By Tina Rynberg and Jeff Benesch
Is the Green New Deal part of San Diego’s future?
When Hasan Ikhrata, new executive director of SANDAG — our region’s transportation and infrastructure planning agency, with millions of TransNet monies to distribute — proposed blowing up the old, long-term, freeway-centric transit plan and replacing it with a more public transit, eco-friendly model in order to more readily reach our state-mandated climate action goals, it sent shock waves throughout San Diego County and it’s 29 local jurisdictions.
The city of San Diego, with City Council (and MTS) President Georgette Gomez in strong support, will use its clout on the SANDAG board to push the plan.
The County Board of Supervisors just voted 3-2 against the new plan, but with Nathan Fletcher voting in the minority to support Ikhrata’s initiative.
Climate Action Campaign, long an advocate of mass transit over more freeway construction, saw its director of programs, Sophie Wolfram, recently appointed by the mayor to the city of San Diego’s important Mobility Board.
Imagine a panel that included Hasan Ikhrata, Georgette Gomez, Nathan Fletcher, and Sophie Wolfram, all discussing our region’s transportation future and what that means in our fight to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and inevitably disastrous global warming. That’s exactly the makeup of our landmark upcoming June 5 program!
Throw into that illustrious mix our moderator Colin Parent, CEO of Circulate San Diego and a member of the La Mesa City Council, and our own long-time member Jack Shu, president of the Cleveland National Forest Foundation and a staunch advocate of public transit initiatives.
This all-star panel is rich in expertise and advocacy, and takes place on Wednesday evening, June 5, at the regular meeting of the La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club. Come early to save your seat at our regular meeting place, the La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Drive, just north of University Avenue in the heart of La Mesa. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. as usual, with our social half hour from 6:30–7 p.m. preceding the program. The club and members supply snacks, salads, desserts and beverages to all attendees.
— Tina Rynberg is president and Jeff Benesch is vice president of programming of the La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club, which represents the communities of San Carlos, Allied Gardens, Del Cerro, La Mesa, College Area, Santee, Mt. Helix, Casa de Oro, Spring Valley and other close-by areas.