Update: On Tuesday, February 16, the SLO City Council finalized their 2021-23 goals as:
- Economic Recovery, Resiliency and Fiscal Sustainability
- Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
- Housing and Homelessness
- Climate Action, Open Space and Sustainable Transportation
See details on each goal here.
It’s that time of year again. Even amidst a pandemic, the SLO City Council is continuing the tradition of coming together (this time virtually) to identify a handful of goals that will drive their budget, staff time and attention for the coming two years. This means that decisions made in the next few months will have significant influence over how our city is operating and projects that are moving forward in 2023.
Informed by the toll of the COVID-19 pandemic, the SLO Chamber Board is advocating for a suite of goals that will support community and economic recovery. These key business community priorities were determined after extensive work, discussion and evaluation by multiple Chamber committees and our Board, involving more than 80 business leaders and representing 1,300 businesses and their 35,000 employees.
“Community & economic recovery must be our highest priority, and we need to recover with the City’s core values of civility, sustainability, diversity, inclusivity, regionalism, partnership and resiliency in mind,” said Jessica Steely, 2021 SLO Chamber Board Chair.
To that end, we are advocating for the following Major City Goals:
- Economic Development & Business Support
- Housing & Homelessness
- City Fiscal Sustainability & Responsibility
- Climate Action & Resilience
- Transportation Infrastructure
- Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
These goals are naturally intertwined, which is why we urge the City to prioritize work programs that address areas of overlap to help our city recover efficiently and responsibly. The pandemic and its final effects on individuals and communities is yet to be understood, so it is imperative that the City budget is conservative and leaves room for the unknown.
We know that smart economic development advances diversity, equity & inclusion; that addressing housing and homelessness supports small business success; that investing in transportation infrastructure will improve our quality of life while getting us closer to achieving our climate action goals; and that a fiscally sound City is truly in the best interest of all residents. You can see all our recommendations for the City’s investment of time, money and resources, in this letter.
“The pandemic has shown us just how possible change, speed and flexibility really are,” said Jim Dantona, President and CEO of the SLO Chamber. “During this incredibly disruptive and uncertain time, we have been inspired by the innovation, grit and tenacity shown by so many businesses, individuals, and the City itself, as we have all worked to keep our heads above water while keeping our community safe. Like all businesses, the City should build on these strengths as they evaluate operations, facilities and ‘the way things have always been done.”
We will continue to advocate on behalf of the business community and work to advance these priorities at the February 6th workshop and through budget development this spring. It is more important than ever to actively create the future we seek and we look forward to working together to achieve a healthy, sustainable and prosperous future for those who live and work in San Luis Obispo.