Mexico isn’t paying for the border wall; we are. San Diego’s District 8 has some of the highest rates of pediatric asthma/cancer in CA due to smog and neglectful zoning. I myself developed lymphoma at just eight years old and have developed adult onset asthma during my time living in District 8. Rather than address the pollution in these areas, the city and county have allocated money to patrol Trump’s border wall, taking police and financing out of the communities that need them most.

So excited to take your questions today! A reminder that San Diego primary elections are on June 5th.

Proof -

Check out this short video if interested in our campaign:

Campaign site:

Edit: This was scheduled to end at 9:30pst but, because I'm so enjoying getting to engage with all of you, I'm extending this to 10:30. Looking forward to more great civil discourse!

Edit 2: Thank you all for such great questions! It's 11 now, so I do have to run, but I'll be sure to check back in over the next few hours/days to answer as many new questions as possible.

Comments: 2988 • Responses: 30  • Date: 

hip-hop_anonymous1058 karma

SD District 2 here (recently Dist 9.) I'm all for supporting efforts to reduce environmental hazards to human health, and will support sensible efforts toward this end. District 8 is on the border with Tijuana where pollution regulations are not subject to US control. How much of District 8's pollution problem is created within its own borders as a result of its environmental policies and enforcement? How much of the problem is out of its hands and created by Tijuana? Have efforts been made by San Diego to work with Tijuana to reduce pollution on the other side of the border and, if so, how effective have these efforts been in achieving this end?

CRamirezForDistrict8585 karma

Great question! District 8 is unique, we share the busiest land-border crossing in the world with Tijuana and one of the most polluted bodies of water, the Tijuana River. The time has come for county, state and federal officials to work with our counterparts in Mexico to address urgent infrastructure needs in our booming binational metropolitan region.

In the north of District 8, for decades the city has allowed toxic polluters to set up shop next to homes, places of worship and schools. I will actively work to allow residents in District 8 to enjoy the same zoning regulations that the rest of the residents in San Diego have in place.

The State of California has set up air monitor systems along the San Ysidro-Tijuana border region to better understand the levels of pollution along our shared border region, this is an important first step, towards addressing health and environmental concerns in the southern part of San Diego.

hip-hop_anonymous150 karma

I appreciate the answer, and agree that a local response will only address part of the problem. Regarding the zoning issue in District 8, I understand that David Alvarez has been passionate about this since first running for city council. What have been some of his accomplishments to this end in your opinion? What are some practical steps that you might suggest to address this problem, considering that there are already residential units abutting industrial?

CRamirezForDistrict884 karma

We now have a Barrio Logan Community Planning Group in place, my commitment is to afford the residents of Logan Heights and Sherman Heights a community planning group as well.

I have clear track record of building consensus on federal immigration policy, I will use my experience that spans over 2 decades on policy matters to ensure that we have a common-sense approach in City Hall to fix, once and for all the decades of misguided policies that have negatively impacted our communities.

xtagtv609 karma

What is your plan to deal with the homeless issue in san diego?

CRamirezForDistrict8480 karma

San Diego is one of the wealthiest cities in our state, it is shameful that we have allowed unsheltered children, women and men to be mistreated with such callousness and disregard for human dignity. The fact that hundreds of our neighbors were hospitalized and 20 more perished, due to a Hepatitis A outbreak is a disturbing example of the indifference that exists in City Hall when dealing with unsheltered San Diegans.

The city of San Diego should refurbish the old downtown library, the abandoned Charger training facility in Murphy Canyon, or Qualcomm stadium as emergency shelters for our neighbors in need. We have a shelter crisis in the city of San Diego, we must move unsheltered San Diegans from tents into more safe and dignified structures like tiny-homes, similar to what the City of San José recently implemented.

yggdrasil00446 karma

Where will all this money come from?

CRamirezForDistrict8293 karma

San Diego has one the lowest TOT (Transient Occupancy Tax) in the state, we need to invest resources to ensure that unsheltered San Diegans are afforded dignified shelter. Additionally, the city has several abandoned and underused buildings that should be converted to provide shelter to our fellow San Diegans, including the old library downtown, the old Charger Training Facility, and Golden Hall.

