San Diego saw a record-high of 1,609 homeless people in the downtown area alone earlier this month, and Bill Walton has had enough. The NBA legend has sent a number of emails to Mayor Todd Gloria about the crisis and how he has failed. Now, Walton is making his complaints public.
According to The Voice of San Diego, Walton emailed Mayor Gloria as early as Aug. 28 about his failures while explaining that he had recently been assaulted by the homeless while riding his bike.
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“You have failed, us and yourself,” a Sept. 2 email reportedly read.
“Once again, while peacefully riding my bike early this Sunday morning in Balboa Park, I was threatened, chased, and assaulted by the homeless population, in our park,” Walton wrote on Aug. 28.
Walton is the unofficial spokesperson of San Diego, not because he’s arguably the most famous resident in the area, but because he’s lived in the same San Diego neighborhood for 43 years. The 69-year-old has never spoken one bad thing about the city, until now.
On the one hand, Walton’s emails and complaints fall on def ears given that he’s rich and famous. Walton also aligns politically with Mayor Gloria, a Democrat who has served as San Diego mayor since 2020.
On the other hand, one of the richest and most famous people in San Diego calling out the mayor he agrees with politically drives home the fact that Walton is just another resident, one that wants to see a change in his beloved city.
Given that his many emails have done nothing, Walton took to Instagram to voice his complaints.
“Sadly, and with a broken heart, I can no longer say that my hometown of San Diego, is the greatest place in the world,” Walton wrote on Sept. 19. “I can no longer say that SD is a safe, healthy, clean, and beautiful place. I can no longer urge my family, friends, tourists, and businesses to come to SD to live, work, and play.”
“I can no longer say that our neighborhood for the last 43 years is still my dream. I am brokenhearted, Mayor@toddgloria —clean up our city, and let us reclaim our lives. We must fix our homeless crisis. We need engagement, rehabilitation, and constant enforcement, and we need it now.”
A report in July indicated a record-high 475 deaths of people considered to be homeless in San Diego in 2022. Shortly after the report, Mayor Gloria was caught on video ignoring dozens of homeless people while giving a speech to kick off Comic-Con and open a small new women’s shelter.
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