Welcome to Viva-city and Downtown San Diego
Sandra Simmons

Life in the City

-by Sandra Simmons

Government is too big and too important to be left to the politicians. - Chester Bowles (1901-1986)

San Diego is a large city with the warmth and sensibilities of “small town ways.” While we may have “small town ways,” we don’t demonstrate “small town activism.” And, that is a pity.

In small towns, a large percentage of the population is involved in deciding how the community functions. The result is community investment and pride.

Since I moved Downtown in 1992, the residential base has more than doubled to our current 27,500. In the next 10 years, it’s most likely that we’ll add at least 50,000 more Downtowners.

The new residential buildings have added architectural sophistication to our skyline, just as the new residents moving into those buildings are adding sophistication to our urban sensibilities.

Yet, many of our newest residents aren’t terribly interested in the community. There seems to be a lack of civic investment. And, as one resident so eloquently stated, “A lack of sophistication in our politicians.”

Isn’t it time for Downtown to grow up? We need the members of our urban community to invest more than money into their new homes and vacation mentality lifestyles if we are to continue to thrive. To be a viable, vibrant community, we, the citizens, need to actively take responsibility for our quality of life.

I know that it’s hard to question the stability and strength of Downtown’s continuing evolution when ubiquitous construction sites, concrete trucks, and subsequent moving vans surround us.

However, our progress is on shakier ground than most realize. Do you know that the single most critical issue facing our Downtown, not to mention the entire region, is our lack of infrastructure to support our continuing growth?

Which candidates running for mayor and our council district seat truly understand redevelopment law? Or, for that matter, how to nurture the evolution of an urbane urban metropolis? More importantly, when will our citizenry engage ACTIVELY in the critical deliberations and decision-making essential for handling Downtown’s present as well as future issues?

I wonder… How many will take note and vote?

These neighbors share what’s needed in our next politicians.

I am voting for candidates who have integrity … conviction … do their research … don’t waffle due to pressure from special interests. – Karen Bishop (Discovery)

Our politicians need to avoid secrecy; decisions should be made with public input. The more input, the more democracy works. He’s looking for a candidate with a viable fiscal plan. – Richard Salmon (CityFront Terrace)

It’s critical our politicians have an in-depth knowledge of our district’s history and in the current issue we are facing. Most importantly, they must have the ability to work with all the entities to bring people together. - Leslie Jenness (Park Row)

I whole-heartedly agree with Charles Bowles. The next decade is critical in determining the continuing evolution of Downtown. It’s time to engage! Vote! - November 2005

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