Senator Blakespear Secures $10 million in State Funding for Community Projects
The California State Budget, which took effect this month, includes funding requested by Senator Blakespear
SACRAMENTO – Amidst a challenging budget year, Senator Catherine Blakespear’s advocacy for investments in her district has resulted in funding for projects that address housing and homelessness, transit and transportation, the environment, and social services.
The $10 million in funded projects relate to her four core policy focus areas this year, which include building housing for those experiencing homeless in Vista, improving the transportation corridor adjacent to a local high school in Encinitas with active transportation and mobility improvements, connecting a critical missing link of the Coast-to-Crest trail through construction of a bridge in the San Dieguito River Valley, and procuring specialized hybrid transportation vehicles for seniors and individuals with mobility challenges in Orange County.
“These are critically important projects in my district,” Blakespear said. “I’m tremendously grateful that my advocacy for these projects was effective in getting the projects funded. It is a tough budget year, with state revenues substantially lower than last year, which motivated me to advocate even harder for state investment in important local initiatives. These projects would not be moving forward this year without this crucial funding.”
Blakespear’s requests that received funding were:
- $5 million for the City of Vista to offer interim and permanent supportive housing units for people experiencing homelessness or who are at risk for homelessness in North County San Diego.
“Our goal is to resolve homelessness wherever possible,” said Vista City Council Member Katie Melendez. “We often see those experiencing homelessness caught in an inefficient loop, struggling to obtain reliable shelter and housing. The $5 million in the State Budget for the City of Vista will allow us to develop an innovative, non-congregate shelter, provide transitional housing, and establish a path from suffering into healing. Thank you, Senator Blakespear for your collaboration and advocacy.”
- $3.09 million for the City of Encinitas to complete the Santa Fe Drive Corridor improvement project to increase safety for bike riders and drivers on this busy corridor adjacent to San Dieguito Academy. The project includes buffered bike lanes specifically requested to be included by the Senator and also includes sidewalk improvements, parking, protected intersections, landscaping, storm drains, and bus stop enhancements.
“The Santa Fe Drive Corridor Improvements Project is a critical mobility project that will support active transportation and make it safer for residents and students to walk or cycle through the area,” said Encinitas Mayor Tony Kranz. “Construction will be split into two phases and includes protected bike lanes, buffered bike lanes, new sidewalks, bus stop improvements and a new signalized mid-block pedestrian crossing. Projects like this support mode shift by creating spaces where cyclists and pedestrians are comfortable and help get people out of cars. State funding of $3.09 million through Senator Blakespear’s office made it possible for the City to move this important project into the construction phase, and we are grateful to the Senator for acquiring this additional funding to complete this project.”
- $1.4 million for the San Dieguito River Park Joint Powers Authority to complete the 1-mile Osuna Segment, a portion of the Coast to Crest Trail. The Osuna segment will connect the coastal portion of the San Dieguito River Park’s Coast to Crest trail to the central portion. The Osuna Segment will be located between the San Dieguito Lagoon and Fairbanks Ranch.
“We are extremely grateful for these essential funds to close a long-standing gap in the Coast to Crest Trail,” said Shawna Anderson, Executive Director of the San Dieguito River Park JPA. “The Osuna trail segment in the Fairbanks Ranch area will link 4 miles of western lagoon trail segments already in place to 27 miles of contiguous trail to the east closing a gap in the CTC Trail. The Osuna segment represents the 50th mile of the CTC Trail! The state funds combined with an existing public grant and private donations provide the needed funding to construct the bridge and trail and finally close this gap in the Coast to Crest Trail.”
- $510,000 for Age Well of Orange County to procure six additional hybrid, specialized transportation vehicles to provide non-emergency transportation services throughout Orange County to seniors and individuals with mobility challenges.
“We are both grateful and honored for the budget approval which was advocated by Senator Blakespear and approved by Governor Newson that will allow the purchase and inclusion of electric hybrid transportation vehicles to be added to our non-emergency medical transportation fleet,” said Steve Moyer, CEO of Age Well Senior Services, Inc. “These environmentally friendly and cost effective vehicles will provide over 7,000 trips each year and transport the seniors in our community to vital treatments such as dialysis, chemotherapy and other medical appointments which will allow them to age with dignity and independence.”
Elected in November 2022, Blakespear represents Senate District 38, which covers northern coastal San Diego County and part of inland Orange County. To learn more about the district and Sen. Blakespear, visit her Senate website.