Community members have complained for decades about San Ysidro's infrastructure. Old and inadequate streets and the absence of sidewalks and pedestrian pathways were mentioned in the community plan when it was revised in 1990. Since taking office in early December, Councilman Alvarez says most of the calls he’s received from San Ysidro residents have concerned infrastructure.
“This is supposed to be the international gateway— America’s front door —but look around at the sidewalks and the streets,” he says. “No one really feels like it’s a gateway. How could they?”
Between appointments with constituents, Alvarez walks west from the community service center along Camino de la Plaza, heading for Las Americas outlet mall, on the other side of I-5. As we cross the bridge over the freeway, we can see construction crews working on the new footbridge at the pedestrian port of entry. On the south side of Camino de la Plaza, the sidewalks between the border crossing and the outlet mall are new. Alvarez points to the north side of the street, where a section of sidewalk is missing.
As he looks at the dirt, Alvarez says he can understand why some residents accuse the City of favoring the more affluent neighborhoods. “There is some truth to that,” he says, “but it’s also true that many of those wealthier areas are newer than San Ysidro. This is an old neighborhood.”
The councilmember thinks that part of the problem is geography. Annexed to the city in 1957, San Ysidro and its neighboring South San Diego communities are nearly 20 miles south of downtown, separated from the rest of San Diego by Chula Vista and National City.
President Barack Obama weighed in on the San Diego mayor's race Saturday, endorsing fellow Democrat David Alvarez. "As a native San Diegan, David Alvarez has been a fierce advocate for his city, and on the Council, has led efforts to build a strong middle class, put neighborhoods first and expand opportunities for kids in and out of school," Obama said in a statement.Read More
What will David Alvarez bring to the San Diego City Council? We speak to Councilmember Alvarez about his goals for District 8, and we discuss how he thinks the council should go about cutting the city's $73 million budget deficit. "The district is actually, I think, one of the most exciting in the City of San Diego. We've got everything from a border with Mexico from in the southern portion in San Ysidro and Otay, we've got agricultural land in the River Valley area, we've got bayfront both down in the south, and also in the Barrio Logan part of town, we've got historic neighborhood, in Barrio Logan and the northern portion of the district. Then we've got bran new communities in Bay Side and in Ocean View Hills. And so it's a very diverse district. So I'm really, really excited about the opportunities and challenges that that brings."Read More
An aquatic safety center proposed for Mission Bay Bark won’t be on the November ballot based on concerns that supporters haven’t conducted enough community outreach. Councilman David Alvarez of Logan Heights said the aquatic center is a worthy project that would bolster the city’s nonprofit junior lifeguard program, but voted against placing it on the ballot because he said the community needs more information.Read More