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Dear Neighbor,

Mark your calendars for my upcoming State of the City Address happening at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 10.

We're bringing the speech to you via livestream, making it easier than ever for San Diegans to keep up with progress on the City’s most pressing issues.

The State of the City Address is a direct line to the work we have undertaken over the past year, and what we have planned for the year head. It provides insight into our past achievements, challenges and future plans.

Our city has achieved many significant milestones in 2023, and the State of the City Address is a moment to celebrate accomplishments and acknowledge the hard work of our City staff and community – and to talk about the job that’s still ahead. 

As always, it’s an honor to serve as your Mayor.  

City Launches First-Ever Cannabis Social Equity Program 

To promote equity in the local cannabis industry, the City of San Diego is launching our first-ever cannabis equity program.

The Social Equity and Economic Development (SEED) program will work to ensure greater access to the cannabis industry for individuals impacted by the war of drugs, which caused lasting inequities in our African American, Latinx, and Indigenous communities.

After hosting several forums and providing opportunities for community members to provide input, we have created the SEED Program to focus on establishing a more equitable permitting process for businesses wanting to enter the cannabis industry.

The SEED program will permit 18 new cannabis outlets operated by Social Equity Applicants in more locations with reduced distance requirements from certain uses such as parks and libraries. Six SEED permits will be issued in the first year of the program through a lottery system for eligible applicants. 

The criteria to qualify for the SEED Program as a Social Equity Applicant include: 

Individuals, immediate family members or legal guardians who have a past conviction or arrest for one of these cannabis crimes: Sale; Possession; Use; Manufacture; Cultivation.

And must meet two of the following criteria: 

• Be a current or former resident of the City of San Diego who has lived in the following community plan areas for at last 5 years cumulative residency between 1980 and 2016: Barrio Logan, Linda Vista, Southeastern San Diego, Encanto Neighborhoods, Greater Golden Hill, Greater North Park, City Heights, College Area, Eastern Area, San Ysidro. 


• Have a household income below 80% of the Area Median Income in either the preceding year or current year of submitting an equity verification application or eligible to get financial aid through a program like: CalFresh; MediCal; CalWORKS; Supplemental security income; Social Security disability. 


• Lost housing in San Diego through eviction, foreclosure, or subsidy cancellation after 1994. 


• Attended school in San Diego County for at least five (5) years between 1971 and 2016. 


• Placed in the foster care system between 1971 and 2016. 


The Department of Race and Equity will provide grants to support Social Equity Applicants with paying for licensing and regulatory fees, legal assistance, and funds to lease space. 


Training and education will also be provided for community members seeking to understand systemic racism and interested in creating opportunities that produce more equitable outcomes that remove racial/ethnic disparities. 


There is no single policy that can dismantle the history of racism, but this program will allow us to provide equitable ownership and employment opportunities to communities who have been disproportionally impacted by a lack of financial resources because of generational disparities. 

This February, City staff will present the SEED Program to the Planning Commission, and then to the full City Council in the spring.

Installation of New Pure Water Pipeline at Miramar Reservoir Begins 

The City of San Diego is preparing to install a new underwater pipeline at its Miramar Reservoir as part of the Pure Water Program.

This will be the final segment of a pipeline project that will convey purified water from the North City Pure Water Facility, located off Eastgate Mall, through 8 miles of pipeline to the reservoir.

Pure Water San Diego is the City’s phased, multi-year program that will provide nearly half of our water supply locally by 2035.

Pure Water will use proven purification technology to clean recycled water and produce safe, high-quality drinking water. 

Read more about the latest Pure Water news on Inside San Diego.  


Major Upgrades to Critical Cross-Border Corridor  

Work in Otay Mesa continues to improve La Media Road. This project will enhance safety, provide congestion relief and alleviate flooding in an area that accommodates significant cross-border commercial traffic. The project is taking place in two phases and is expected to be completed next year. 


