I was pleased to be able to participate in the city’s recent Encinitas City Council meeting on Oct. 11 concerning the Legislative Priority Program update. It was a rare chance to weigh in on what state and federal legislation the city would support or oppose. I learned that the council’s “legislative priorities” mirror the political party of our current mayor and council majority, left over from the past leadership (much of the same on the council today).
Are the existing legislative priorities what most Encinitas voters would favor? Do Encinitas voters even care? Are there too many priorities? Do city letters have any real impact that any given program or legislation is worth supporting for a city of our size? These are reasonable questions to be asking, and hopefully residents will participate in this process to ensure the new and revised priorities are what they value, what they want the City Council to focus on, prioritize, and invest in. What is important for our city, in our city? National topics should likely be set aside. For example, how can Encinitas impact national gun control?
With the city’s recently adopted focus on a “Diversity Equity Inclusion” legislative agenda, initiated by the former mayor and recommended by the Encinitas Equity Committee, also established by the last mayor, the city is walking down a precarious path out of synch with running a city of 63,000 residents. Legislative priorities relating to the appointment of individuals of certain races and genders to the new Public Health and Safety Commission is a case in point and would make Martin Luther King Jr. shiver.
Conducting an “Equity in Housing Survey” that prematurely prescribes solutions before the survey results are final is another questionable DEI priority and city expense. Surrendering to “state housing law” and faulty RHNA numbers? Sending letters of support in favor of transgender mutilation surgeries for minors or letters supporting full-term abortion? All of this is worrisome. Voters must ask if any of these are the priorities and values of Encinitas residents, and why we are involving our city in divisive, partisan, national political agendas.
Why is the city not focusing instead on legislative support letters favoring prioritizing “local control”? Why is the city not sending letters in support of prioritizing public safety legislation, policing and law and order, youth and economic development? What about letters supporting infrastructure investment and improvements, better roadway mobility and safer routes to school, beach sand replenishment and coastal environmental protections, or legislation allowing us to get the homeless off our streets? This is the real work of cities, councils and staff.
Has the city lost sight of what city government’s basic function is in serving the voters, residents and businesses? Has leadership forgotten they represent the majority of the voters, the people, and not the minority of vocal voices, the folks that do not live in Encinitas, not the unions, not the NGOs, not the DNC, not the CRC, not the homeless industrial complex…and more?
Let’s swing the pendulum back to the center, where city politics belong, accountable to the voters and residents. Encinitas residents expect that from our elected officials, and to keep the peace in our small town, not fan the flames of matters our city has no business or need to involve itself in.