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March 3, 2020 — Primary Election
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Local

City of San DiegoCandidate for Mayor

Photo of Todd Gloria

Todd Gloria

Assemblymember
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Housing - As Mayor, my objective will be a roof over the head of every San Diegan at a price they can afford.
  • Homelessness - We can end chronic homelessness in San Diego. As Mayor, I will focus the City’s energy and resources on results-oriented programs proven to get homeless people off the streets, connected to services and back on their feet.
  • Climate Action - As Mayor, I will meet our Climate Action Plan goals, continue forward progress to get community choice energy online, invest in climate mitigation and adaptation strategies to protect our natural resources and create green jobs.

Experience

Experience

Profession:California State Assemblymember
Assemblymember, California State Assembly (2016–current)
Assemblymember, 78th District, California State Assembly — Elected position (2016–current)
Councilmember, Third District, San Diego City Council (2008–2016)
Councilmember, Third District, San Diego City Council — Elected position (2008–2016)
City Council President, San Diego City Council — Elected position (2012–2014)
Interim Mayor, City of San Diego — Appointed position (2013–2014)
District Director, House of Representatives -- U.S. Congresswoman Susan Davis (2002–2008)
Housing Commissioner, San Diego Housing Commission — Appointed position (2005–2008)

Education

University of San Diego Bachelor's degree, History, Political Science (2000)

Community Activities

Commissioner, San Diego Housing (2005–2008)

Biography

As the son of a maid and a gardener, Todd Gloria doesn’t come from wealth or privilege. A third-generation San Diegan of Filipino, Dutch, Puerto Rican, and Native American descent, Todd grew up in Clairemont, where his parents worked hard to afford to rent a home for their family. Todd attended Madison High School and earned a scholarship to USD, where he graduated summa cum laude. Grateful for the opportunity that had been given to him, Todd excelled academically to prove the school’s investment in him was a smart one.

As a 14-year-old, Todd rode the city bus to the Democratic Party headquarters, where he volunteered for candidates like Chris Kehoe. It was a transformative experience that helped him develop his passion as an activist. In college he fought to add sexual orientation to USD’s non-discrimination policy. Openly gay since his teen years, Todd has served in leadership positions in the LGBTQ community, including a term as Chair of the San Diego LGBT Community Center.

Todd’s philosophy of service comes from his lived experiences. He has seen people struggle around him and believes we need to create a city that works for everyone, not just the wealthy.

Todd has spent his entire professional life in service to the public and began his career at the County of San Diego’s Health and Human Services Agency. Todd also served as the District Director to U.S. Congresswoman Susan Davis, whom he credits as his mentor. In a volunteer capacity, Todd served as a San Diego Housing Commissioner and as a member of the Mid-City Prostitution Impact Panel.

Todd was elected to the San Diego City Council in 2008, following Chris Kehoe and Toni Atkins in serving the Third District. As a two-term Councilmember he developed his legendary style of high-energy retail politics, attending dozens of community events every week and visiting with constituents one-on-one.

Known as one of the most accessible elected officials in San Diego, Todd remains in close contact with neighbors throughout his District and credits San Diegans for keeping him focused on the issues that matter most in their communities. He has been named San Diego’s favorite elected official by San Diego City Beat readers eight times in a row.

Todd’s fellow councilmembers elected him as their Council President in 2012. In 2013 he assumed the reigns of the City, beginning his time as Interim Mayor after the resignation of Bob Filner due to sexual harassment allegations. During that time Todd is widely credited with restoring the public’s trust in city government. He authored San Diego’s Climate Action Plan, which calls for annual reductions in greenhouse gas emissions throughout San Diego by 2035. Called one of the most aggressive in the nation at the time, San Diego’s Climate Action Plan is now viewed as critical to the future of the City.

In 2016, Todd was elected to the California State Assembly to represent the 78th Assembly District. He was re-elected for another two-year term in 2018. Todd immediately rose to a leadership position in the Assembly, serving as Assistant Majority Whip and now Majority Whip. During his time in the Assembly, Todd has passed legislation on many of the major issues San Diego is working to address, including building more affordable housing, fighting gun violence, combatting climate change, and providing resources for the homeless.

Todd is an enrolled member of the Tlingit Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. A native of San Diego, he lives in the neighborhood of Mission Hills.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

As a native San Diegan and a lifelong Democrat, Todd's career in public service has been defined by a lesson taught to him by his parents at a young age: if you truly care about something, you should leave it better than you found it. Today, it’s clear that San Diego needs strong, experienced, and progressive leadership in the Mayor’s Office to tackle the long-standing problems facing our city. As Mayor, Todd won't focus on partisanship, but rather delivering solutions to key issues like making housing more affordable for working families, putting forward real solutions to end homelessness, staying true to our landmark Climate Action Plan, and much more. Additionally, Todd will look to address issues that have not always been at the forefront of our civic dialogue like community equity, environmental justice, and income inequality. Todd believes San Diegans deserve a Mayor who understands these tough problems, who has experience in running the city well, and the leadership and vision to move our city beyond business as usual. Further, he believes San Diegans deserve a Mayor who works for all of us and will make us a city of opportunity that invests in every neighborhood and every San Diegan.

Position Papers

Ending Chronic Homelessness

Summary

This is my plan to end chronic homelessness in San Diego.

