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This post originally appeared in the Oct. 11 Morning Report. Get the Morning Report delivered to your inbox.

The campaign to raise hotel taxes to pay for a Convention Center expansion, homeless services and road repairs officially relaunched Thursday.

At a press conference, local leaders, union members and homeless service providers literally lined up to support the March 2020 ballot measure.

Deacon Jim Vargas, CEO of Father Joe’s Villages, emphasized the need for a reliable funding source to support homelessness programs, hinting at the campaign’s likely focal point in coming months.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer, who has made the measure his top priority, hailed the coalition of union, business and political leaders who have coalesced behind it and the thousands of new jobs expected to come along with the Convention Center expansion.

But like Vargas, he put the spotlight on the homelessness funding it could pull in.

“The time is now to get this done – all of the work, all of the votes – for what will be the most important measure that’ll be on the March ballot,” Faulconer said. “It’s not only about the thousands of jobs that you just heard, the infrastructure and the roads, but the most important issue that is facing our city: the issue of homelessness – and for the first time, a dedicated funding stream.”

Last year, supporters of the measure estimated it could bring in more than $6 billion over 42 years, including $276 million for homelessness in its first decade.

The city’s new homelessness plan released this week estimated the city would need $1.9 billion over the next decade to stem the crisis.

Lisa Halverstadt

Lisa is a senior investigative reporter who digs into some of San Diego's biggest challenges including homelessness, city real estate debacles, the region's...

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