Leader Jones praises Democrats on San Diego City Council for acting on homeless encampments

San Diego City Council accomplishes what Capitol Democrat lawmakers refuse to do

Senate Minority Leader Brian W. Jones (R-San Diego) praised the San Diego City Council, comprised of entirely Democrat members, for passing the Unsafe Camping Ordinance, accomplishing what Capitol Democrat lawmakers refuse to do.

“Thank you to the five members of the San Diego City Council who supported the ‘Unsafe Camping Ordinance,’” said Leader Jones. “As I’ve said from the beginning, compassionately clearing encampments is not a partisan issue. Last night, the San Diego City Council proved that. While Capitol Democrat lawmakers refuse to act on homelessness, we will be monitoring the implementation and effectiveness of the Unsafe Camping Ordinance with the goal of taking it statewide. It’s time to fix California.”

The Unsafe Camping Ordinance, introduced by San Diego City Councilmember Stephen Whitburn (D-District 3) and supported by Democrat San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria, passed on a 5-4 vote last night. The Ordinance prohibits homeless encampments in all public spaces, including schools and parks, in the City of San Diego if shelter beds are available.

The Ordinance is similar to Leader Jones’s bipartisan Senate Bill 31, which aims to compassionately clear homeless encampments statewide. Specifically, SB 31 prohibits homeless encampments near the sensitive community areas of schools, daycare centers, parks, and libraries. Additionally, the bill requires enforcement officers to give a 72-hour notice before an encampment sweep, and requires enforcement officers to provide information about sleeping alternatives, homeless and mental health services, and homeless shelters. Over 2,000 Californians have signed the petition in support of SB 31. The measure was stalled in the Senate Public Safety Committee on a 1-1 party-line vote in March 2023, and Democrat lawmakers refused to negotiate a path forward for the bill.

“I’m renewing my calls for Capitol Democrats to act on homeless encampments and focus on the safety and wellbeing of the most vulnerable in our communities,” continued Leader Jones. “The current statewide approach to homelessness is clearly failing and Californians are tired of it. It’s time for all elected officials to follow the lead of the San Diego City Council and prioritize compassion and safety over political gamesmanship. We will not give up on the fight to protect our communities and compassionately clear encampments.”

Leader Jones has been a vocal trailblazer in holding elected officials accountable for the homelessness crisis, calling out California’s increasing homeless population, highlighting the dangerous aspects of the crisis, criticizing failed efforts to address it, and proposing solutions to compassionately clear encampments.