At its first meeting in weeks, the San Diego City Council on September 13 unanimously approved a resolution to raise awareness about the negative impact of automatic Defense Department budget reductions.
The resolution encourages “a comprehensive regional strategy to protect, retain and expand the military assets in San Diego” and “action by public and elected officials in Washington.” The resolution was sponsored by District 1 councilmember Sherri Lightner, chair of the Economic Development and Strategies Committee.
Lightner said “cuts would be devastating to our local economy. We must engage the community; we must make sure our voices are heard loud and clear.” District 2 councilmember Kevin Faulconer echoed that, saying the military economy “is important to every neighborhood.”
District 5 councilmen and mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio said of budget battles: “In San Diego we've come together. My hope is for the same thing in Washington. We have to hold their feet to the fire.” District 6 councilmember Lorie Zapf agreed that cuts would be “...devastating. It needs to happen somewhere else, not here.”
Rep. Bob Filner, ranking member of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee, said [via email], the “Tea Party-controlled House insisted on a budget mechanism, known as sequestration, contained in the Budget Control Act of 2011. Now they are having second thoughts because of the severe impact their plan will have on national defense priorities, like ship building and our military bases in San Diego.”
Filner, DeMaio's mayoral opponent, added: “I oppose sequestration. We need a balanced approach to deficit reduction that doesn’t put San Diego’s economy, military, and veterans in jeopardy.”
According to the San Diego Military Advisory Council, “the military economy represents nearly 25 percent of the region’s employment and more than 310,000 jobs. In fiscal year 2012, the military economy accounted for almost $32 billion in local economic activity.”