HOMELESSNESS IN SAN DIEGO
An almost year-long study process has brought our League and the San Diego League closer to consensus and a joint League position on the problem of homelessness in San Diego County.
Here's a history of our journey. Last spring, a League committee, composed of members of both LWVNCSD and LWVSD, was formed to study the problem of homelessness in San Diego County. What followed was months of study, research, and meetings with various experts in the field of homelessness, services to the homeless, and affordable housing.
The committee placed articles about these issues in our fall VOTER newsletters and presented informational meetings, designed to bring members up to speed with the many aspects of this problem, in the late fall.
Finally in February 2018, both Leagues held consensus meetings for members. At these meetings members received more background information on the issue of homelessness in San Diego County. The committee then presented 13 statements for consideration in inclusion of a future position for our Leagues to adopt. An hour of discussion by members on these statements produced member opinions and suggestions about what direction our position should take. Chairwoman Kay Ragan directed discussion and "took the temperature" of the room regarding agreement, disagreement, or no consensus for each statement. All comments from members during discussion were recorded.
The next step is for the committee to meet again to begin to form a final consensus. Only those statements that members "came to consensus" in agreement with will be considered for the final position. Any topic that had no agreement or no consensus will not be included in the final position. Committee members will consider all the comments, opinions, and suggestions on the statements given by members from each of the two consensus meetings when formulating this position.
When this final recommendation for a position is ready, it will be presented to each Board of Directors for their approval. Then it will be presented to the membership. This is how League works--a member directed grassroots process to establish a position from which our leadership can advocate and take action region- wide. Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion--a new position on Homelessness.
SAN DIEGO COUNTY AGRICULTURAL STUDY
San Diego County has the 12th largest farm economy among the nation's more than 3,000 counties. San Diego County has more small farms, defined as fewer than 10 acres, than any other county. It ranks second in the number of farms with women as the principal operator. It is the leading producer of both nursery crops and avocados, although avocado production is diminishing. Ornamental trees and shrubs account for 23% of the total value of agricultural production in the County. Indoor flowering and foliage plants, together, is the highest value crop, valued at $457,000 per acre, or 18% of the total crop value.
The County of San Diego has always been at the forefront of organic farming, with the 347 growers who are registered as "organic" producing over 150 different crops on 6,700 acres. Most of the fruits and vegetables grown locally are of such high quality that they are used for fresh produce rather than being processed, canned or frozen. No genetically modified organism (GMO) crops are raised in San Diego County, and pesticide use is low.