A Satirical Take on San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria’s ‘State of the City Address.’

by on January 17, 2022 · 20 comments

in San Diego, Satire

The “Real” 2022 State of the City Address

By Mat Wahlstrom

Good evening.

Council President Sean Elo-Rivera and select members of the City Council, City Attorney Mara Elliott, Underboss Jay Goldstone, City of La Mesa Councilmember Colin Parent, and Don Jerry Sanders.

I’d also like to welcome our local and transnational representatives of global capital and our outstanding City of San Diego political appointees from the previous administration.

My fellow San Diegans of means…

This will be my second State of the City address this year: the one that really counts. I’m also delivering it without public notice — thanks again, Mara! — so I can be totally honest with you, the donors who are my real constituents, and my fellow beneficiaries of your largesse.

Last year, I described the state of our city as “fragile.” Of course not as fragile as my ego, but still.

I did so amid rising COVID-19 cases, a housing and homelessness crisis, a budget emergency due to the pandemic, careless and possibly fraud-tainted real estate deals with no accountability, an uncertain economy and rock-bottom morale among our city workforce.

Today I’m pleased to tell you that these problems have gone away. And by gone away, I mean enough enablers in the media have provided sufficient spin to absolve me of responsibility for any of them.

I never tire of claiming the county is in charge of public health, and make sure to always tag Nathan Fletcher in my tweets. Enough people believe I’ll actually provide restrooms to eventually address the human waste on our sidewalks behind the shigella outbreak; and I’ve been getting a total pass on doing nothing to resolve the current garbage workers’ strike.

I’ve used federal relief funds to subsidize the Convention Center to provide unsafe congregate housing, which has helped to eliminate the homeless, and to reward my election PAC organizers and otherwise patch fiscal holes exposed by our crony schemes. And I’m using local public money to challenge the vote on Measure C, so that there’s still a chance we can expand the Convention Center and say it will help the homeless.

I’m still meeting with lobbyists representing opposing parties in our city’s lawsuits over 101 Ash Street to ensure that these scandals will be resolved without consequence to anyone involved, especially yours truly — again at taxpayer expense.

And our city employees are happier than when they were employed by Circulate San Diego, the Chamber of Commerce, or the Downtown Partnership, because now they get double the benefits for doing the same work.

This has allowed me to focus on what really matters: increasing opportunities for real estate speculation and gentrification.

But I see our city falling short of what it could and should be. And like you, I refuse to accept that this is the best we can do.

Our road network needs more intensive and costly repairs – I’m talking about repaving and reconstruction. And since this will result in more bike lanes, it will eliminate the vehicle traffic that puts the wear and tear on our roads as it eliminates spaces to park vehicles, saving us from needing to budget for more repairs in the future.

And for the first time ever, the City is using equity as a key factor in where we allocate our road-repair funding – ensuring that historically underserved neighborhoods get the investments they need. This will increase the property values in these naturally occurring affordable housing neighborhoods, making room for new neighbors such as out-of-state biotech workers and REITs.

Equally foundational to our quality of life is living up to our obligation to keep San Diegans safe.

Which is why I not only refused popular demands to defund our police, but increased spending for them. Of course crime is still up; but the important thing is that I’ve kept the endorsement of the police unions. I especially want to thank Gauleiter David Nisleit for understanding when I say we need a ‘compassionate approach to homelessness’ that this means stepping up criminalizing the unhoused — and for his keeping protestors away from where I live.

That’s why I’m working with City Attorney Mara Elliott to to change state law to use conservatorships in cases of extreme mental illness among our unsheltered neighbors. With Mara helping write the law, you can be sure it will rope in those opposed to locking up innocent people and anyone speaking out against The Establishment as mentally ill themselves.

In 2021, we issued building permits and entitlements that will create as many as 12,000 new homes, with more than 6,500 in the pipeline right now. On paper, at least. As you know, entitlements increase land value without requiring to pull any permits or make any improvements, so you can be sure of a return on your investment no matter what — and I can keep pretending I’m making a difference.

