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Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s new-found neighborhood obsession dominated his Monday inauguration.
He emphasized how neighborhoods will drive his administration. He touted strategies to revitalize neighborhoods lacking smooth streets and ample grocery stores. Oh, and the whole thing went down at the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation in the Encanto area, marking what Faulconer called the first inauguration ceremony held in southeastern San Diego.
If Faulconer’s inauguration speech sounded familiar, it should.
It was remarkably similar to the speech Bob Filner gave more than a year ago when he was sworn in as mayor.
Here are some key excerpts from Faulconer and Filner’s remarks immediately after they were sworn in.
Faulconer on neighborhoods: “I firmly believe that San Diego’s next chapter will be written in communities just like this one. Many San Diego neighborhoods have struggled to get the attention at City Hall and our families have been hit hard by one of the worst recessions in our city’s history, yet I believe underserved neighborhoods provide us the greatest hope for our future.”
Filner on neighborhoods: “Because the real heart and soul of our city are its neighborhoods. They define our city’s character and our residents’ quality of life.”
Faulconer on neighborhood investment: “Under my administration, we will provide leadership to encourage growth and revitalization in neighborhoods that desperately need it and I will work tirelessly to make sure that every neighborhood has the quality parks, libraries and community centers.”
Filner on neighborhood investment: “It’s unacceptable that neighborhood libraries aren’t open on weekends and evenings, that lifeguard towers and public restrooms aren’t maintained, that streets and sidewalks are falling apart and that our first responders don’t have the communications equipment and vehicles they need to protect us. So a major focus of my administration will be – as we said in the campaign – to put our neighborhoods first.”
Faulconer on neighborhood disparities: “And our city is at its best when we all have equal opportunities for employment, education and the chance to live the American dream. We do that by creating one San Diego. As your mayor, my policies will be guided with that philosophy in mind, to create a unified city in which all residents have equal access to economic prosperity, quality city services and safe neighborhoods.”
Filner on neighborhood disparities: “Why not ensure that every neighborhood in San Diego is a safe, healthy, attractive place to live, work and play?
Faulconer on involving residents: “When we are inclusive and we are transparent, there’s no limit to what we can accomplish.”
Filner on involving residents: “But at the end of the day, I want my tenure as mayor judged not just on what we accomplish, but also on how the decisions are made. You can’t build trust and support for city government if just a few people are making decisions for all the rest of us. I want a city government where everyone has a seat at the decision-making table.”
Faulconer on neighborhood infrastructure needs: “I envision a city where every child can walk and bike to school on a safe sidewalk, families can feel secure at night to ample street light and finally, finally, our roads will actually be paved.”
Filner on neighborhood infrastructure needs: “To me, it’s unacceptable in what we call America’s finest city that some neighborhoods still lack paved streets and streets lights.”
Faulconer on consensus and moving forward together: “You want a mayor that will bring San Diego together. Ladies and gentleman, I have heard your message. As your mayor I have a message for my fellow San Diegans: We are one city. San Diego is not at its best until every community is at its best. We will move forward when we move forward together.”
Filner on consensus and moving forward together: “I will use my power as mayor to bring people with differing views together; to help them find common ground and to turn dreams and aspirations into a reality that moves our city and our people forward.”