Welcome to Viva-city and Downtown San Diego
Sandra Simmons

Life in the City

-by Sandra Simmons

Nothing endures but change. -Heraclitus

There is a ubiquitous buzzword, smattered throughout conversations, swirling around us, everywhere we turn; the word we cannot escape is change.

There’s climate change, change in season, a change in the way we look at energy, and as we walk down our sidewalks, “Can you spare some change?” Even the Democratic presidential candidate, Senator Obama’s trademark tagline recently received a change.

There are far-reaching global and national changes, and changes close to home. Come November, not only is there a vote on who will lead our country for the next four years, more than half of San Diego residents will vote for new city council representation.

Even though Downtowners are not voting in the upcoming city council race, this election will dramatically affect our community.

As well as their duties governing the City of San Diego, the newly elected Council also serve as the Board of Directors for the Redevelopment Agency; the very agency that oversees Centre City Development Corporation.

Decisions on our quality of life hang in the balance. Issues such as funding open space and parks, our Main Library, the location of the temporary and permanent homeless shelter, the development of a new Civic Center Complex, and, heaven forbid, the San Diego Quiet Zone.

As a Downtowner for nearly 17 years and a former employee of CCDC, I am an ardent supporter of the organization and its accomplishments in transforming our community.

However, under former president's reign, there was a whole lot of talking and studying, but not much work accomplished, much to the silent chagrin of her staff and the community.

How many redevelopment dollars were spent on projects that are now no longer viable due to the alleged double-dealings of the former president? What is the cost to restore the public’s faith? And, will there be enough available funds to finish the revitalization?

I question…Can we endure the change?

Change, the hot word of the season, means something different to each of us, but we Downtowners all have a common wish for the best changes possible in our community.

The biggest priority right now is approving funding for the San Diego Quiet Zone improvements, says Richie Griffith, a new resident in The Grande South. The project needs to be quickly completed to ensure a good night’s sleep for residents.

Rae Ellen Simmons Adatto (Element), retired economist, is excited about participating in the revitalization of her East Village neighborhood. Yet, she wonders if the current economic climate will slow down the influx of new businesses and residents moving into the community.

With so much of the money being spent on large infrastructure projects, Lee Morris (CityWalk) hopes that parks aren’t forgotten. In addition to creating green spaces for residents, there is a need for an open place for his two dogs, Sara and Daisey, to run and play.

Change is not always easy, but it is inevitable. Even as I spell-check this column, one of the options is change. -October 2008

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