"The Center will continue, as it has, to advocate, mobilize, and do the hard work every day to grow our collective power so that all of us have the chance to be safe, healthy, and empowered." - Cara Dessert
Along with providing direct support servies to community members in need, the San Diego LGBT Community Center has a long history of advocating for policy changes that are in line with its mission. In her message to the community on Tuesday, Jan. 19, The Center's CEO Cara Dessert laid out the agency's advocacy priorities for the new year. Read the portion of her message below.
The Center has a dual role – providing services and advocacy to our community. We advocate for our community regionally, at the state level, and even nationally. This year, we set three regional priorities, rooted in our service delivery work as a health and human service provider.
- Housing: The Center is a provider of a continuum of housing services and we will continue to advocate for more affordable, permanent, supportive, emergency, and LGBTQ-inclusive housing, as well as resources for rental relief for all, including our immigration community, and bolder renter protections.
- Reimagining Policing: As a service provider, we center our work in trauma-informed care, and deeply understand the data and lived experiences of our community members which show that LGBTQ people and Black and Brown LGBTQ people are over policed in our region. We will continue to work with our partners at the Coalition for Police Accountability and Transparency (CPAT) in calling for local governments to pass the Police Accountability Now policy reforms. We are advocating to redirect ineffectively-allocated police activities and funding, to better suited non-law enforcement community based organizations to provide trauma-informed first responses.
- Equitable Budget: This priority ensures an equitable budget that doesn’t leave marginalized communities behind. At the County and City level, we call for prioritizing resource investment in communities that have been historically under-resourced, and protecting these communities from being impacted by budget cuts.
As part of our advocacy and coalition work, The Center is engaged in the budgeting process both at the City of San Diego and San Diego County, as they are critical in ensuring the resources are allocated in order to make a fairer and more just San Diego. Recently, we sent City Council President Campbell and her council colleagues a letter outlining The Center’s budget priorities for FY 2022. The Center recognizes the deficit that the City of San Diego is facing and the challenges that creates; The Center strongly urges bold leadership in reimagining the City's budget in order to create an equitable balanced budget. 2020 highlighted the inequities that many of us had already been experiencing, and that requires that we are our own advocates. Whether it’s sharing your story, making a call, or sending an email, our voices matter, and we would love to keep you engaged in our efforts. Please sign up to receive updates or calls to action from our Advocacy Team here.
Please stay healthy and well as we look forward to the future with bold hope that together, we can create a better San Diego for all of us.
-Cara Dessert (Pronouns: She/Her/Hers)Chief Executive Officer
More information about The Center's advocacy efforts can be found here.