Todd is committed to tackling San Diego's most pressing issues- public safety, homelessness, housing and infrastructure. Over the past three years, his administration has successfully placed more than 3,600 people experiencing homelessness into permanent housing and more than doubled shelter options. From new fire stations to improved libraries and repaired sidewalks, the evidence of Todd’s commitment to the people of San Diego can be found right in your own neighborhood.
Todd is very proud that San Diego is one of the safest large cities in America. In 2023, the rates for the most serious violent crime declined once again. Murder was down 12%, rape was down 16%, robbery was down 7%, and burglary was down 16%. This is a testament to the City of San Diego's Police Department and Todd's commitment to support them.
The city suffered police officer recruitment and retention issues for years, but under Todd's leadership the city has worked to demonstrate that San Diego is a place where first responders can build a career and raise a family. In 2022, the city raised police officer pay by 10% over two years. And in 2023, the city opened a first-of-its-kind childcare facility for police officers and their families.
Now, rather than losing officers to other agencies, the city is seeing officers choose to come work for the San Diego Police Department. Under Todd's tenure, the Fire-Rescue Department has improved recruitment and retention as well.
Since April 2021, Todd and his team have more than doubled the options for people experiencing homelessness to come off the street. They have also maximized the space in the city's existing shelters and expanded the successful Safe Parking Program. Last year, his team launched their newest effort to get more people off the street – the Safe Sleeping Program. The program includes two sites with space for more than 1,000 people to get off the streets and connected to services that will help them end their homelessness. In just a few months, the Safe Sleeping Program has already moved more than 600 people off the streets. Over the past three years, his City-funded outreach, shelter and family reunification programs, have successfully placed more than 3,600 people into permanent housing.
Last year Todd signed into law the Unsafe Camping Ordinance, prohibiting people from camping in public spaces when shelter is available. The new law is working as intended. There has been a significant reduction in tents and people experiencing homelessness – a 60% decrease in street homelessness in Downtown San Diego since its peak.
Todd believes the only true solution to both addressing homelessness and housing affordability is to build more housing. His Affordable Housing Density program is building more homes that are rent-restricted for low-income San Diegans while also creating market-rate apartments, and his adopted policies on granny flats are successfully creating middle-class housing. Todd's two Housing Action Packages are making it easier to build more affordable and middle-income homes – including homes for people experiencing homelessness, students, people with disabilities, and families. Under the Bridge to Home initiative, under Todd's leadership the City has invested over $63 million in 16 projects, totaling 1,337 affordable new apartments, including 368 reserved for people experiencing homelessness.
Last year, Todd signed an executive order requiring city departments to review all 100% affordable housing projects within 30 days. The Development Services team enacted a new program known as “Affordable Housing Permit Now,” which permits these projects within 9 days on average. As of January 2024, his program has permitted 16 projects, totaling more than 2,000 new affordable homes. In 2023, the City of San Diego last year issued roughly 8,000 new housing permits – an impressive increase of more than 50 percent over the 5,300 homes permitted in 2022.
As Mayor, Todd has also been tackling aging infrastructure- including repairing crumbling roads, broken street lights, cracked sidewalks and decaying pipes and stormwater culverts. For the past three years, Todd has been addressing these needs through record infrastructure investments, solid data to guide decisions, and policy reforms that ensure the city is prioritizing the projects that are most needed. In 2023, city crews filled 61,305 potholes, a 94% increase over the prior year and an astonishing 122% increase over 2021. Through the Sexy Streets program, the city added $40 million to its standard street-improvement budget to fix San Diego’s most heavily used thoroughfares in every City Council district. Overall, in 2023, the city repaired or resurfaced 252 miles of roadway -- a 20% increase over 2022 and a 57% increase over 2021. All told, over Todd's three years as Mayor, the city has repaired or resurfaced 627 miles of city streets.
Under Todd's direction the city has updated its Parks Master Plan for the first time in 65 years, which has helped plan and prioritize park improvements. The city has created 19 new parks and upgraded 31 existing ones over the past three years, and anticipates creating 16 new parks and upgrading 34 more in the next two.