By Bryan Pease
Our leaders should not be disparaging homeless families, individuals in poverty, veterans suffering from mental illness, and foster youth without homes. You wouldn’t expect this kind of negativity from a City Council member about one of the most vulnerable populations in San Diego.
But last week at the Midway Corridor Community Planning Group, Councilmember Lorie Zapf called homeless San Diegans “punks” and “vicious.” She also claimed that people who are homeless “don’t want services” and that Sacramento is to blame for our rising homeless population.
I was shocked, but I probably shouldn’t have been. This is establishment politics as usual. Blame someone else and kick the can. I spoke up in response and explained how San Diego is lagging behind other cities in implementing evidence-based solutions to reduce homelessness and save taxpayer money.
District 2 deserves leadership that will work to solve these issues for San Diego, rather than taking campaign money from luxury developers and turning a blind eye while people die on our streets.
While Councilmember Zapf looks for someone to blame, the problem only gets worse. The homeless population has increased by 10.3 percent over the past year, according to the annual Regional Task Force on the Homeless Point-In-Time Count.
Bryan Pease is a candidate in the 2018 election for San Diego City Council in District 2.