Locally in the State of California, we have a first with an African-American woman as the first female mayor of the City of Los Angeles. The significance of this is not that she is a woman, but that she is qualified for the position.
Mayor Karen Bass is a former member of the U.S. Congress and chairperson of The Congressional Black Caucus; former member of the California Legislature where she served as the first woman to ever become Speaker of the Assembly; and member of the Legislative Black Caucus in the Assembly with a string of achievements.
But perhaps the most important thing about the new mayor, which represents a change, is her stated commitment to attack the problem of the 40,000 individuals in the City of Los Angeles who are homeless.
Although we have millions of dollars here in California allocated to the issue of homelessness, one unanswered question is how do we reduce or eliminate homelessness without addressing the issues of “rent control”?
The absence of rent control means that landlords can raise rents almost at will, force people out of their homes because they complain about the lack of repairs or other problems with their dwellings and not experience any real problems under the very laws that call such actions “Retaliatory Evictions.”
In the City of San Diego, we added one new council member, with those running for office, re-elected. We also experienced redistricting, with changes in the areas now being represented by people re-elected to office.
We also have new mayors in the cities of Chula Vista and National City, California cities connecting with the City of San Diego. All of this represents elements of change and new opportunities for governance for those who see such possibilities.
The question here is where do you stand? Do you see the opportunities? Are you concerned about the mounting problem of homelessness and making tough decisions beyond how much money is available to tackle the problem?
Let us hear from you on these issues and opportunities as we confront the changes before us.
Dr. John E. Warren is the publisher of the San Diego Voice & Viewpoint Newspaper.
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