By Sara Kent /Sara’s Ramblings
Chris Wahl, spokesman for Shipyards industry executives, wants Barrio Logan residents to move away.
Under the new Barrio Logan Community Plan Update, the foreign-owned companies Wahl represents can expand up to 20% by right, then go through special permitting processes if they want to grow further.
Nobody is kicking them out, the zoning for the Shipyards remains untouched, and the Navy has unilaterally stated it will not leave San Diego because of the Barrio Logan Plan (if you heard that condos were being built at the Shipyards or that the Navy was leaving, it’s because Shipyards representatives like Wahl lied about it).
The facts of the Barrio Logan Plan – assurances that existing Shipyards businesses are protected – are not good enough for the wealthy executives, however. They would prefer the residents move away and quit impeding their unbridled profits. They think the people who live there should disappear, because they don’t want to be forced to be responsible neighbors by submitting to sensible restrictions on future growth.
Chris Wahl said recently on KPBS Midday Edition, “…you can put community housing in any city or any part of the city.”
He also told KPBS in September 2013: “Everybody wants to have a better separation of uses, we are all on the same page on that,” he said. “But it can’t be at the expense of the shipyards and their future.”
‘Separation of uses’ means “We’ll stay; you leave.”
To San Diego’s credit, there seems to be support and sympathy for the Barrio Logan residents in their battle for a healthier future versus the Shipyards – especially when contrasted with recent deep disappointment in vocal, anti-density members of the Clairemont community.
Will this respect and sympathy equate toYES votes on Propositions B and C on June 3?
Is Barrio Logan a legitimate community of San Diego residents? Do they have a right to live and thrive in the neighborhood they call “home?”
If the Shipyards executives had their way, the residents would leave. Where would they go? Another area of San Diego that is equally affordable because it has poor air quality? Should they leave San Diego, en masse, and go… where? El Cajon? La Mesa? El Centro? Arizona? Certainly somewhere out of sight.
A “no” vote on these propositions is an intention to erase this community; to support the false notion that Barrio Logan residents are somehow less valid citizens of San Diego. To vote “no” is to endorse the sickness of their children. To vote “no” is to agree with Chris Wahl and the executives he represents that the residents should move somewhere else. A “no” vote endorses lying and bullying to get a public vote in an attempt to overturn Barrio Logan’s hard won plan.
I hope you’ll vote YES on June 3. If you live in San Diego, you have until May 19 to register to vote.
You can also financially support the Yes on B and C campaign, like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, and tell your friends that a simple YES vote on June 3 will help right some of the injustices suffered by this culturally rich, valuable community.
Sara Kent works for Coast Law Group, the attorneys in litigation against the Ship Repair Association. Her comments are her own.
For more of our June 2014 primary coverage, go here.