Newsletter: Did you see my report card?

News Date

New budget, new steps to fight pollution, and a new… report card? Read on to see the big things that happened this week!

New Budget for our Communities

This week my colleagues and I approved a $8.5 billion County budget for the 2024-25 fiscal year. 

This is about more than just money: This budget is a mechanism to continue to implement the policies the Board of Supervisors has been approving over the last three and a half years. 

The budget prioritizes our most critical issues including environmental protection, addressing homelessness, and expanding opportunities for mental health and addiction treatment.

  • Additional resources for us to continue our fight to clean up the Tijuana River sewage crisis, including upgrades to stormwater infrastructure to protect our local water supply, keeping pollution and toxic runoff out of our beloved beaches, bays, and coastlines.
  • Investments to continue addressing homelessness, using innovative thinking to clean up streets, clear encampments, and get people the help they need and into supportive housing. 
  • Enhanced programs to tackle the opioid crisis, with a specific emphasis on fentanyl enforcement, prevention, and addiction treatment. These programs provide real results for people in need and benefit our communities.
  • Funds to improve our communities, including making road improvements, funding parks and libraries, and enhancing public safety.

You can view the approved budget on the County’s website.

New Policy Recognizes Beach Bacteria Goes Beyond the Shore

I’m pleased to share that I was able to secure the support of my colleagues on the Board of Supervisors to approve a policy allowing the County to monitor and address possible airborne contamination resulting from the Tijuana River sewage crisis. 

This policy will expand data collectionexamine health impacts on residents beyond direct water exposure, and develop stronger decontamination protocols for sewage-contaminated floodwaters.  

Why this matters: Studies by the Scripps Institute of Oceanography show that sewage-associated bacteria can be aerosolized by the ocean waves, potentially exposing unsuspecting people further inland. Collecting data on the public health impacts this causes could give us an additional tool in our fight to address this environmental crisis. If we can uncover new data that proves aerosolized sewage-associated bacteria is negatively affecting the health of people in San Diego County, we will have more leverage to go after federal funds to fix this crisis.

Climate Report Card

Hammond Climate Solutions, in partnership with San Diego Environmental Voters and Climate Defenders Action Fund, released their annual Climate Report Card this week. The 2023 Climate Report Card evaluates how elected officials in San Diego County voted on key climate issues and provides a look at which elected officials have demonstrated that they are dedicated to true climate action in the region.

I am proud to have received an “A” grade on the climate report card for the third year in a row. Protecting our environment and addressing climate change are among my highest priorities, and promoting sustainability needs to be at the forefront of everything we do. 

From cleaning up the Tijuana River sewage crisis to fighting for clean air and water to transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy at the County, I will continue the fight to protect and enhance our environment. Thank you, Hammond Climate Solutions, for recognizing our efforts!

In service,