By J. Daniel Geddis, President, Mission Hills Business Improvement District
REALTOR, Team D&B at One Mission Realty
I am at my computer remembering the Summer Solstice, thinking about the summer concert series and, while we still have some June Gloom, I believe it is finally beginning to feel like summer! It may be unpopular to confess, but I actually enjoy the June Gloom. However, nothing beats a San Diego summer day. I’ve already put away my winter outerwear, am embracing lighter cotton apparel, and have enjoyed a late afternoon relaxing outside viewing the Pacific Ocean – the quintessential San Diego summer day!
The summer concert series and 4th of July parade truly launch summer in Mission Hills. They represent the work of the Mission Hills Town Council and local residents and businesses that sponsor them. They set the tone for our lovely neighborhood and the collaboration we have to be able to sustain this tradition for our families and friends to come together throughout the summer.
As a native San Diegan, I have fond memories of celebrating Independence Day and summer in general with my family. From backyard barbecues to potlucks by the beach, for me, the 4th of July is a day of gathering with those close to us in the spirit of celebration. This July, my partner and I are looking forward to a relaxed time with friends on the 4th, venturing to a high point to watch several fireworks displays, and also celebrating the 50th anniversary of Stonewall and Pride Festival in San Diego with 250,000 other locals and visitors. For us, Mission Hills’ establishments are always included on our Pride celebration schedule and we have found it is a very easy sell to have others join us here.
Indeed, July is a great month to celebrate our freedom and our citizenship in a democratic nation. Since the first Independence Day on July 4, 1777 in Philadelphia, revelers have celebrated with food and drink, fireworks and other noisy and colorful expressions of independence and freedom to commemorate the founding fathers’ declaration of independence in 1776. July 4th is truly a day that unites us despite differences of opinion, politics, or backgrounds.
The basic principles of our nation’s representative democracy mean our elected officials are elected to represent the citizens’ ideas and concerns in government. It gives citizens a voice in important decision making. The entire concept of representative democracy depends on the people’s ability to convey their wishes to their representatives. At the neighborhood level, the Mission Hills BID (BID) Board of Directors is elected to represent the 500 businesses in our business district.
Since the Mayor’s May 7 announcement that the old library site was on a City of San Diego list to be developed for low- barrier Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH), residents, business owners and their employees have mobilized several signature gathering campaigns against this use at this location. In May, the BID voted against Permanent Supportive Housing at the old library site as it is the entryway to the business core. The BID has remained steadfast as it has learned Permanent Supportive Housing’s admissions policies are designed to “screen-in” rather than “screen-out” applicants with the greatest barriers to housing, such as having no or very low income, poor rental history and past evictions, or criminal histories including felony convictions. [Source: US Department of Housing and Urban Development]. Our businesses are overwhelming telling us PSH, at this site, is incongruent with enhancing a small business community.
In addition to voting, there is something else we can do which is less often a part of mainstream involvement. We can become activists to impact decision making. We can sign one of the “NO to Permanent Supportive Housing at the Old Library” petitions. To find out more about the many organizations opposing PSH at the Old Library site, and their reasons for taking their positions, please visit MissionHillsBID.com/old-library. The BID strives to share its ongoing work in the community and to accurately convey information from other Mission Hills community based organizations, and refer readers to others’ websites.
If you enjoyed hearing about the work we are doing, please consider becoming a BID volunteer. The BID’s committee structure is a great way to impact neighborhood decision making in the areas of Promotions, Economic Development, Design and Parking. To learn more, get involved, and support the Mission Hills Business Improvement District, please contact us at MissionHillsBID@gmail.com.