The recall is now officially less than two weeks out and by most indicators it’s going to be very close. Get ready for an even heavier barrage of ads everywhere you look. The most important thing is to vote on September 14th.
And speaking of heating up, redistricting, the redrawing of our elected officials’ area of representation, is taking center stage with many communities of interest public meetings being carried out. This is our chance to have our voices be heard on this very important issue. The north inland county has changed dramatically in the last 10 years with population shifts and growth in areas throughout our region. New housing has attracted buyers from all over and created new micro-communities in our cities and unincorporated areas. It’s important to make sure our region is fairly represented at all levels of government. Having accurate, fair and inclusive geographical districts is a critical frame from which we elect our representatives and hold them accountable for addressing the needs of their district.
I was not able to attend last week’s Homeless Community Advisory Group meeting organized by the city and held at City Hall. The issue is one that we feel deserves a better answer than what we’re experiencing. We applaud the city for their efforts here. We also feel it’s going to take more than the city organizing an advisory group.
The Chamber is taking in an increasing number of complaints and stories of encounters between businesses and some homeless who are causing issues and interfering with shop owners being able to conduct business. These shop owners have a right to earn a living by conducting business. They’ve chosen Escondido, applied for and complied with all necessary licensing and permitting to do business in Escondido, they pay taxes and employ staffs. They have a right to conduct business which is difficult enough without additional issues. The homeless problem is not exclusive to Escondido but, based on figures readily available to everyone is disproportionately a bigger issue here than in all neighboring cities. Why is that?
We need consensus that we have a problem, and we need actionable steps to resolve the problem. Not-for-profits, business owners, community representatives and faith leaders should align efforts, communicate and work together. We must realize that we all need each other, and it is only when we all agree that a real solution can begin.
Welcome to the City of Escondido goes out to Jennifer Schoeneck who has begun her duties as the new Deputy Director of Economic Development for the City of Escondido. We look forward to working closely with Jennifer.
Next week’s Government Affairs Committee headed by Committee Chair Stan Weiler should be interesting as we have SD County Supervisor, District 5 Jim Desmond as our guest speaker. Plan on joining us Tuesday the 7th here at the Chamber at 4pm, you can register HERE.
Finally, one more congratulations to our 1st annual Best of Escondido Eats restaurant winners! Look for their awards hanging proudly in their restaurant’s.
James Rowten (JR)