Building on that momentum, this past year, I launched my “Homes For All of Us” housing initiative – more than a dozen separate proposals aimed at making it easier to build homes that working and middle-class San Diegans can afford.

Okay, okay — you got me. I couldn’t read that last part without laughing either. But the takeaway is that there are only token requirements for affordable housing and we’ve defined affordable as 110% the area median income, so this lets you build the same market rate stuff you are already while assuming the mantle of social justice.

Tonight, I’m also announcing another City housing program – “Bridge to Home.”

This is a program administered by our City’s Economic Development Department – and is so named because it helps bridge the gap that affordable-housing builders face when trying to make their projects work financially.

We’re going to give you city-owned land and tax breaks, waive development fees, and subsidize your construction costs, so you can build projects that are deed restricted for a few years. Then when that time expires, you’ll own everything outright and be able to charge market rate or demo for luxury digs for pennies on the dollar of what it would have cost without gaming the system.

And we’re going to gut the community planning groups that might complain about any of this.

We are legally and morally obligated to plan to add more than 100,000 new homes during the next eight years, and folks, we are getting it done. People need to realize that these empty homes are more than investment vehicles for foreign or absentee landowners: they’re necessary to claim victory on our Climate Action Plan goal to reduce our carbon footprint by decimating the current population. #ForAllOfUs

Alright, I see I’m starting to lose more of you to the open bar, so I’ll skip over my remarks about charging admission to the Botanical Building in Balboa Park and in support of more taxes for SANDAG, etc. But rest assured that everything I do will be sufficiently regressive to not impact any of you here.

Thank you. May Mammon bless you. And may Mammon bless our great city.


{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Frank Gormlie January 17, 2022 at 11:49 am

I laughed so hard at Mat’s screen grab of Gloria, that I almost fell outta the chair.


Mat Wahlstrom January 17, 2022 at 12:03 pm

Thanks, Editordude! I had to watch that video way too many times to capture it.


Vern January 17, 2022 at 12:25 pm

Still, somehow, SD remains Enron by the Sea.
Nicely done & thanks for the chuckle, Mat.


Mat Wahlstrom January 17, 2022 at 12:27 pm

Glad to hear. If we can’t laugh about this, all we can do is cry.


Helen Rowe (Dr/Ms/Esq) January 17, 2022 at 12:51 pm

H. L. Mencken & Fran Lebowitz on steroids.


Mat Wahlstrom January 17, 2022 at 1:45 pm

High praise indeed! But perhaps the only thing I have in common with Fran is we both agree that “My favorite animal is steak.”


Geoff Page January 18, 2022 at 1:45 pm

I’m a vegetarian, but that quote was really funny.


norma damashek January 17, 2022 at 5:52 pm

Oh Mat, how could you be so cruel? Still, you did a fantastic job of making me laugh through my tears.

What’s so painful is that our San Diego electeds consistently get away with their crimes of felony incompetence. Our mayors… councilmembers… they never have to answer for the damage they do to our city.

And Democrat or Republican–here in SD it doesn’t matter. Growth is the irresistable seducer of them all.


Mat Wahlstrom January 17, 2022 at 6:27 pm

Much appreciated! Sorry not sorry? Although I would less ascribe to incompetence what is more easily explained by corruption.

As I’ve said, the problem with our electeds (of both parties) is not just that they’re whores but that they’re such cheap whores. They regularly sell out our city in deals worth millions to their donors for a few thousand dollars. And as you point out, there’s never any consequence for this malfeasance.


Geoff Page January 18, 2022 at 1:50 pm

Ah, but that is always the rub, was it dishonesty or just incompetence. A dishonest person can almost always plead incompetence, usually someone’s else’s incompetence. Very hard to be sure which it is. I worked on a large construction claim in which we found something like this. The explanation we got was “Oh, that was done by our former accountant, Bill. He’s dead now.” I pictured Bill being led off behind the equipment shed. In the case of our public officials, it certainly is both but I’d say dishonesty was leading.


