“I am here to be part of history, because this is
history in the making.”
– Gloria Morales, SDOP Board Member
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.
Securing $100 Million to Transform Juvenile Justice
SDOP leaders met with Probation Chief Adolfo Gonzalez multiple times to advocate for more funding to transform the juvenile justice system. Now, our vision of transforming and redesigning juvenile hall from a jail to a campus for healing and education for our kids is underway, with $100 million secured for this purpose in San Diego County’s 2018 budget.
Housing Action Day
Thirty SDOP leaders attended the City of San Diego’s first ‘Housing Day’ on July 24, 2018, which has since been dubbed “Housing Action Day”. At the meeting, San Diego City Council members approved a ban on discrimination against recipients of Section 8 housing vouchers. The measure, which passed on a 6-1 vote with two council members absent, allows landlords to use credit scores and other legal means to select tenants, but prohibits them from saying “no” to an applicant based solely on whether they pay rent with a government subsidy.
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 Faith in Action 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 of San Diego on the housing crisis. The Affordable Housing for All campaign brought more 3,000 community members together with business, labor and the 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.