Wondering what we’ve been working on during the last month? Follow each committee’s efforts to move its issues and priorities forward in San Diego:
- Environmental Health
- Our press conference supporting community choice energy on 2/8 was a success. We sent a clear message of support to San Diego’s city council not to fall for the stalling tactics of a utility monopoly that offers us the dirtiest energy at the highest rates in the state. The city has a solid plan to analyze the two different business plans by Fall 2018. We let them know that competition is good for business and that we are ready to accelerate the city’s vision of being powered by 100% renewable energy before 2035.
- County Climate Action Plan. For too long, the County has shuffled its feet and set a low bar on meeting state-mandated goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We saw that firsthand during the presentation of the draft at the Planning Commission, which was ultimately adopted by the Board of Supervisors. The plan relies on Direct Investments and carbon offsets outside the county as a key strategy, which will not limit sprawl development. Instead, it will put more cars on the roads, and make it more difficult for our businesses to employ people who live near them and are connected to the community. These offsets do not ensure that we improve air quality here in San Diego County, where I and 230 other members of Business For Good are investing. The mitigation measures are, simply put, a meaningless distinction in the end. Why are we striving for an 80% diversion goal? Is that final 20% just too overwhelming? Do we not believe in San Diego’s ability to find innovative solutions that other municipalities have already proven possible? Our position is simple: If five cities in the county can commit to 100% renewable energy targets, then we want to see the County take that admirable step as well, showing the whole country that we are at the forefront of combating climate change. That would be good public relations for San Diego, which would be good for business immediately. It would also be good for the health and future of all San Diegans, which is good for business forever.
- HomelessnessThe homelessness committee had its first meeting and is looking forward to the next two: developing a small business “toolkit” with the guidance of our friends at i.d.e.a., and meeting with Gordon Walker, CEO of the Regional Taskforce on the Homeless, to discuss ways we can support its strategic framework to end homelessness in San Diego.
- Government Transparency
We have been pushing for the board of supervisors to reinstate an evening budget hearing when they vote on the county’s $5 billion+ annual budget in June. Why does this matter: last year, hundreds of San Diegans made the time to attend & learn. In fact, 9 of our own businesses were there to share their thoughts directly. Good government practices should value this kind of public input, as it informs our elected officials’ decisions. Instead, our supervisors decided that 2 consecutive years of listening to their constituents was good enough and decided against doing it in 2018.Of course, we then found the irony too good to be true as we attended the “state of the county” event on February 27th in the evening, with all supervisors present & willing to showcase themselves…
- Immigration3 of our members participated in the City of San Diego’s WelcomingSD immigrant symposium on 2/2, and weighed in on ways to create economic opportunities for new Americans. Executive Director Karim Bouris was the lead facilitator in one of the afternoon’s breakout sessions.
- Business ResourcesThe committee is going to be sending a survey your way so we can learn more about your access to capital opportunities, challenges and reality. Stay tuned and expect it by end March. This data is critical to help us ultimately shape a new ecosystem: one that prioritizes support & investment in small business instead of incentivizing large corporations in San Diego.
- And finally: Working with elected officials
- We met with California Senate President Pr-Tem Toni Atkins on 2/19 to discuss single payer health & other policy priorities
- As part of our monthly general meeting, members had a rich conversation with Omar Passons on 2/14 as part of the “Meet the Candidate” section of the agenda. Head’s up: come meet Nathan Fletcher on at our next meeting on 3/14.
- Last but not least, we’ve been encouraging members to know more about their District Attorney and why this race matters in San Diego.