A Phenomenal People Deserves Phenomenal RESULTS
D4 Candidate NEAL ARTHUR Talks straight about district 4, why we need change and here’s how we get it!
We have not made sufficient progress in our district compared to other communities like for example South park or North Park. In the last 10 years they changed considerably. They now have shops, restaurants, and their property values have increased greatly. We still don’t have shopping choices. We have ten liquor stores for every grocery store. The grocery store in my neighborhood always has an over abundance of stale bread and brown lettuce. If we had choices they would have to clean up their act. They don’t respect us. The County still treats us like we’re always the first option for dumping another rehab center or another half house and nobody stops them. They don’t respect us. While we can accept a certain amount of low income and high-density government subsided housing, I am going to insist that we share this responsibility with the other areas in the city. It all doesn’t belong in Southeastern San Diego. Sometimes we act like the community that we have is the community that we deserve, we deserve better. Downtown doesn’t respect us. These things haven’t changed in so many years. All we have been given is empty political promises. We have lost our confidence. So let’s change the gatekeeper. Somebody has to stand up to downtown. Give me a chance. I am a businessman; I can’t deal in empty promises. I have got to produce. You should be able to see my results or I will not ask for a second term. As a real estate developer I have helped develop the planned community of Rancho Bernardo. I have over thirty five years of experience changing communities. I can make the necessary changes to Southeastern San Diego.
WHAT IMMEDIATE CHANGE I WOULD MAKE?
First, we need to stop the negative things that are impacting our neighborhoods. Liquor stores outnumber grocery stores probably 10 to 1. Why is that a good idea? Who let that happen? Recently someone told me not to “attack the liquor stores they do so much for the community” What!!! It’s time for a change. I have had enough of boarded up buildings along Imperial Ave. owned by people who don’t even live in the state. We have allowed the district to be marketed so negatively. A myth that has been offered by outside people is that our community is over run by gangs. Nobody speaks about the young people that are active in their churches, and why they are the reason that our high schools scores are increasing. We have more young people going to college than going to jail. Of course we have some issues but we will fix them ourselves. And we will do it ourselves without the help of outside people, who have always given us empty promises. I will promise you this; I will never stand in a line downtown begging for things that we are entitled to. I have heard our present council member say that her leadership style is that she“gets along with everybody”. What has that gotten us? That is not leadership that is following at the expense of your constituents.
WHY IS THE DISTRICT SPECIAL TO YOU?
I love its value. We have ocean views. We are 10 minutes from downtown. We don’t spend hours in traffic. We have simply let outside people define our community. They see our value, yet they want to refer to it as the “hood”. I am afraid that if we are not careful we will be living somewhere else. Let me say this. If you are a person of color you may sleep away from the district 4 but you are still from the district. If you don’t believe me, get stopped by a policeman or apply for bank loan. They will remind you where you are from. Another reason I see value in the district is the great diversity that we share. As this country gets more divided every day, in this community we have a chance to set an example of how to develop community strength by recognizing in our unity we can move our district in a place of political power. We will be a force to be dealt with because together we grow.
WHERE HAS THE DISTRICT GONE WRONG?
We have elected a councilmember that has allowed people from outside of the district to have input in our community. And often it has been non-productive or negative. That is never acceptable. Nobody is going to care about us but us. We must make downtown know that we expect to get what we are entitled to and after that we handle it ourselves. That means no more detention facilities, no more freeways cutting through our community. No more construction projects that does not employ our people. Nothing is being developed in our community unless we have input. Another problem. Unions? I am not opposed to unions. I am opposed to unions that work in our community but do not employ the people that live in that neighborhood. Unions that do not train our people to be able to have careers in the construction industry.
WHY DOES YOUR EXPERIENCE MATTER?
I have over 35 years as a real estate developer. I was an officer in the company that built the community of Rancho Bernardo. I was involved with the development of the Southeastern community of South crest. I built 43 units of affordable housing also in Southeastern San Diego. I chaired the San Diego Housing Commission for nine years which resulted in many many units of quality affordable housing. This experience also allowed me to work closely with the City Council and the Mayor as the person who was responsible for the City‘s affordable housing. I have also served as a lobbyist for various San Diego companies. If this resume appears top heavy as real estate developer. I have also served on many boards and commissions that have impacted the Southeastern community. However, at this time what this community needs most is economic development. That is new development. I have the experience. We need to add shopping choices, grocery stores that will compete with each other for your business. Office space that will draw from downtown. Market rate housing that will increase the property values of existing homes. I have years of experience to do this. Many people in our community are either under employed or unemployed. With new development that problem will be greatly reduced. However, if a developer has the intention to build in our community without employing our people. Look somewhere else.
WHY WE NEED POLITICAL RESPECT?
Let me answer this question simply. I am one of the people that feels as though District 4 has been a dumping ground for so many outside people. I intend to usher in a totally new era of how we intend to do business in this community. I will not promise to “fight” for issues that impact my district. You always need five votes to get the council to support your issue. I will however, negotiate the best position for my community. Every council district needs something. My job is to find out what that is and turn it into an advantage for district 4. That’s politics. They will learn to RESPECT us. I don’t care about jobs at the soccer stadium. My people aren’t looking forward to selling hotdogs at soccer games. WHAT I WANT
THE VOTER TO KNOW ABOUT NEAL ARTHUR?
What I have learned about life is that things that you have done eventually comes together to show you how your past experience impact your future. I listen to God in every decision in my life. Not terribly long ago, I was sitting in a local city as we negotiated a deal for a new hotel, and came to me that my community doesn’t have hotel or many other amenities that I have developed in the past. I begin to feel as it was time for me to bring my skills and experience to my district. I don’t intend to run for Mayor or any other office. God showed me that my direction was for the improvement of Southeastern San Diego. I will never speak negatively about the other people who are seeking this same office. However, it is now my passion and I want this opportunity to serve more than anything else.
THE IDEAL DISTRICT FOUR
First, I want to point to our diversity and the great strength we possess when we come together. I can’t bring this community to its full potential alone without the help of all of our community. I see a community where our seniors feel free to walk about in the evenings on heavily landscaped streets. I want them to realize that because of their experience and wisdom we still need them to help us raise this next generation. I want our homeless veterans to know that we want to welcome them home because of the sacrifices they have made, we owe them. Remember we sent them away whole and because of the wars they didn’t come home as we sent them away. I want a community that is no longer referred to as the “hood”. I want families to be able to enjoy the neighborhood, the stores, the restaurants, the grocery stores that compete for the space in our community. I want Southeastern San Diego to become a destination place for people who live elsewhere but are looking for unique shopping places. I want young couples that are looking to purchase their first home to consider our community as an option, compared to other places that are not as comfortably located. I want old school values. I want neighbors to build memories for their children who will want to come home when they start their families because it’s a great place to live, work and worship.
The San Diego Monitor-News has been serving Black San Diego since 1986