By Anna Daniels
The following is the public testimony that I provided at the May 16 budget hearing before the San Diego city council.
Good Evening. My name is Anna Daniels and I am a resident of City Heights. I have attended close to a decade of budget hearings, always as an advocate for our library system.
But this year is different. I stand here before you as a person of conscience who has been witnessing first hand a burgeoning and permanent underclass of the dispossessed in City Heights and San Diego.
A growing population among us cannot find affordable places to live or jobs that pay a living wage. This is a crisis that we cannot ignore. Once people are reduced to living in the streets or their cars or a canyon the human and financial costs spiral out of control, becoming yet another crisis.
I do not support a budget that will continue to direct our resources to sweeps that confiscate the tents and belongings of homeless people during a winter rainstorm. I do not support those sweeps under any circumstances.
As a person of conscience, I do not support a budget that provides funding for rocks to be dumped in an area where homeless people congregate and find shelter. This was the most reprehensible, morally bankrupt act that I have seen committed by our city government in the over three decades that I have lived here.
I know that Mayor Faulconer is the force behind these shameful responses to the homeless. I don’t assume that all of you support them and know that many of you don’t.
But my question to you, as the legislative branch of our city government, as representatives of conscience, where and how will you take a stand on these issues?