Protesters air grievances in an end-of-year 'Festivus' at San Diego City Hall

About 40 demonstrators took aim at Mayor Faulconer
About 40 demonstrators from the Racial Justice Coalition of San Diego gathered outside San Diego City Hall Dec. 17
Posted at 4:01 PM, Dec 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-17 21:18:17-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- About 40 demonstrators aired grievances Tuesday at the last San Diego City Council meeting of 2019, although not explicitly in the spirit of Festivus.

The protesters, largely from the Racial Justice Coalition of San Diego, highlighted a range of concerns including homelessness, affordable housing, police tactics, smart street lights, racial bias and more.

Much of the demonstrators’ criticism was aimed directly at Mayor Kevin Faulconer, who is entering his final year in office and was not in council chambers Tuesday morning. Faulconer’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

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"Airing of grievances" is the opening ceremony of the fictional holiday Festivus, featured in the television sitcom "Seinfeld."

Protesters ended their demonstration with actors reading a spoof of “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens, in which a “Mayor Scrooge” is visited by the Ghosts of Homelessness Past, Present and Future.

San Diego leaders have grappled with homelessness throughout 2019. Last April, San Diego’s Regional Task Force on the Homeless Point-In-Time Count survey put the county's homeless population total at 8,102, with 4,476 unsheltered people and 3,626 sheltered people in the county.

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Since the count, downtown tent shelters and overnight parking lots have been established to help address the issue.

In October, the city council unanimously approved a 10-year, $1.9-billion plan to address homelessness through a series of initiatives. Plans include making more than 5,400 housing units available for homeless residents, providing more housing assistance services, and creating a leadership council.

The city's plan also adopts three-year goals to halve San Diego's unsheltered homeless population and eliminate homelessness among youth and military veterans.