Edit: Just to clarify, yes, I advocate raising the TOT tax, which would increase the tax for people staying in hotels in San Diego, but not tax residents themselves. I'd propose having San Diego's tax rate be more in line with the TOT tax rate of Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Aimlessly2018281 karma

But where will the money come from Ramirez?

CRamirezForDistrict8182 karma

Just added an edit to the initial reply, I hope you feel that better answers your question.

Zande1r106 karma

And what will we do with the people that refuse our help, and how will we help the mentally ill that are unable to integrate into society?

CRamirezForDistrict858 karma

We can't force folks to accept services but we can invest in improving mental health facilities, the county should match and investment from the City of San Diego to ensure that we have adequate mental health facilities.

Ravarix32 karma

I agree so much about the Library becoming a shelter. It's already being functionally treated that way on a daily basis. Might as well open the doors and try and help.

CRamirezForDistrict83 karma

Completely agree, thank you for your comment.

TheTrueLordHumungous526 karma

Simple question: should individuals who are in the United States illegally be subject to deportation?

CRamirezForDistrict8366 karma

Yes and all people in the United States are entitled to due process rights. Immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers should have the right to appeal their cases before an immigration judge. Aggressive enforcement practices, that separate families and devastate communities should be halted.

Pardonthisinterup372 karma

Can we build a wall between your state and oregon to keep you guys from coming to the PNW?

EDIT: Thanks for the gold Internet stranger! I will enjoy it Along with this beautiful weather we have been having!

CRamirezForDistrict8359 karma

Too cold and we have better beer anyway.

Seeker_234327 karma

Or you could stop using tax money supporting illegal aliens since you spend far more than $3 million a year on that. Wouldn't that free up far more funds?

CRamirezForDistrict8-181 karma

Thank you for your question. Undocumented immigrants are not elegible for any public benefits, our primary focus should be to protect the quality of life for San Diegans.

FloridaEngine294 karma

Why does San Diego have such a low high school graduate rate and so many homeless people if the median income is in the top 5% of the nation?

CRamirezForDistrict8-116 karma

San Diego's economy is indeed booming, that is why I am a strong proponent of investing in historically underserved communities so that all residents are treated with dignity and respect. We have the moral obligation to ensure that America's Finest City is true to our motto.

Independent1411267 karma


CRamirezForDistrict8-122 karma

Thank you for your questions, I believe that we should allow folks to rehabilitate and become productive members of our society, that's why I supported Prop. 47. I am concerned that current law may jeopardize the ability for local law enforcement to carry-out your duties but I also want to make sure that local law enforcement is not burdened with enforcing federal immigration laws.

GKrollin238 karma

Can you elaborate on the $3M your city has spent on Trump's border wall? Where are you getting that figure and why is it so paltry in comparison to the $251M provided by the administration

edit: are you going to answer the part where San Diego has chipped in less than one half of one percent of the wall costs?

CRamirezForDistrict8-46 karma

Thank you for your question. The city and the county paid out nearly $3 million in overtime, services and supplies to guard President Trump's border prototypes, according to a request from the San Diego Union Tribune.

I am troubled that, at a time in which our police department is woefully understaffed and overworked, we are using precious public safety resources to guard border wall prototypes that amount to nothing more than political theater.

GKrollin106 karma

Do you have a source for your claims?

CRamirezForDistrict8-102 karma Here's an article detailing an initial payment. There have been a number of expenditures since then.

Threeknucklesdeeper234 karma

Do you think a properly secured border would reduce your crime rates, reduce load on the police, and raise property values?

CRamirezForDistrict8-154 karma

A recent study from UC Riverside found that "decades of research show that immigrants, regardless of legal status, tend to have lower crime rates."

orangejulius204 karma

What would your ideal approach to immigration be?

What's your position on recreational marijuana?

What kind of steps do you want to take to reduce pollution in San Diego?

CRamirezForDistrict8-215 karma

Thank you, great questions!

