City of San Diego Mayoral Candidates Answer Questions Vital to Voters Age 50+

Posted on 10/21/20 by Shea McCaslin

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AARP is committed to ensuring voters have the information they need to cast their ballot this year! That is why we are sharing how City of San Diego Mayoral candidates plan to act on issues important to 50-plus voters, if elected.


Question 1: A livable community should offer safe, walkable streets; age-friendly housing and transportation options; access to needed services; and opportunities for residents of all ages to participate in community life. What are three specific policies you will seek to implement to make San Diego more livable for people of all ages, especially for older adults ages 50+?

Barbara Bry - City of San Diego, Mayoral Candidate
Barbara Bry
“I have supported building more housing near public transit to ensure seniors have better access. They will be able to walk to close-by stores and restaurants, gather at community centers and parks, and ride public transit.  I also support new development that provides more moderate-priced housing. San Diego can once again take pride in being a “City of Villages.” As for transportation, before we invest billions in disruptive and outdated transportation technologies, we should sit down with community stakeholders to review consider alternatives. We also need to look to the future by investing in smart highways and exploring autonomous transportation.

We have numerous tools for addressing our shortage of affordable housing, like inclusionary zoning, tax credits, streamlined permitting, and now accessory dwelling units and “tiny homes.” I will use all of them. But there’s no single silver bullet that solves the problem, and no one-size-fits-all solution that works in every neighborhood. We shouldn’t cram massive projects into communities where single-family homes are integral to neighborhood character. And we shouldn’t support density without the infrastructure needed to accommodate it.

The homelessness crisis has reached every part of San Diego. The public health and public safety consequences are dire. Empty promises won’t solve this crisis, and the chronically homeless who behave aggressively won’t be helped by a “Housing First” policy. My seamless system of housing services will address root causes of homelessness, including mental health and substance abuse, with trained specialists on the street 24/7 and service providers accountable for results.”

Todd Gloria - City of San Diego, Mayoral Candidate
Todd Gloria
“First, we must defeat COVID-19. We must let data and science guide our decision-making to ensure older adults are protected and can make ends meet.

Secondly, we must address our housing crisis. To ensure a thriving and diverse economy, and to provide opportunities for older adults we must increase the supply of housing. As Mayor, I will combine housing construction with aggressive infrastructure investment to reduce sky-high housing costs, but also improve our neighborhood mobility options. As a renter myself, I understand how hard it is to afford higher and higher rents. I plan to protect our older renters by supporting restrictions on rent increases and by supporting a cap on annual rent increases.

Third, we must fix our roads to create a more accessible transportation network. Our goal should be to create a more accessible transportation system for our growing older adult population. As Mayor, I will consolidate the various citywide transportation functions into a single Mobility Department. This will unite our transportation strategy to ensure older adults can get around more freely. I will work to improve citywide ADA accessibility and work with our various advocacy organizations to make sure their needs are met. In addition, I will actively serve on the MTS (San Diego Metropolitan Transit System) Board of Directors, so San Diego can drive the agenda on improving transit routes, so residents are better connected to where they need to go. Lastly, my administration will invest in sidewalks, streetlights, parklets, and other innovative improvements to improve our neighborhoods walkability.”

Question 2: Older adults, like people of all ages, want respect and to be involved on issues that impact their lives. As a local leader, how will you ensure there are age-friendly opportunities for older adults to contribute meaningfully to San Diego and have their voices heard?

Barbara Bry - City of San Diego, Mayoral Candidate

“I helped lead the creation of an innovation economy north of I-8. As mayor, I will develop an innovation economy south of I-8 with a biotech hub downtown at the Horton Plaza and Manchester IQHQ sites. This will revitalize the city’s economy. It will create new service sector jobs close to transit with a bustling new arts and culture scene.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made everyone aware of a problem seniors already experience: Barriers to access are keeping too many people isolated and silent. My administration will provide universal Internet access to all families and small businesses. Our regional strategy for an effective remote workforce will mean you don’t have to leave your home to use your skills and talents. And the current practice of using the Zoom platform for public meetings should continue to be an option even after the COVID restrictions are lifted.

One of the most important things an elected official can do is one of the simplest: Listen. In my travels across the city, I have listened attentively to the concerns of residents and small business owners. I have taken notes and followed up. People have been astounded by this. They tell me, “No one ever listens to us. Politicians talk, talk, talk at us, then they go ahead and made decisions to serve special interests.” The City Hall culture of backroom deals and pay-to-pay politics will end when I am mayor.”

Todd Gloria - City of San Diego, Mayoral Candidate
“Building off the 2017 AARP-United States Conference of Mayors Preparing for Aging Populations in America’s Cities Report we need to ensure that our older adults have a seat at the table to make San Diego a more vibrant community. As a member of the Assembly’s Aging and Long-Term Care Committee, I supported policies that made our community more accessible and inclusive to older adults. In this role, I made it a priority to visit regularly with older San Diegans to understand their concerns and develop policy solutions for our community in Sacramento. As Mayor, I promise that we will integrate senior friendly policies into our overall citywide strategy, so that older San Diegans can choose to live out their lives in their own homes and communities, surrounded by family and friends and a vibrant social network, for as long as possible. I plan to generate community input on our City’s future from various stakeholder groups, including our older adult advocacy groups. As our city moves into the post-Covid-19 era, it is essential that we create a San Diego that is more inclusive, fairer, and affordable for all, especially our older San Diegans.”

AARP has a proud 34-year history of nonpartisan voter engagement and does not endorse or oppose candidates or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates.

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