In the last 2 days San Diego City Council president Georgette Gómez has been endorsed by some of the most trusted names in progressive politics– AOC, Ro Khanna, Jamie Raskin, Pramila Jayapal… Bernie had endorsed her the week before. Today, Blue America adds our name to the growing list of endorsers.
Georgette made history as the first queer Latina elected to the San Diego City Council and two years ago she was unanimously elected president of that body, earning the support of both Democrats and Republicans. She’s used that position to champion progressive initiatives involving mass transit, affordable housing, environmental policies and standing up to Trump’s dangerous and bigoted border agenda. She told us that her priorities in Congress will be tackling the climate crisis, providing quality and affordable healthcare to all, investing in infrastructure and reducing gun violence. Her opponent is Qualcomm heiress Sara Jacobs, whose family is trying to buy her a congressional seat.
We asked Georgette to write a few paragraphs about the importance of affordable housing– both looking backwards towards her job in San Diego and forwards to her job in DC. Please consider contributing to her campaign by clicking on the Blue America 2020 congressional thermometer below.
The Housing Crisis
-by Georgette Gómez
California has a housing crisis and it doesn’t take being at City Council to know that we are feeling it here in San Diego. Rent and home value continues to increase, and despite the work that we are doing at the city, the number of people living on our streets continues to grow.
This crisis is personal for me.
When I was growing up my parents worked hard, often two or three jobs, but that still wasn’t enough. There was a time that we lost our home, and my parents, my two siblings, and I shared a living room. We were lucky compared to many people. My parents managed to secure a new place, and we all moved in to a new house. It wasn’t luxurious, but it was home.
The challenges that many people are facing now are even more difficult than the situation my family was in.
Our inability to solve this crisis at the Council is one of the most frustrating parts of the job. We have allocated millions to new housing, loosened the requirements for adding living spaces to existing homes, and have mandated that every new significant development has affordable housing units.
We have spent countless hours working on this issue, both amongst ourselves, with representatives from the state government, and with outside agencies. But that still isn’t enough.
This is not an issue that we can solve alone.
The State and the Federal government needs to do more. We need to dramatically expand the role that HUD is playing here in San Diego, partner with state agencies and nonprofits to bring in more resources, and make this issue the highest priority for our delegation.
If the Federal government can put a man on the moon, build the largest road system in the world, and provide trillions of dollars in tax breaks to the ultrawealthy, it can make sure that every American has a roof over their head at night. We are the richest nation in the history of the world, and our inability to provide shelter to the most vulnerable amongst us is shameful.
I am proud of the work that we have done during my tenure as Council President, and this is an issue I will continue to work on during my last year here. But we can’t solve this crisis unless we have a Representative in Congress who will bring back the resources that we need.
When I’m in Congress I will never give up this fight. For me, it’s personal.