Are People Really Upset With The Padres For Trying To Force Away The Homeless Prior To Hosting The All Star Game?
YardBarker- According to emails, John Casey, the city’s liaison with the Padres until March, took the lead on getting price quotes for the rocks. In multiple emails, he urged city staff to move the project along. “Any breakthroughs?” he wrote in a November email. “The Padres and SDPD are asking me when we can see the curbs painted red as well as the rocks at the underpass and Tailgate Park wall.”
In early January, Casey emailed City Traffic Engineer Linda Marabian and laid out a checklist of remaining work to be done before the All-Star Game.
“Back to the vision of Imperial as a Gateway to East Village,” he wrote. “The wrought iron fence has been installed on the wall at Tailgate Park and works well at discouraging loiterers. Remaining work in anticipation of the All Star game is: Rip Rap rocks under the I-5 overpass at Imperial on both sides of the street. Rip Rap rocks at the base of the Tailgate Park wall from 12th to 14th.”
Casey no longer works for the city and is taking all responsibility for the project. He told Voice of San Diego the idea for the rocks was all his and that the timeframe for the All-Star Game was a convenient deadline.
The Padres say they “did not suggest or request that rocks be installed and it was never our intent to deter homeless from the area.” They said in a statement they only wanted no parking signs, lighting under the bridge, and curbs painted red.
Am I missing something? Are people really displeased with San Diego's decision to put money into "cleaning up" the area surrounding the stadium prior to hosting a well publicized event that could benefit the city financially? I don't even care if it was the Padres idea to essentially stone the homeless to further pastures or not, because I am pretty sure you don't have squatter's rights when what you are squatting on is public grounds. I guess it sucks that those who are already down on their luck are being forced to relocate, but look on the bright side - the single best part of being homeless is having the ability to pack up and move at a moment's notice. Let's be honest, this will probably be good for these people. It's like having a job you've long grown tired of. I bet they have wanted to change it up for awhile now and were just too hesitant to pull the trigger. The City of San Diego, or the Padres, or some combination of both just gave them a nice little push in the right direction, and that direction just so happens to be further from what is sure to be a huge tourist attraction.
Sorry homeless people, but you don't get to claim gentrification when the only thing you have over your head is an overpass. In fact, if you ask me they were really limiting their potential anyway. How can you be a nomad in San Diego and choose to reside in a place that doesn't have any sun exposure? I thought that would be the one positive of being homeless in California. Far more available "properties" when it's 80 degrees and sunny everyday.