A year of unprecedented challenges will require that we dig even deeper into our well of resilience. But we forge ahead with confidence that the resourcefulness seeing us through this difficult time will let us keep making progress on behalf of all our residents.  

COVID-19 is expected to linger, posing a threat to San Diegans’  health and finances. The rainy day reserves and federal CARES Act funds will help the County manage the pandemic and withstand the shaky economy. The move allows the County to keep commitments to help the vulnerable, ensure communities are safe, address the lack of affordable housing and promote sustainability.

We’re encouraged by signs a COVID-19 vaccine could arrive, and we expect the County will have a role in ensuring it is distributed equitably.  

Our effort during the virus response to provide safe isolation space for people experiencing homelessness provided new momentum to find permanent housing for this at-risk population. The County is also meeting the increased demand for behavioral health services with new facilities already planned for underserved communities. The Sheriff’s Department is pursuing national accreditation to continue to improve the health care system in its jails.

The new fiscal year 2020-21 budget will also keep core services. However, new programs or the expansion of existing programs will be limited, most vacant positions won’t be filled and the County must assess how to deal with its financial future. Discipline will be required to replenish the reserves.

The year ahead will also cast a renewed focus on social justice, racial equity and systemic racism. Helping lead change will be two new bodies: the Office of Equity and Racial Justice, and the Human Relations Commission. We’ll continue to examine how law enforcement can best provide our residents safety and justice. 

The County will draw on its 10 Employee Resource Groups for their perspectives on countering biases both inside and outside the organization and fostering a more diverse culture.

Helping shape responsiveness to our communities, the Independent Redistricting Commission will redraw the boundaries of our five supervisorial districts to reflect the new 2020 federal census.

Citizens will make their voices heard in the November election, and their decisions may affect the way we do business.

This new year will undoubtedly bring new challenges. Moving forward, we are undaunted. We will rise to whatever comes next.

The County will remain fully committed to continue serving and protecting our residents and fulfilling our promise of a region that is healthy, safe and thriving.