Mayor Gloria Releases Black Empowerment Plan To Fight Systemic Racism In San Diego
Speaker 1: 00:00 This week San Diego mayor Todd Gloria announced a plan. He hopes will be the first step in addressing systemic racism against San Diego's black community. It's called the black empowerment plan and it focuses on housing, economic mobility, the effects of climate change, police reform, educational barriers, and health outcomes. The priorities for the plan were set by a nine member advisory group of black community leaders. Mayor Todd, Gloria joins us now to talk about that plan, mayor Gloria. Welcome. Thank you for having. So you've said systemic problems remain within our nation that have often left black communities, disenfranchised and disregarded what's. The systemic problems have left San Diego's black community disenfranchise. Speaker 2: 00:45 Well, there are many Jane. Um, you give the day when we announced this particular offender, three statistics that I used to sort of underline the way that our black community, uh, experiences are San Diego differently than other parts of our community. One is it two-thirds of blacks, uh, residents, zip codes with higher than average unemployment rates. One in five of our unsheltered population are black, despite, uh, African-Americans represented 6% of our overall city's population. And the black residents are twice as likely to be hospitalized or to die of COVID-19 than white San Diego. Uh, these are three statistics that really underline again, the different experience of by San Diego, uh, here in San Diego, as a reason why this empowerment plan was necessary before not because we can solve a centuries worth of discrimination and prejudice with one plan, but then we have to start taking affirmative steps to try to address these inequities in order to be a suitable. Speaker 1: 01:39 And, you know, at the top of everyone's mind is police reform. As the Derrick Shovan trial continues after Dante Wright was killed during a Minnesota traffic stop. And after an army Lieutenant in Virginia was repeatedly pepper sprayed during a traffic stop, your plan highlights, 11 police reform proposals here in San Diego have recent events around the country, made this a top priority for you. Speaker 2: 02:02 J D listed three situations. We know that there are many, many more than that. Somebody didn't happen here in our local region, and we want to do better. I want our city to be a leader when it comes to public safety, uh, and really, uh, making sure that we're doing this at a 21st century, uh, form. Uh, so yeah, some of those events certainly are instructive of the changes that need to make. I would note that the city has been working in this direction, uh, whether that's, uh, voluntarily through the end of the product strength by sending the police department, but or by voters domains, where the passage of measure B for independent police review board. These plans of that, the plan that I released, uh, is intended to take the next steps in this process, but we really want to take the additional steps beyond that. I want San Diego to be a national leader when it comes to public safety, I want the community to feel safe. And I want us to have the best police department in the United States. Uh, this plan is intended to try and get us closer to those objectives. Speaker 1: 02:57 I'll come back to your proposals police reform, but now I want to turn to the black empowerment plan you released this week. How will your plan work to fix issues and policies that have caused harm to the black community? Speaker 2: 03:09 Well, as I mentioned, you know, this does not end centuries worth of discrimination overnight, but it is intended to be something that is definable measurable and in a accountable, holding myself, the city council, the city operation accountable, when it comes to progress in this space. And we have already seen a couple of steps of progress, whether that's the establishment of our climate equity fund, which is intended to drive some of our climate related investments into neighborhoods who have traditionally been left out, who are as a result, has significant environmental justice concerns. We know that those are often black and Brown communities, uh, to our recent successful, uh, award of a state grant to study, uh, cannabis equity fund, recognizing that the black community avoid disproportionate impacts of criminalization of marijuana, but are not enjoying the benefits now of legalization. And we want to be a city that sort of flips the script on that and allows for more equitable progress. So those are things that we have already done, and this plan really looks to expand upon that and actually make sure that those things actually get accomplished while the focus has often been on police reform. Let's be honest, systemic racism is present in our housing economy in education and economic development. And our black empowerment plan is really intended to try and address all the areas where we have identified through our advisory committee of black San Diego places where significant improvement is necessary. Speaker 1: 04:34 It seems this planet really focuses on providing