(ON IMMIGRATION) Federal border control policies are out of control, currently federal law enforcement agents and officers are allowed to enter private property without a warrant, set up check points and lawfully use racial profiling to question residents. I would start by advocating for immediate reforms to establish accountability and oversight mechanisms inside of ICE and the Border Patrol.

(ON MARIJUANA) Proposition 64 was approved by Californians and the city has an obligation to comply with state law. Dispensaries must be distributed equally among all council districts and policies that restrict access to patients and recreational use should be lifted.

The city has issued 40 nonretail cannabis permits for manufacturing, cultivation and distribution, the city should ensure that permits be granted to local and small business owners, particularly from communities that have been impacted by over policing. This will allow this now legal industry to create local jobs by allowing small business operators to compete. 

(ON POLLUTION) District 8 is home to some of the most underserved and most polluted communities in the City of San Diego. From the border communities of San Ysidro and Otay Mesa to the historic barrios, children are exposed to pollutants and have higher rates of asthma than any other community in San Diego.  

Environmental review and project mitigation is a must all across San Diego, especially for large scale projects in communities that are underserved. For far too long half-baked ideas have been imposed on the residents of District 8 by the political elites, eroding the quality of life for residents in the border district of our city. I’ll advocate to ensure that District 8 residents are consulted and that our concerns are taken into account to address issues related to environmental justice by implementing zoning regulations that prohibit heavy industry to operate next to residential areas.

TheTrueLordHumungous134 karma

I would start by advocating for immediate reforms to establish accountability and oversight mechanisms inside of ICE and the Border Patrol.

Are you stating there are currently no oversight mechanisms in ICE?

filbertsnuts164 karma

A better question would be how a city councilman could affect change in a federal agency.

CRamirezForDistrict8-134 karma

For the past 20 years I have worked on reforming federal immigration policies and I know how important it is to have local elected and law enforcement officials be actively engaged in shaping federal policy.

Not surprisingly, federal lawmakers rarely visit the border region or meet with local leaders. A councilperson, particularly one that represents communities along the border are uniquely positioned to advocate for common-sense solutions.

Pk0h130 karma

I recently moved from San Diego to the PNW area due to outrageous prices on homes and the cost of living. My wife and I made a combined income of over 125k a year, more with over time, and still could not afford a home in a decent neighborhood.

What is the city doing to help with shrinking middle class? Small businesses fail too easily, the housing market is a mess and people are leaving the city.

CRamirezForDistrict8-58 karma

I am sorry you and your family were pushed out of America's Finest City, I am strong proponent of building more affordable housing units, that allow working families an opportunity to live and thrive in San Diego.

I would urge City Hall to conduct an audit of poorly used and abandoned parcels of land and turn those parcels into affordable housing units.

sandwich_eater88116 karma

What is your plan to combat the homeless problem we have here in SD? We’ve seen multiple hepatitis breakouts along with a huge increase in crime in those areas. Its ruining our city and politicians seem to be sidestepping the problem.

CRamirezForDistrict8-41 karma

Hi, sandwich_eater88. I answered a similar question here. I absolutely agree with you and am committed to expanding homeless services throughout the city.

thecasualcaucasian107 karma

Improving/building the wall would cut border enforcement costs . Is there a another reason that don't want the wall to be built besides the 3 million?

CRamirezForDistrict8-87 karma

Undocumented migration is at an all time low, precious federal resources should be invested in improving infrastructure at our gridlocked ports of entry and investing in water treatment plants to clean up shared bodies of water with Mexico.

5830danny87 karma

Not currently a San Diego resident, but my parents live in San Diego, a couple of miles away from the border. What is your plan to stop the flow of people Illegally crossing the border? This is a profound issue in San Diego, particularly for the people living near the border.

CRamirezForDistrict8-73 karma

I grew up 1 mile from the border in Nestor so I know the impact that immigration and federal law enforcement had on our communities. Undocumented migration is an all time low, what our communities along the border urgently need is investing on modernizing our ports of entry and cleaning up the environmental disaster in the Tijuana River Valley.

itisharryterry61 karma

North County here, but we all know the roads in San Diego are in absolute terrible condition. This has been a long on going issue. What is your stance on getting these resolved with local city and state?

