SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria was officially sworn in Thursday, marking a historic moment for America's eighth largest city.
"Today, I stand in front of you as the first person of person of color and LGTBQ person to ascend to our city's highest office," Gloria said in a virtual ceremony.
Gloria and five new council members were sworn in during a virtual ceremony Thursday due to the COVID 19 outbreak. Gloria is a Democrat, as are the five new councilmembers also sworn in. The Democrats now have an 8 to 1 advantage on the City Council. But even if there is political harmony, the challenges facing the city are grand.
They are taking over with the region in a mandatory stay at home order due to the virus. Small businesses are shuttering, unemployment is near 8 percent, and the city could face a $124 million dollar budget shortfall next fiscal year.
"There are some things that people say you shouldn't touch, such as police, fire that type of thing, but if this continues on for another year, this COVID, who knows what the city budget is going to look like," said political analyst John Dadian.
But in a brief speech, Gloria expressed confidence in getting San Diego back on its feet.
"We will be rolling out an aggressive strategy to address the worsening public health crisis in COVID-19, the economic crisis that is impacting San Diego's families, small businesses and our city budget, the housing and homelessness crisis that has become even more dire," Gloria said.
Gloria says it's not enough to get San Diego just back to normal. He says normal isn't good enough.
Outgoing Mayor Kevin Faulconer, who is termed out, also gave a farewell speech.
He called Gloria a friend and and said the new mayor has what it takes to overcome the city's challenges.