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Veterans jobs initiative moves forward

(SAN DIEGO) The San Diego City Council Committee on Rules, Open Government and Intergovernmental Relations (Rules) Committee yesterday moved forward a proposed ballot initiative that would strengthen the City’s hiring policy to give appropriate preference to all U.S. veterans.

The proposal was championed by District 3 Councilmember Todd Gloria.

“This initiative provides an important and necessary update to the City Charter to ensure those who have served our country are honored with appropriate preference for City jobs,” said Gloria.

The Rules Committee forwarded the Veterans Hiring Preference Policy to the full City Council for a final determination to place it on the June 2010 general election ballot.

Currently, the outdated policy excludes service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. The proposed changes would include a broader definition of time of service, which would include any “war, major military action, or peacekeeping mission,” replacing the 1970’s requirement of an “act of conscription,” as well as an added credit for any veteran who has a service related disability of at least 15%, which would bring the total preference credit for qualifying veterans to 10% for City jobs.

“San Diego has a long history with our nation’s armed forces, and it’s time we benefit from the experience of the large number of highly skilled public servants who are discharged into our region,” adds Gloria.

The proposed policy change is part of Councilmember Gloria’s ongoing effort to improve the City of San Diego’s connection to the local veteran community. In May 2009, the Councilmember announced his Veterans Jobs and Service Outreach Program, which focuses on alerting local veterans organizations of City job openings and services from which they may benefit.