We cannot claim to be America’s Finest City when thousands of people live unsheltered and dying on our streets. As Mayor, I will focus the City’s energy and resources on results-oriented programs proven to get homeless people off the streets, connected to services and back on their feet. Our strategy will be focused on permanent supportive housing instead of temporary shelters. Our goal should be to end chronic homelessness. Other cities have done it and San Diego should too. No more band-aids. No more temporary tents without a plan. No more criminalizing the existence of San Diego’s poorest and sickest residents. It’s time we work to actually end chronic homelessness. This problem is solvable with strong leadership, data-driven decision-making and accountability for all stakeholders. 

This is Our Top Priority

A problem as large and complex as homelessness can only be solved if it is understood to be the City’s top priority. Cities that are making progress toward ending homelessness have mayors that are directly and personally involved in the matter. That’s why I will move homeless services into the Mayor’s office in my first 100 days. This action is meant to send an unambiguous message to the entire city that this issue is the focus of my administration. I will personally ensure we make progress on this issue and hold those carrying out the work of housing the homeless accountable every single day.

Data Must Drive Decision Making

San Diego is spending more money than ever reacting to the homelessness crisis, but we are not seeing the results we deserve. As Mayor, I will implement radical transparency to ensure that limited taxpayer resources are being spent efficiently and effectively on programs that are getting people off the streets and keeping them housing for the long term. Those who are not delivering the results we expect will be defunded and we will redirect those funds to programs that are working. Service providers will be mandated to provide the public with data showing the outcomes of taxpayer funded programs. This information should be available online through a public data portal with monthly updates on all of the City’s housing and homelessness programs so that taxpayers can see the impact of their investments.

Housing Solves Homelessness

If we want to join the communities across the nation that are making real progress toward solving this problem, we must implement an aggressive housing first strategy that combines housing with wrap-around services. Emergency shelters should be for triage only. We must demand better outcomes form the City’s shelter system and move clients through the system and into permanent housing opportunities as quickly as possible. Housing first solutions have proven to save the public money and get real results. This approach eliminates requirements that become barriers to housing and provides the services that homeless people need in addition to housing. It’s common sense that the fastest way to end the condition of homelessness is to give someone a home. When supportive services are added to ensure the individuals remain stable and do not return to the streets. The City should also make investments in solutions like rapid-rehousing for those who need relatively modest assistance to get back on their feet. Often a security deposit, first/last months rental payment or credit check fee can be all that holds a person or family back from becoming housing secure. Smart prevention and diversion solutions like this can save many from homelessness. I will make the tough decisions needed to retool our programs and invest only in evidence-based solutions that support the housing first model.

Regional Collaboration is Key

Homeless individuals can be found in every community in the county. In order to end chronic homelessness, we must have full collaboration and coordination between elected leaders, those experiencing homelessness, housing providers, service providers and others on the front lines helping our most vulnerable residents. Data Must Drive Decision Making San Diego is spending more money than ever reacting to the homelessness crisis, but we are not seeing the results we deserve. As Mayor, I will implement radical transparency to ensure that limited taxpayer resources are being spent efficiently and effectively on programs that are getting people off the streets and keeping them housing for the long term. Those who are not delivering the results we expect will be defunded and we will redirect those funds to programs that are working. Service providers will be mandated to provide the public with data showing the outcomes of taxpayer funded programs. This information should be available online through a public data portal with monthly updates on all of the City’s housing and homelessness programs so that taxpayers can see the impact of their investments. Housing Solves Homelessness If we want to join the communities across the nation that are making real progress toward solving this problem, we must implement an aggressive housing first strategy that combines P A G E 2 As the Councilmember for District Three, I led the effort to merge San Diego’s leading homelessness organizations, forming one unified entity in the region tasked with strategic planning and coordination of resources to strengthen our collective impact and end chronic homelessness. As Mayor, I will build upon this structure by convening regular intergovernmental round tables with public officials representing the other 17 incorporated cities, county, state and federal governments so that we can scale solutions to match the size of our region’s problem. Leaders must be at the table to see what is working and what is not. By fostering stronger cross-jurisdictional collaboration, I will ensure that City resources are aligned with investments from county, state and federal budgets. Decisions should be based off of one regional action plan to build a system that gets people off the streets and into housing as quickly as possible.

Put Mental Health Funds To Work

We must address the mental health crisis head-on and implement real solutions for those who cannot care for themselves. There are no quick fixes for behavioral health conditions like substance abuse, but there is funding available to address them. Counties across California are sitting on billions in unspent Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) funding. The County of San Diego has tens of millions in available dollars at a time when 43% of our homeless neighbors are challenged with mental health issues. As Mayor, I will work with County officials to match MHSA funds to City housing dollars to incentivize the creation of housing first opportunities for the homeless. Housing providers and health and behavioral health care providers can coordinate to connect patients to resources and care as quickly as possible. We are failing our community’s mentally ill by leaving the hardest to house on the streets. This is not just a civic disgrace but it is inhumane and far more expensive when those who are hardest to serve cycle through the emergency response, hospital and criminal justice systems.

Let's End Chronic Homelessness

San Diego can join other cities across the nation that are ending chronic homelessness by implementing best-inclass strategies rather than the temporary solutions that have been used locally. The fix for this crisis is more affordable housing and supportive services. The time to tackle this problem is now. The time for bold and progressive leadership is now. I will be a Mayor that believes it is our moral imperative to lift up the very weakest among us and considers housing a basic human right. I will dedicate every day of my time in office to ensuring that we all can have a place to call home.

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