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Supervisor Nathan Fletcher’s Bold Actions, Ability To Get Things Done Has Driven Progress At County

12/22/20

 

For nearly two years Supervisor Nathan Fletcher has been the single voice of bold, progressive policy on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors. He has convincingly taken action to build a better behavioral health services system, fought for environmental justice, made racial justice and equity a County priority; and worked to improve the circumstances for children, working families and immigrants. 

In 2020, when the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic struck, Supervisor Fletcher was selected by his colleagues to be co-chair of the COVID-19 subcommittee. Alongside public health experts, daily for nearly 11 months he worked with state and regional leaders on making swift, decisive decisions to: slow the spread of the virus, protect vulnerable individuals, provide relief to residents and businesses most impacted by COVID-19 and begin the recovery process as the vaccine becomes more readily available.     

Click here to review a new video about Supervisor Fletcher's first two years in office; the COVID-19 pandemic and his plans for 2021.  Today Supervisor Fletcher also released the following statement: 

“Over the last two years we have gotten more substantive policies done than I imagined we would have when we came into office. Every day I have felt incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to get up and shoulder my share of the load in transforming County government, championing San Diego County and shaping a better future.      

2020 has been something, the closest thing I can equate it to from personal experience is a combat zone.  You get deployed and you know you have all these tremendous challenges and barriers to overcome. I have been reminded daily and made very aware of how far we have to go and how much more we have to do.

COVID-19 did not create the inequities in our society.  It did not create the fragmented healthcare system where people don’t have access.  It certainly didn’t create the homeless situation. It didn’t create the reality that working class folks, service workers in particular, have been left behind and discounted. COVID-19 has shone a light on  those inequities in a way we can’t look away from and it has forced us to move boldly and move fast to try to provide help and relief.  

In 2020 we took a public health pandemic. We had an economic pandemic; in part tied to COVID and in part tied to historic income inequality; and then we have a public trust pandemic with the relationship between communities and law enforcement. So many of these injustices were created by intentional government policies put in place to perpetuate systemic racism. Well, the only way that you address those is you come back with intentional government policies that are designed to break down the barriers towards equality of opportunity and access.

Next year with a new Board of Supervisors coming in, we need bold actions to tackle the hard, difficult issues and get things done. We need to create a framework for the future of San Diego County.”

Accomplishments  

In the past two years Supervisor Fletcher has authored and passed about 70 policies. Some of the actions Supervisor Fletcher was able to achieve and begin in 2020 included:  

  • Mobile crisis response teams initiative
  • $25 million behavioral health impact fund
  • Historic agreement with UC San Diego Health for Behavioral Health Hub Site in Hillcrest  
  • Demolition of site for Hillcrest Behavioral Health Hub 
  • Partnership for a behavioral health hub for youth 
  • Plans for the Accelerated Connections to Treatment Program 
  • Launch the Ryan J. Mitchell First Responder Behavioral Health Program 
  • Establish the office equity and racial justice 
  • Launch the Leon William Human Relations Commission
  • Expansion of the Citizen Law Enforcement Review Board authority and increased staffing 
  • Passed policy to host TRUTH Act Forum in the evening 
  • Established Regional COVID-19 Task Force for an Equitable Recovery  
  • Launched $56+ million raised for San Diego COVID-19 Community Response Fund in partnership with The San Diego Foundation  
  • $40+ million in Relief for small business impacted by COVID-19 
  • $25 million for rental COVID-19 assistance and legal support
  • $15 million for behavioral health telehealth, record upgrades and care coordination
  • $10 million for Frontline Worker Childcare Vouchers 
  • $5.4 million for the County to provide mental health, substance misuse and care coordination services at permanent supportive housing locations the City of San Diego and San Diego Housing Commission are opening to keep hundreds of people off the street, and keep them in stable housing situations.  
  • $4.0 million for COVID-19 Income Replacement Stipend 
  • $2.5 million for Language Translation & Cultural Competency 
  • $2.0 million for expanded Child Welfare Services  
  • $2.0 million for Internet Connectivity for Students  
  • $1 million to support YMCA Summer Camp
  • $5.4 million for the County to provide mental health, substance misuse and care coordination services at permanent supportive housing locations the City of San Diego and San Diego Housing Commission are pursuing to transform hotels and motels into housing for up to 400 San Diegans who have been staying at the temporary homeless shelter at the San Diego Convention Center. These services will keep hundreds of people off the street, and keep them in stable housing situations.  
  • Launched of the San Diego County COVID-19 Small Business & Nonprofit Loan Program in collaboration with The San Diego Foundation, Mission Driven Finance, Accion Serving Southern California, the San Diego & Imperial Small Business Development Center Network, and the California Southern Small Business Development Corporation.  
  • Partnered with the San Diego & Imperial Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network to establish the SBDC Businesses Adapting to the New COVID-19 Environment to educate, communicate, and assist San Diego County small business owners with navigating requirements related to the COVID-19 pandemic as they reopen. Assistance includes free online training (live and recorded) and free one on one mentoring and advice.
  • Ban on flavored smoking products, moratorium on sale and distribution of electronic smoking devices, and creation of tobacco retail license 
  • Launched Pedal Ahead Electric Bicycle Community Program
  • $620,000 for a pilot program to waive fees for residential wind projects, EV charging systems, energy storage and upgrade
  • $550,000 for air quality monitors, purifiers, and data analysis for our AB617 environmental justice communities.
  • $500,000 to create a green streets master plan for public and private infrastructure projects in unincorporated areas
  • $200,000 for a weatherization program to help homeowners reduce energy costs of households in unincorporated areas 

Budget items promoted by Supervisor Fletcher and adopted: 14 new positions to expand capacity of the Office of the Public Defender; 9 new positions for Probation to expand support rehabilitation of individuals in county custody or on probation; 1 Public Health Services new position and 1 Department of Environmental Health position both dedicated to Enhancing Water Quality monitoring to ensure daily water quality monitoring of impacted communities; and 80 positions being reassigned from HHSA Administrative Support and other areas to expand the reach of Public Health Services, including: epidemiologists and pharmacist positions