SDOP History and Mission
Founded in 1978, SDOP is an interfaith, multicultural organization representing 24 communities and congregations and over 42,500 families. The organization seeks to awaken people to their greatest resource - each other. SDOP's process is based on a model of community organization developed by PICO, a national institute for faith-based community organization. SDOP works ‘bottom up', focusing its efforts and resources on addressing the issues that emerge from local communities, such as the lack of affordable health insurance and housing, increasing gang and youth violence, deterioration of neighborhood infrastructure and services, and the need for decent jobs.
SDOP works to empower poor and moderate-income families to address their collective needs. Our goal is to help local leaders maintain and improve the quality of life for their families and for their communities. We accomplish this by organizing families to engage in the public debate about priorities and by promoting a new vision of what is possible in San Diego. SDOP leaders have a 30-year history of identifying community problems, mobilizing a grassroots constituency, and then implementing solutions to those concerns. Some of SDOP's accomplishments:
- The creation of the 6-to-6 Program, which became a national model.
- The creation of Neighborhood Pride and Protection, a $19.5 million program that addressed the drug and gang epidemic in San Diego, which became the national model for community policing.
- The identification and closing of over 1,200 drug ‘hot spots'.
- A commercial complex, 100 new homes, and a new elementary school were built as a result of an 18-year campaign by SDOP leaders to bring economic development to Southcrest.
- SDOP was a part of the ACCORD coalition, which finalized San Diego's first ever Community Benefits Agreement with the developers of the $1.5 billion Ballpark Village.
- A Community Convention of 200 residents in City Heights to improve relationships between residents and agencies that serve them, and combat spiraling crime and blight.
- SDOP's Affordable Housing For All campaign resulted in the declaration of a State of Housing Emergency; the passage of an inclusionary housing ordinance; $55 million in new revenues for affordable housing; and the establishment of an Affordable Housing Task Force.
- SDOP's Call to Health Campaign resulted in increased funding for community clinics and a streamlined application procedures for health care services. SDOP leaders collected over 10,000 signatures as part of a coordinated Statewide campaign to put an initiative on the November 2006 ballot to fund health coverage for all kids.