County Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer calls for ‘united voice’ on coastal issues during appearance in La Jolla

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Article written by Ashley Mackin-Solomon. Click here to read this article on The San Diego Union Tribune. 

San Diego County Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer says the region is in a unique position to speak with “a united voice” to address issues that affect the coast.

Speaking at the La Jolla Community Center during a meet-and-greet Sept. 19, the supervisor, whose District 3 includes La Jolla, discussed how environmental causes are among her top priorities.

“It’s great to be able to represent my hometown on the county Board of Supervisors,” said Lawson-Remer, a La Jolla High School graduate.

She was elected to the board in 2020, and the following year, redistricting (which takes place every 10 years to redraw district boundaries to reflect population data) placed La Jolla in Lawson-Remer’s district.

Other communities in the new District 3 include Carlsbad, Encinitas, Rancho Santa Fe, Harmony Grove, Solana Beach, Del Mar, Torrey Highlands, Sorrento Valley, Carmel Valley, Rancho Penasquitos, Mira Mesa, University City, Pacific Highlands, Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, Ocean Beach, Point Loma, Midway, Little Italy and Coronado.

“So really the entire coastline and a lot of the heart of the county of San Diego,” Lawson-Remer said. “For the first time in the history of San Diego County, we have an ‘environmental district’ that can really think every day of how to protect our beaches, oceans and open spaces because we can speak with a united voice … about the issues and priorities we all share.”

Lawson-Remer got involved with environmental causes while attending La Jolla High and says protecting the beaches and coastlines is essential. To do that, she said, the Board of Supervisors has made a higher priority of reducing stormwater runoff.

“We had a Board of Supervisors for a generation that really neglected our investments in stormwater runoff infrastructure,” she said. “That means every time it rains, pollution runs off into our streets and into the ocean.”

County Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer says she got involved with environmental causes when she attended La Jolla High School and that they are among her top priorities.

She said the current board also is taking steps to address climate change. “We had a Board of Supervisors before I was elected that felt climate was not their problem, it was someone else’s problem somewhere else. … We cannot make any progress on these global issues if we do not have leadership in every city willing to do the work in our communities, because so many decisions that drive climate change are happening in our communities. They are local decisions on land use, energy and the day-to-day ways we live our lives.”

She said she wants San Diego County off fossil fuels and onto renewable energy by 2035.
“We’re not sure we’re going to make it, but we’re working hard,” she said.

Steps also are being taken to improve the county’s responses to mental health and homelessness problems, Lawson-Remer said.

She emphasized the importance of building housing “near where people live and work” as a way to meet housing needs and reduce carbon emissions from cars stuck in traffic.

Dedicating half the time to prepared comments and the other half to pre-submitted questions, Lawson-Remer answered a question about rising rents across San Diego County, saying the board is working on legislation that would “start a regional equitable housing trust fund that would help acquire land and build housing” and that the board recently inventoried county land to look at making it available “to do a massive investment in affordable housing in San Diego.”

Lawson-Remer’s office made news locally for issuing grants to the La Jolla Village Merchants Association for assistance in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and to help with its wayfinding (directional signs) program. Other local organizations such as the La Jolla Historical Society, Walter Munk Foundation for the Oceans, La Jolla Playhouse and the Community Center also recently received county grants.

Lawson-Remer said she would like to get more involved with the La Jolla community and encouraged constituents to reach out to her office. Learn more at ◆