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DeMaio Presents Plan To Increase City’s Use Of Volunteers

Councilman Carl DeMaio today outlined a 13-point plan to increase the city's use of volunteers, with a goal of 1 million annual man-hours.

At a news conference, DeMaio said he hoped to reach the target by 2016.

The city logs about 500,000 volunteer hours per year.

"I believe San Diegans are willing to volunteer and serve their community," DeMaio said. "Unfortunately, the city has been resistant to and ineffective in using volunteer support."

He said San Diego's agreements with labor unions require city officials to go through the meet-and-confer process if they want to increase the level of volunteerism, or use a volunteer in place of a paid employee. That discourages the increased use of volunteers, according to the councilman, who is running for mayor.

Among his proposals:

  • creating a position of chief volunteer officer in the mayor's office for someone who will coordinate the recruitment, training and placement of unpaid workers;
  • creating a city volunteer website and mobile application;
  • engaging the leaders of major area nonprofit organizations;
  • expanding Mayor Jerry Sanders' use of leaders from the private sector to bring expertise to the city;
  • establishing volunteer recognition programs;
  • making the Neighborhood Watch and the Retired Senior Volunteer programs bigger; and
  • starting an "extreme neighborhood makeover" program to clean up trash and remove graffiti, among other things.

The package of proposals was opposed by organized labor, which funds an organization dedicated to defeating DeMaio's mayoral bid.

"It's a bit of mystery why Carl DeMaio wants to get rid of jobs when everyone else is asking how to put more people back to work," said Lorena Gonzalez, secretary-treasurer of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council.

"But leave it to a corporate millionaire like Carl DeMaio to suggest people shouldn't get paid for the hard work they do."

DeMaio cited a study which ranked 43rd out of 51 major U.S. cities in "civic engagement."

Comments

Avatar for user 'laplayaheritage'

laplayaheritage | February 3, 2012 at 6:11 a.m. ― 2 years, 10 months ago

www.tinyurl.com/20110506

The City unions tried to blackmail the public to increasing taxes by closing the public bathrooms in Mission Bay and ending fire pits at our public beaches.

When we volunteered to clean the fire pits, Mission Bay toilets, and tried to open existing public bathrooms at Petco Park for the Homeless the Unions block the use of Volunteer cleaners. The Unions could care less about San Diegans and were only interested in cash money to save the fire pits. CCDC finally agreed to the Girl's Think Tank idea of public Portland Loos in downtown only after the San Diego Downtown Partnership received $20,000 per toilet from the City for ongoing cleaning and maintenance.

A great solution to get around the roadblock created by the Unions on the use of Volunteers and Liability concerns is to get average citizens FEMA insurance through the City's existing Citizen Emergency Response Teams (CERT).

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Avatar for user 'JuliusZsako'

JuliusZsako | March 26, 2012 at 1:55 p.m. ― 2 years, 8 months ago

Great ideas! Starting an "extreme neighborhood makeover" program to clean up trash and remove graffiti is very valuable. As young kids participate in such tasks, they get an appreciation for the public realm and are less likely to engage in graffiti vandalism as they get older. The expense of graffiti can be seen in government line item budgets for personnel, trucks, power wash equipment, solvents, paint, rollers and brushes. It now totals $12 billion dollars a year in the United States! As documented at http://www.DefacingAmerica.com ,the devaluing impact of graffiti on our neighborhoods is far more devastating to residents and businesses alike than the ever growing clean-up cost. Properties often lose 15% of their value in places where graffiti is common.

Julius Zsako
www.DefacingAmerica.com

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | March 26, 2012 at 3:26 p.m. ― 2 years, 8 months ago

"It's a bit of mystery why Carl DeMaio wants to get rid of jobs when everyone else is asking how to put more people back to work," said Lorena Gonzalez, secretary-treasurer of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council.

===

It's only a mystery to you, Lorena Gonzalez. The rest of us understand that adding more city positions is not actually creating more jobs. It only increases the required number of private sector jobs needed to pay for them.

If we could run this city entirely by skilled volunteers, it would be a wonderful utopia. But instead your dream is to have all 1.3 million residents employed by the city. Hmm, I wonder how that would turn out.

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | March 26, 2012 at 3:57 p.m. ― 2 years, 8 months ago

Why would we NOT use free volunteer labor? What the hell is wrong with us that we let this happen?

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