About SDOP

More Than 40 Years of Victories

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead

We have a long history of identifying community problems, mobilizing a grassroots constituency, and then implementing solutions to those concerns. Here are a few things we've accomplished together.

  • Transparency and Community Participation in County Budgeting
    We are a lead partner in San Diego's Invest in Families Coalition, which works to hold County officials accountable for the proper use and distribution of County funds. In 2016, we were part of the successful push for an evening budget meeting to encourage community participation in budget decisions focusing on health, human services and justice system resources. We also contributed to the release of a report on the County's low benefit enrollment rates.

  • Get Out the Vote
    In 2016, we built our internal list of voters in our congregations to 10,000. We held over 11,000 conversations, filled over 400 volunteer shifts, and got 9,631 pledges to vote, mostly from infrequent voters of color. We also supported the passing of Proposition 57, increasing parole chances for felons convicted of nonviolent crimes and giving them opportunities to earn credits for good behavior. It also allows judges, not prosecutors, to decide whether to try certain juveniles as adults in court.

  • Negotiating for the Ballpark Village Community Benefits Agreement
    In April 2015, ground was finally broken on the community benefits agreement - a model for responsible development negotiated 10 years previously between the developer and community residents (the ACCORD coalition), with SDOP leaders playing a crucial role. The community agreed to support the project and the developer agreed to provide benefits, including $20 million for affordable housing. $750,000 was made available for pre-apprenticeship job training for disconnected youth and veterans from SDOP's neighborhoods. To date, this is the largest private community benefits agreement in the nation.

  • Leading a Juvenile Justice Coalition
    Our efforts forced the District Attorney to reconsider her narrow interpretation of penal code 182.5 as a justification for charging suspected gang members with crimes they did not commit. In addition, in partnership with the ACLU, SDOP successfully challenged the DA on her refusal to apply proposition 47 to eligible juveniles.

  • Fighting the School-To-Prison Pipeline
    We successfully advocated for $20 million in state funding for youth services, including before- and after-school programs. With SDOP's advocacy in the early 1990s, San Diego was the first major city to provide free, academically enriching activities for students at public elementary and middle schools.

  • SDOP's Call to Health Campaign
    We earned increased funding for community clinics and streamlined application procedures for healthcare services. SDOP leaders collected over 10,000 signatures as part of a coordinated Statewide campaign to put an initiative on the 2006 ballot to fund health coverage for all kids. SDOP leaders also worked with the PICO National Network to push for comprehensive healthcare reform (the Affordable Care Act), as well as SCHIP Reauthorization and expansion.
  • Affordable Housing for All
    In the early 2000s, we began raising the alarm around the cost of housing long before it became an issue in the public square. Our families were suffering and we launched what became a four-year campaign to focus the city on the housing crisis. The Affordable Housing for All campaign brought more 3,000 community members together with business, labor and city council. The campaign resulted in the establishment of an Affordable Housing Task Force, which created a set of recommendations that was copied around the country. It also resulted in a declaration of a State of Housing Emergency, the passage of an inclusionary housing ordinance and $55 million in new revenues for affordable housing.