"Let's Move Foward, Together"
Last updated 6/30/2021 at 1:13pm
There finally seems to be light at the end of the tunnel. A tunnel that, at times, seemed like it would never end. The Governor’s announcement that June 15 could see the reopening of all businesses in California was welcome news for everyone. With hospitalization rates coming down, kids finally back in the classroom and the unemployment numbers continuing to drop in San Diego County, we might finally be able to look forward.
We must continue to follow all the safety protocols and not let our collective guard down, but hopefully soon, things will be back to normal.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been asked, ‘What have you learned over the past year?’ It’s an interesting question and one that took me a few days to reflect on and consider. Often in the midst of a tragedy, you can learn incredible things about yourself and in this case, a society.
The biggest thing I’ve learned over the past year is that political discourse is driving us apart. Far too often, instead of coming together and finding common ground, we stand in the corner and throw rocks at each other. Politicians are guilty and social media certainly adds to the animosity with anyone able to name-call anonymously from behind a computer screen.
The last year has brought a striking reminder that life is precious. Over 2,000 San Diegans died from this horrific virus. Overdoses have risen dramatically. Students have had to sit behind a computer screen for hours a day, instead of being in the classroom and interacting with each other. No matter what your political affiliation, or what you think about politics, nobody wants this.
At times, I’ve disagreed with many of the decisions locally and statewide – from closing the beaches to not allowing all businesses the opportunity to safely open. But I also think Dr. Wilma Wooten, our County’s Public Health Officer, Chief Administrative Officer Helen Robbins-Meyer, and the County team have done an outstanding job dealing with an unprecedented virus. I’ve also been amazed at all of the healthcare workers who have stepped up, come out of retirement, and worked on testing and vaccinations.
Everyone put aside their differences to come up with a vaccine in a record amount of time, to save lives. This is a perfect example of what we can accomplish when we put our differences away and remember we are all Americans, we are all human beings.
We still have many issues that we need to take care of in San Diego County, including homelessness, behavioral health issues, fire safety, and much more. You may think from the headlines that we never agree upon much of anything at the Board of Supervisors, but we have five members of the Board and usually about 90 – 95% of the items we receive we all agree on. In fact, just last week the Board of Supervisors unanimously passed two comprehensive actions that will address homelessness throughout San Diego County.
For those other 5 – 10% of the items that we disagree on, we must continue to respectfully debate. The way we form the best ideas and learn about different perspectives and topics is by listening. Name calling is always a way to bypass debate, score a quick point for your “team,” but it doesn’t accomplish anything. And when we can’t come together, we must agree to disagree and move forward, productively.
So, as we move forward, I think we should all take a moment to reflect on what we’ve learned during this pandemic. Let’s continue to be curious and question authority, but let’s put down our rocks, let’s start to debate in a civil manner and let’s treat everyone with respect. The worst is over and the best is yet to come, let’s move forward San Diego, together!
– San Diego County District 5 Supervisor