In Mission Hills We Celebrate! | A Word from our President

Photo of Jamaal Kae Jackson in front of close up photo of a laptop keyboard colored with a purple-blue gradient overlay. The words 'a word from our president' are placed next to Jamaal's photo over a white polygon.

In Mission Hills We Celebrate!

A Word from our President – By Jamaal Jackson, President of Mission Hills BID and Branch Manager / Assistant Vice President U.S. Bank – Mission Hills

Summer is in full swing and the 4th of July is right around the corner. We know our favorite restaurants will be bustling and sidewalks filled because of happy get together occassions with friends and family. As you plan your 4th of July celebration, whether it is to meet up with others or to enjoy time at home with a backyard bar-b-que, keep in mind everything for this festive holiday begins and ends in Mission Hills – ingredients for hand-crafted cocktails, nice bottles of wine, a prime piece of beef, chicken, ribs or links, a wide array of healthy vegetables and desserts, or a restaurant reservation – remember that all is at your fingertips, right here in Mission Hills. Plus, locations from which to view several firework displays are located throughout the neighborhood.

Though this is my July column, so much happened in June that I want to share before moving forward about July.

At the top of the June gratitude list are big thanks to John Ealy, owner of Harley Gray Kitchen & Bar who hosted the June 20 Red Hot Heroes dinner fundraiser benefitting our local Fire Station 8 and the Mission Hills BID. The elevated chef-inspired dinners were delicious. To Hailey and Merritte Powell, owners of La Puerta Mission Hills, our heartfelt thanks for your donation of silent auction and raffle items, casting winning bids on several items donated by others, and for graciously attending the event.

To our sponsors who were both public and anonymous, we could not have launched the effort without you, especially Keiko and Don Holmes, owner of Sushi Deli 1, we thank you and your family who wrote the first sponsor check. We also thank Andrew Haisha at Hills Wine and Spirits, Realtor Diego Vélez who many know as their mixologist, Jennifer Duncan at Cake Bakery, Hailey and Merritte Powell, and Aylssa and David Gilbert for unique experiential silent auction donations.

To every business owner and supporter, thank you for buying tickets and attending, and even buying them when you knew you would not be able to attend. To San Diego Fire-Rescue Foundation and local Fire Station 8 captains and crews thank you for your support and attendance. And, what a wonderful surprise to also have new Fire Chief Robert Logan join us too. I enjoyed spending time with him and learning we grew up very close to one another. Lastly, thanks to my fellow directors on the Mission Hills board for all of your support for this event and to our executive director for her tireless efforts from concept to conclusion. I cannot imagine a better way to kick-off the official first day of summer.

Pictured during the Red Hot Heroes event are Jamaal Jackson, president of the Mission Hills BID; Michael Metcalf, board member; Jesse Zmuda, board member, Daniel Geddis, vice president; Marea Riedler, board member; crew members Polanco, Schell, Rodriguez and Captain Kyle O’Neill from Fire Station eight; Susan McNeil Schreyer, executive director Mission Hills BID; soon-to-be Fire Chief Robert Logan and Battalion Chief Josh Slatinsky. Photo is courtesy of Rosanna Photography.

As Juneteenth is becoming more widely known and celebrated, San Diego County Supervisor Monica Montgomery Steppe hosted this year’s raising of the Juneteenth flag at the County Administration Center and invited me to take part. Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day, commemorates the historic moment on June 19, 1865, when the last enslaved people in Texas were informed of their freedom, more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. This day stands as a powerful symbol of liberation and the ongoing pursuit of equality and justice.

During the San Diego County event, the gathering reflected on our shared history, celebrated the progress we have made, and reaffirmed our commitment to building a more inclusive and equitable society for all. I was presented with a County Proclamation. If you’d like to see one, stop by the bank and I’ll gladly show it to you.

Looking beyond the 4th of July, San Diego Pride Week, kicks off with SHE Fest on July 13. Celebrations taking place also include the Saturday, July 20 parade and Saturday and Sunday, July 20 and 21 festival. The annual San Diego Pride Parade is the largest single-day civic event in the region and is among the largest Prides in the United States, attracting over 250,000 people. Please remember Mission Hills and our businesses as you plan your San Diego Pride celebrations. Our businesses recognize San Diego’s LGBTQIA+ communities, diverse cultural identities and experiences.

On Wednesday, July 17, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. artist Alexander Salazar will be hosting the Mission Hills BID Summer Mixer at SD Art Advisory, 3977 Falcon Street. If you live or work in Mission Hills, you are invited to mix and mingle with us! Thank you, Alexander!

I am happy to share that the Mission Hills Parking Advisory Committee, working through the Uptown Community Parking District, issued two Requests for Proposals and is reviewing the responses as this column goes to print. The work of the Mission Hills Parking Advisory Committee will result in wayfinding and placemaking art throughout the parking district to assist pedestrians as they make their way along our sidewalks. A bonus may be increased pedestrian traffic.

We will share progress on this wayfinding project on Instagram @MissionHillsSD.

There are many ways to learn more about the Mission Hills BID, its meetings and activities, including our website, Facebook, Instagram, X, and Threads. If you love our Mission Hills business neighborhood and have ideas and time to help promote it, the Mission Hills BID needs you. Please contact us at

Mission Hills BID Instagram
Mission Hills BID Facebook

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