City Council President Pro Tem Kevin L. Faulconer
The Horton Plaza Fountain is a beloved San Diego landmark, an iconic focal point for all who visit, live and work in Downtown. Yet, due to a lack of maintenance, the fountain resides behind an unsightly green fence and is currently inoperable. Without strong advocacy and leadership at City Hall, the broader Downtown community could have followed the same path, becoming a beautiful sight to behold but lacking the infrastructure it needs to function and serve residents, businesses and tourists. I’m proud to report that together, we have successfully secured many of the quality of life improvements necessary to create and maintain a livable Downtown community.
I have you to thank for these successes. I love getting things done for the communities I represent and Downtown’s engaged residents and businesses are always active partners. The collaboration that thrives on Downtown’s bustling street corners creates an energy that helps us tackle every challenge and embrace each opportunity. It’s a dynamic I have valued and enjoyed since being elected in 2006 to represent San Diego’s urban core.
Effective December 3, I will no longer be the Councilman for Downtown after new City Council district boundaries take effect. Downtown will join Uptown, Old Town and other mid-city communities in the new Council District Three, under the leadership of Councilmember Todd Gloria. I will continue to serve on the City Council representing the beach and bay communities in the new District Two.
It has been my pleasure to collaborate with Downtown residents, businesses and other stakeholders to achieve many successes over the past seven years, including:
- Transforming the decades-old North Embarcadero Visionary Plan into action, culminating in the current construction at Broadway and North Harbor Drive that is replacing unsightly bayfront concrete with green waterfront park space, jacaranda groves and a public plaza.
- Delivering real results to solve Downtown homelessness by constructing a permanent, comprehensive support facility that provides hundreds of beds and wrap-around services.
- Setting the stage for nearly 7,000 permanent jobs and retaining economy-boosting conventions such as Comic-Con, by approving the Convention Center expansion project.
- Protecting nearly 4,000 San Diego jobs by keeping Solar Turbines’ manufacturing operations Downtown.
- Improving public safety and reducing noise as we near completion of the largest railroad Quiet Zone in the U.S.
- Updating the Downtown Community Plan to raise up to $100 million for new parks through smart development.
- Supporting affordable housing funding, which has created more than 3,500 affordable Downtown units and made urban living available to more San Diegans.
- Revitalizing the historic Balboa Theatre.
- Enhancing traffic flow and increasing walk-ability with projects such as the Front and Cedar Streets traffic signal and the Harbor Drive pedestrian bridge.
- Continuing the Redevelopment Agency’s power to incentivize private investment through the new Civic San Diego planning and permitting organization.
- Bringing the vision of an iconic and modern Central Library to life.
- Leveraging public-private partnerships to bring a public bicycle-sharing program to San Diego’s urban neighborhoods.
The Downtown community has seen unprecedented growth and success over the past several years, and we are not done yet. The community plan calls for additional parks, infrastructure upgrades and numerous projects – including affordable housing developments, new fire stations and the revitalization of C Street – that Downtown residents and business owners rightfully deserve.
I’ve always believed Downtown belongs to all San Diegans. That philosophy will guide me as I work with Councilmember Gloria and incoming Mayor Bob Filner to advocate for the Downtown community on a legislative level. You can rest assured that regardless of district boundaries, I will continue to push for citywide fiscal reforms that guard taxpayer dollars, invest services in our neighborhoods and enhance our waterfront.
As for the Horton Plaza Fountain, its fate looks promising. Thanks to a broad coalition of neighborhood support and private investment, we recently gained City Council approval to restore and beautify it and the rest of Horton Plaza Park. I’ll still be working Downtown at City Hall. So if you see me at the fountain, feel free to say hello – or ask for a helping hand. I’ll always be willing to be Downtown’s advocate.