public Services Required)
  2. In 1963, after 32 years of services provided, the people repealed it. They believed the powers in office at that time and that the health services would be handled by the county, no longer by the city. Well, it never was and no such department has been created to handle the ever increasing challenges facing our city, such as: homelessness, drug and alcohol abuse, communicable diseases, new Americans and refugee integration issues and other social conditions that lead to poverty, crime and disease. *FYI, The city government has commissions that focus on Art and Culture, Conventions and Tourism, Parks and Recreation, Planning, Trees, Stadiums and other special focus commissions – but none focused on the basic human conditions of our people.
  3. Now in 2016, homelessness is up 67% since 2015. Of the homeless that we see living on our sidewalks and streets, 70% of them BECAME homeless while living here in San Diego – and don’t believe the low numbers released by HUD (housing and urban development) of total homeless population in San Diego. Their numbers of the total homeless population do NOT include the over 22,000 homeless children that is reported by schools. For some reason, these children are out of site and out of mind.
  4. Currently the city does NOT have a department that handles public health and we need it! The current administration leans on churches, non-profits and citizens to handle the overwhelming human condition issues facing San Diego. All this, while the city grows an unconscionable $2.2 Billion reserve. People are suffering and things seem to be accelerating in the DOWNTOWN, EAST VILLAGE, HILLCREST, NORTH PARK, SOUTH PARK, GOLDEN HILL, SHERMAN HEIGHTS, STOCKTON areas and more.
  5. About the committee: We met at the Women’s Democratic Office off of Fairmont Ave and you are welcome to join us. The committee consists of three attorneys, a political activist and one jazz musician/activist. 😉

If you are interested in learning more and/or getting involved, please send me an email at

Last but not least: We have a VERY important meeting on Wednesday, June 15th at the City Clerk’s office before the Rules Committee. It is on this day they will weigh in on whether or not to proceed with making San Diego accountable at this critical time. More voices and attention help and WE CAN DEFINITELY BE THE CHANGE! Please support this effort if you can – if you are a writer, journalist, photographer, videographer – I would like to capture some images and video and put something together. If interested, please email me directly.

Thank you for reading and sharing!

With love and gratitude,

“Winner of the SD Magazine Songwriting Competition and multiple SD Music Award nominee, Steph Johnson is that rare panoramic talent that captures your attention from the first note. Blending Blues, Soul, Jazz and R&B, Johnson’s robust emotional presence is sure to linger with listeners just as long as her voice of arousing distinction.” –

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