resources in a way that promotes equality. How does this plan take things a step further to create equity Speaker 2: 04:44 Exactly right? Because there is a difference. And I think that many of your listeners probably are familiar with the difference, but for many San Diego is perhaps that they don't, that they're equal is of course important. But equity making up for historic disinvestment is difficult. The climate equity fund is intended to do that. It's intended to say, we know that the impacts of climate change or hit certain neighborhoods in the city first and worst. And too often, those are neighborhoods where our black CUNY list and where communities of color and communities of concern, uh, incest by creating this particular fund where we will methodically put dollars into it, to invest in infrastructure projects that will anticipate and hopefully prevent some of the impacts of climate change. That is how you get to equity by having a neighborhood investments, infrastructure funds, again, focus on those other investment neighborhoods. Speaker 2: 05:31 That's important having a recreational or summer programming, which is a part of the budget plan on at least tomorrow again, focused on addressing digital divide issues and recreation, recreation, recreation center hours in those needs. Again, speaks to this need for more equity. I think the council is unanimously behind this notion. And so the proposals we'll be putting forward, but if we have a black empowerment plant through the city budget, I think we'll win support. And then that will be the proof to the community that says this. Isn't just more words on a page. This is real. This has changed. And this is happening in San Diego. Speaker 1: 06:05 You know, to go back to police reforms, data collected by campaign zero found a two-fold disparity in the way the SDPD polices the black community data reveals SDPD officers both stopped and arrested black people at higher rates and were more likely to use force against black people in the process of making those arrest. What do you think about that disparity and what solutions are you implementing? Speaker 2: 06:29 Those findings are troubling. Um, I mean, Jane, one of my frustrations with that information is that when I was a city council member will suffer years ago, sending of state university, uh, issued a report that had similar fines of different outcomes and different experiences of law enforcement, depending upon where you live and what you look like. And the reforms that we have announced last week really are intended to try and address that. Speaker 1: 06:51 You mentioned training anti-biased training, you know, Minnesota, for example, set up a $12 million police training fund after Philando Castile's death, since then George Floyd and Dante Wright have both died at the hands of law enforcement. What will San Diego do differently than Minneapolis? Speaker 2: 07:07 What we're saying is, is that clearly you want to do more. We want to go further, again, be a national leader. In this regard, please choose is very supportive of this. The council is very supportive of this. I think the community is demanding it. And so we'll do that work, but it isn't just that alone. Jay, we have to do other pieces of this plan that I think are important. And some of this stuff isn't a capture line. Attention, I think speaks to the touch, feel look of our, of law enforcement in San Diego by moving our, our office appointment security out of the police department by forswearing, uh, the use of militarized weapons and military surplus, by trying to find better ways to deal with low-level offenses that don't create, uh, a cycle of incarceration. It really allows people to feel like this is a trap. This is stuff that we will get done here in San Diego. Again, with the hope of being a city that leads on this and say to other cities, we'll turn to you and say, let's follow the [inaudible] cause they got advice. And we want to do that in our own town. Speaker 1: 08:03 Ultimately, what will be your measure of success for this black empowerment plan? Speaker 2: 08:07 Well, we have some of those statistics I referred to before. I mean, we want to see rising levels of employment in zip codes where the five San Diegans live, but we want to see a reduction and on the street homelessness, recognizing that the overall presence of African-Americans amongst our unsheltered population, uh, we want to see an equitable conclusion to the pandemic, uh, and an equitable economic recovery. These will be things that we will see relatively short term. I think we're coming to the end of the pandemic, but I would point out again, Jade, some of the things that we're doing already, and we have been doing pop-up vaccination efforts in the various zip codes that I mention to you and the fact that we're able to drive down infections. Those areas are allowing our economy to reopen our schools, to reopen. So some of this we're living out now, but we have to do a lot more of it. And this administration is committed to doing Speaker 1: 08:53 That. I've been speaking to Gloria mayor of San Diego mayor, Gloria. Thank you so much for it. Speaker 2: 09:00 Thank you.