A rendering of the river park at the edge of the planned San Diego State University campus in Mission Valley. Courtesy SDSU

Last year, we called on San Diegans in the first-ever op-ed co-authored by the Lincoln Club of San Diego County and Sierra Club San Diego, and backed by the broadest community coalition ever assembled around a ballot initiative in local history, to approve Measure G, the SDSU West initiative.

In November 2018, voters approved Measure G, setting into motion an exciting vision for the Mission Valley stadium site that will benefit all San Diegans. Measure G passed in every single City Council district, demonstrating widespread support for San Diego State University — one of region’s oldest and most important institutions — to grow and thrive for generations to come.

Election day was just the first step in transforming the Mission Valley stadium site into a vibrant higher education institution, innovation hub, housing center, athletic and entertainment venue, and world-class river park, all along a transit line.

Since the passage of Measure G, San Diego State University began and is currently in process of a public environmental review process that can eventually yield a strong commitment to the environment and the prevention of climate change. The university has also demonstrated its commitment to engage the community through a public and transparent process by participating in more than 90 meetings and presentations about SDSU Mission Valley with local community groups, service organizations and nonprofits. Just as was promised during the election, San Diego State University has and will continue to incorporate public feedback.

San Diegans who voted in support of this project last November are also now eagerly hoping to move this fair and equitable deal forward without any further delay. Earlier this week, San Diego State University transparently and publically submitted a significantly increased offer to the City of San Diego. Mayor Kevin Faulconer and City staff have swiftly moved the offer forward to the City Council for approval. We ask that the City Council accept this offer on Nov. 18 and get this deal done quickly!

As we look forward, it’s important we don’t forget the ultimate goal of growing San Diego State University in Mission Valley. Thousands of students who may not have had the opportunity to attend a four-year university will now have the opportunity to go to San Diego State University because the landlocked campus will be able to expand and increase enrollment. By increasing access to higher education, thousands of people will be able to unlock new opportunities and build better lives for themselves and their families, while powering our regional economy in the long-term.

Measure G also promised to create the San Diego River Park, a wildlife corridor in the heart of San Diego and a place where all members of our community can make lasting memories with friends and family. This community space will be built with the goal of integrating Mission Valley’s urban setting with the natural environment of the river. Along with the River Park, the site will incorporate active and passive park uses as well as walking and biking trails.

Last year, San Diegans came out in force to let the City of San Diego know that we believe in this new vision for our community. We want to see more students succeed and to train the next generation of scientists, educators, athletes, accountants, doctors and other industry leaders. We are ready to enjoy a beautiful river park. We are excited to have thousands of new housing units for students, faculty and the community constructed on the site.

We are ready for a project that is a model for protecting the environment and lowering greenhouse gas emissions. We are eager to cheer on our city’s football team and enjoy championship games and concerts in a state-of-the-art new stadium. Now, we are calling on San Diego State University and the City of San Diego to work together to make this vision a reality. GO AZTECS!

Peter Andersen chairs the executive committee of the Sierra Club’s San Diego chapter and Paul Robinson is immediate past chair of the executive committee of the Lincoln Club.

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