Tom Hoffarth / FartherOffTheWall.com
As a general rule, retired sports-folk who still have celebrity draw shouldn’t assume that makes them a qualified candidate to run for political offices.
Herschel Walker and his clumsy pursuit of Georgia’s U.S. senate seat running on the platform that he’s a former Georgia Heisman Trophy winner and has all the endorsement entrapments that come with it could end up as lasting teachable moment.
Tommy Tuberville, the former Auburn football coach and now senator in Alabama, has become a symbol of corruption and self-interest. He’s no Tom Osborne.
Bill Walton, on the other hand, could tap into his UCLA social justice roots and manage some major mayhem as the mayor of his own San Diego — and perhaps school others how this kind of thing can activate community support.
The Voice of San Diego – that’s a publication, not a new nickname for the Big Red Head — recently explained how Walton has been so upset with the homeless crisis in his neighborhood that he’s been sending missives to current San Diego mayor Todd Gloria.
He feels betrayed. He feels the mayor has failed the city, and himself.
An Instagram post shows a collection of those who appear homeless with the text: “@toddgloria please give us our park, our bike paths, our neighborhood, our community and our lives back …”
He has followed up: “Sadly, and with a broken heart, I can no longer say that my hometown of San Diego, is the greatest place in the world, I can no longer say that SD is a safe, healthy, clean, and beautiful place, I can no longer urge my family, friends, tourists, and businesses to come to SD to live, work, and play … I can no longer say that our neighborhood for the last 43 years is still my dream, I am brokenhearted, Mayor @toddgloria —clean up our city, and let us reclaim our lives, we must fix our homeless crisis, we need engagement, rehabilitation, and constant enforcement, and we need it now.”
The Voice of San Diego followed up after Gloria responded on Twitter with a long list of posts, claiming progress has been made “the last few days.”
The VOSD original story explains that when Bob Filner resigned as San Diego mayor under a scandal in 2013, there was an undercurrent that Walton might consider challenging for his seat. He instead supported Gloria, a third-generation San Diegan who eventually left his seat in the state assembly and became the city’s 37th mayor in 2020.
The latest San Diego homeless count has surpassed 1,600. It seems there was about that number of folks predictably responding on social media with claims Walton is showing NIMBY tendencies of the out-of-touch privileged elite.
They don’t know Bill Walton.
“It’s easy to say that Walton is wrong for devaluing the situation that homeless people are in,” writes Sean Keeley for The Comeback, “and it’s easy to say that Walton is right and that the homeless should be shipped out of town to … wherever. Somewhere in the middle is an honest and ongoing conversation that many major cities are having about what to do about this complicated issue.”
A conversation we’re sure Walton would be ready, willing and able to lead.Continue reading “Yesterday’s news: The audacity of Bill Walton (San Diego mayor, ’24)”