CRamirezForDistrict8-45 karma

The mayor has a plan to improve infrastructure and improve our road and SB1 has also earmarked resources to fix our roads and fund active transportation projects, including rail, bike lanes and improvements to pedestrian safety. I will fight to ensure that historically underserved communities get their fair share of these critical resources.

Snazzy_Serval53 karma

Wait what, why is the city of San Diego paying for any part of the wall? I thought California was adamantly against the wall?

CRamirezForDistrict8-91 karma

The city and county have spent nearly $3 million in overtime and equipment to guard President Trump's border wall prototypes, undermining public safety for underserved communities.

Sailing_4th50 karma

Downtown / Little Italy Resident here: Mr. Ramirez what would your plans be for managing traffic? Beyond the tram which I’m surely will help traffic to UTC, but how about all the buildings sprouting up downtown and the traffic that will increase surely because of that?

Thank you.

CRamirezForDistrict8-47 karma

Thank you for your question. I am firm believer in investing in public transit, promoting more bike lanes and walkable communities. We need to start dropping our dependency on the automobile.

IAMAVelociraptorAMA42 karma

Do you have any concrete plans for fixing the asthma and cancer rates in District 8? I understand funding is a large part of the problem, but what would the money be going towards?

CRamirezForDistrict88 karma

The County of San Diego operate's the largest budget for Health and Human Resources and the Board is sitting on millions of dollars in reserves that should go towards funding clinics. As a councilperson I will advocate for those resources to be invested in communities that have been impacted by pollution. Concretely the City of San Diego can begin to undo the wrongs of the past, by implementing zoning in Barrio Logan and Logan Heights, funding additional bike lanes, and improving access to public transportation.

allwordsaremadeup37 karma

Pollutors create jobs. It's the unfortunate truth and a probable line of attack by your opponents. Rezoning will only fix future problems, aren't you mostly dealing with legacy problems? Will you force current pollutors to close shop, knowing that incurring fines, mandatory moves, etc will be used as an excuse for layoffs and firesales.

CRamirezForDistrict8-41 karma

The current community plan in the northern part of District 8 dates back the 1970s, we need 21st century policies in place that protect the quality of life of residents and encourage industry to implement new strategies to mitigate pollution.

Traplord9322 karma

Good morning!

I’m pleased to see you taking such complex questions and willing to go so far into detail with some of these answers.

I saw earlier you commented on the urban camper dilemma. You said you wanted to use old City buildings to house people in need, as private a citizen and employee to the state, I’m interested in knowing where the money for upkeep and building maintenance will come from. A lot of the reason these buildings are unoccupied is because of lack of maintenance and equipment needed to be replaced. Not to mention renovation needed to make this a safe occupiable building,

The General Services (Facilities) department of the City of San Diego has taken multiple deductions in Fiscal Year budgets for the past 5 years, ranging from 2-5% each year. Where would this money needed to renovate these old buildings, and re-outfit these buildings needed to occupy these people come from?

CRamirezForDistrict8-36 karma

If the City of San Diego is willing to open up city owned brick and mortar structures, the County should step up and help fund wrap around services. We have faced a serious Hepatitis A outbreak that claimed the lives of 20 residents and sickened hundreds more.

There's no doubt that we're facing a housing crisis, we have a moral obligation to ensure that our friends and neighbors who are unsheltered get the urgent support that they need.

AcidicOpulence5 karma

To the people that say “ugh voting makes no difference” what do you say that will change their mind?


CRamirezForDistrict8-41 karma

I take civic participation very seriously because voting was a hard earned right won by the Suffrage Movement, the Civil Rights Movement and the Chicano Movement. If we are going to strengthen our democracy, we all have to commit to participate in our democracy.

cahaseler-81 karma

What are the most important things we can do locally to fight back against the injustices coming from the top of the executive branch?

CRamirezForDistrict8-41 karma

Great question! Local governments must ensure that our local law enforcement is not used to fuel the federal administration's deportation forces. District 8 is uniquely located along the border, local elected officials must help strengthen our economic, social and cultural ties with our neighbors on the other side of the border.