FrankFitz January 18, 2022 at 7:50 am

Elections have consequences.

This guy (and the council) was elected by a majority of citizens who some now feel betrayed. The next time an election comes around, do a little bit of due diligence before you give away your valuable vote. You’re not voting for the most popular boy or girl in class. You’re voting to hire someone to represent your interests and to do your business at city hall.

This guy has a history of climbing the good old political ladder. You are not his primary interest, he is his primary interest. He wants to go to Washington DC eventually and hang with the big dogs.

I’m really frosted at Boy Wonder’s lack of leadership on the vacation rental front. I live in a classic old OB neighborhood alongside families who have lived here for generations….until a high tech bro moved to an out-of-state ski area and turned his classic OB bungalow into a freaking AirBnB. Now I have a parade of strangers partying and carrying on at all times of the day and night as my neighbors. I’m now a one issue voter. If you’re for vacation rentals, I’ll vote against your sellout ass!!


Chris January 19, 2022 at 10:18 am

The overwhelming majority of people (if not all) who read and comment on the Rag are not and have not been fans of his for a loooong time. Unfortunately, he is typical of near everyone who chooses his of work. I remember when he was at the Pride parade about 4 years ago, I walked by him and sort of “accidently” bumped in off the curb. It was crowded enough to where he couldn’t figure out it was me. He was a bit agitated tho lol.
As to the Airbnb situation, I made a joke suggestion several years ago on here to make it unpleasant for the guests. Make is so bad for them they will not want to come back and will tell their friends never to at least stay at the very house they are renting out.


Frank Gormlie January 19, 2022 at 10:28 am

Chris, didn’t we make it a post here? Like, ’10 Ways to Piss Off Your AirBnb Neighbor’ or something like that?


Chris January 19, 2022 at 10:49 am

Yep Frank. That was the one.


steve January 18, 2022 at 1:24 pm

Hilarious and 100% on point!
We are suffering from the same fraudulent DINO in Encinitas, Catherine Blakespear. The same touting something woke while pocketing developer money and letting them call the shots.
Todd Gloria is a fraud, the DNC of California has become nothing more than a front for Developers, Land Speculators, and Corporate Landlords.
The entire Council is made up of the same DINOs and vote in lockstep with Gloria just as the Council in Encinitas votes in lockstep with Blakespear.
Voters need to wake up before it’s too late. UTC is being destroyed as we speak, a once beautiful area being turned into San Francisco. San Diego can’t absorb as many housing units that are going up and rents will not drop one dime and Gloria knows it.
Don’t vote for anyone who supports SB9 and SB10-that includes Newsom, Gloria, Blakespear, Toni Atkins, Scott Weiner, the entire SD City Council, etc. Basically any politician the DNC endorses is corrupt.


Geoff Page January 18, 2022 at 1:44 pm

Excellent, Mat! Great satire. I read halfway through this yesterday and got called away to walk dogs. I just finished it. You have a real gift for this form of writing.

I read somewhere that Gloria’s new idea is to make everybody homeless, that way, there won’t be a “homeless” group. Was it you that wrote this too, Mat?


Mat Wahlstrom January 18, 2022 at 2:24 pm

Thanks for saying this, Geoff. And I can’t tell you how many people asked me if I wrote that piece for The Onion, which is also a great compliment. But no, I haven’t written anything for them (yet).


Geoff Page January 18, 2022 at 2:25 pm

Well you should, Mat. Give it a try. That’s where I saw it, The Onion, thanks.


Kate Bell January 19, 2022 at 7:53 am

Why did it take him a MONTH to declare an emergency regarding the Republic trash debacle?


Vern January 19, 2022 at 9:10 am

He probably had to wait for his consultants – they’re paid by the hour.


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