Proposition 1 "Treatment Not Tents" Has Support from County of San Diego, City of San Diego & Labor Leaders

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Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer announced today she will bring a resolution to the San Diego County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, to support Governor Gavin Newsom's plan to modernize the Mental Health Services Act. She was flanked by San Diego City Councilmember Raul Campillo, Crystal Irving, President of SEIU Local 221 and medical professionals. 

“Proposition 1 will ensure local best practices and state funding are aligned, which will allow us to help more people get more people treated and on a path to a better quality of life,” said Supervisor Lawson-Remer. “The way we treated mental health and addiction when the Mental Health Service Act was passed is not the same as it is today. The old way of funding behavioral health is no longer the right way. It’s time for a change.” 

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The March ballot initiative titled Proposition 1 “Treatment not Tents” will refocus billions of dollars in existing funds to prioritize individuals that have the greatest mental health needs, are living in encampments, or suffering from substance abuse issues. 

Earlier this month, Councilmember Campillo authored and secured the votes from his colleagues on the San Diego City Council to support Proposition 1.

“San Diegans deserve dignified care,” said Councilmember Campillo. “Proposition 1 will help our entire region address our mental illness and substance abuse crises by investing billions in behavioral health beds across California. I applaud Supervisor Lawson-Remer for calling on the County to follow the City’s lead and declare its support for Prop 1.”

Proposition 1, if passed in March, will help to build 11,150 new treatment beds and supportive housing, create 26,700 outpatient treatment slots, and set aside $1 billion for veteran housing along with recruiting and training 65,000 mental health workers.  

Chairwoman Vargas, who is the County of San Diego’s representative on the California State Association of Counties, has been in communication with County leaders from across the state about the benefits Prop. 1 can bring to their communities. 

County workers, especially social workers and behavioral health clinicians regularly come in contact with San Diegans who would benefit from more resources to assist with their mental health and substance use disorder challenges.  

“SEIU members are on the frontlines of California’s mental health crisis. We are social workers, outreach workers, healthcare workers, housing workers, caregivers, teachers, park workers, and nurses in both the detention facilities and the Psychiatric Hospital.  Each and every day, our dedicated county workers show up to work determined to rebuild trust and deliver compassion to people who have suffered too much cruelty. Yet more often than not, our workers find their hands tied by siloed systems and bureaucratic barriers in the way of bringing people who are hungry, sick, and experiencing trauma into safety,” said SEIU President Irving. “Prop 1 would build the workforce we need to get people into quality care more quickly and empower frontline workers, like our members, to craft solutions based on their expertise and time they have dedicated to providing services. 

Another group who are engaging often with the severely mentally ill, and people dealing with addiction are doctors in local hospitals. Scripps Health and Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital representatives were on hand for the press conference. 

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors will vote on Tuesday, January 23 during their regularly scheduled 9 a.m. meeting. To read Supervisor Lawson-Remer’s policy, click here and to read the resolution, click here.