City Launches Public Survey to Gather Feedback on Police Chief Recruitment

As the City of San Diego launches its nationwide search for a new Chief of Police, community members are invited to take an online survey to share their opinions about the qualities and characteristics they wish to see in the City’s next law enforcement leader. 

Choosing who will lead the police department will directly impact the public safety of all San Diegans.  

In addition to the survey - also accessible in Spanish - the City’s Human Resources Department is hosting a series of community forums, with one in each of San Diego’s nine City Council districts throughout the month of January:

Council District 7 Community Forum 

6:00 - 8:00 p.m. 

Monday, Jan. 8 


Council District 1 Community Forum 

6:30 - 8:30 p.m. 

Thursday, Jan. 11 


Council District 2 Community Forum 

5:00 - 7:00 p.m. 

Friday, Jan. 12 


Council District 8 Community Forum 

10:00am - 12:00 p.m. 

Saturday, Jan. 13 


Council District 9 Community Forum 

5:00 - 7:00 p.m.  

Tuesday, Jan. 16 


District 5 Community Forum 

5:00 - 7:00 p.m. 

Wednesday, Jan. 17 


Council District 6 Community Forum 

6:00 - 8:00 p.m. 

Thursday, Jan. 18 


Council District 4 Community Forum 

6:00 - 8:00 p.m. 

Tuesday, Jan. 23 


Council District 3 Community Forum 

5:30 - 7:30 p.m. 

Wednesday, Jan. 24 


RSVP for a community meeting here.  


The complete schedule for the forums can be found on the Chief Recruitment webpage. Anyone who cannot participate in the forums is especially encouraged to take the online survey.  

The survey asks community members what priorities they deem important, how the San Diego Police Department should engage and interact with the community and what characteristics the next Chief should possess.  

Community members who are interested in participating in the meetings are encouraged to RSVP online; however, an RSVP is not required to attend. Language interpretation and accessibility services are available during the meetings upon request.  

For more information on the recruitment process and upcoming community meetings, please visit the City’s Police Chief Recruitment webpage.   

Planning for the Future of Balboa Park 

The Parks and Recreation Department has engaged AEA Consulting to develop a Prioritization Framework for future Balboa Park capital projects. 

The goal of this project is to help identify strategic priorities for future investment in Balboa Park, inform future decision-making and provide better alignment between available resources and what residents want to experience when they visit. 

To do this, we need your help in two specific ways. First, the City is deploying a public survey to collect resident and stakeholder feedback on priorities for Balboa Park – What do you consider important to enhance the overall visitor experience? Where do you spend the most time in the park and why? What areas do you visit most and what areas need the most attention? 


Please make your voice heard by taking this brief survey today. 


We would appreciate you circulating this survey with your staff, board members, colleagues, neighbors and anyone across San Diego who loves Balboa Park like you do and wants to weigh in on its future. The survey will close January 28th. 


Second, the City (via AEA) will also be hosting four public engagement sessions to gather additional public input. Please mark your calendars for one of these sessions – we look forward to seeing you there and hearing from you:  


Tuesday, January 30 at Bankers Hill Club 

6 - 8 p.m. 

3030 Front Street 

San Diego, CA 92103 


Wednesday, January 31 at Santa Fe Room / Balboa Park Club  

6 - 8 p.m. 

2150 Pan American Road, West 

San Diego, CA 92101 


Thursday, February 1 at Golden Hill Rec Center 

6 - 8 p.m. 

2600 Golf Course Drive, Suite B 

San Diego, CA 92102 


Thursday, March 7 at Balboa Park Committee Monthly Meeting at Santa Fe Room / Balboa Park Club 

6 - 8 p.m. 

2150 Pan American Road, West 

San Diego, CA 92101 


If you have questions about the survey or the upcoming engagement sessions, please contact Catalina Casas with AEA Consulting at 1-845-765-8100 or by email at [email protected]. We thank you in advance for your help. 

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San Diego, CA 92101


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