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President's Message - April 2010

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It's been over a year since SDMAC began the planning and commissioned the research necessary to publish the 2010 San Diego Military Economic Impact Study. Based on federal fiscal year 2008 data, Department of Defense spending in the greater San Diego region was an astonishing $16.1 billion of which $5.7 billion was personal income for more than 136,700 people. Applying widely accepted Bureau of Economic Analysis multipliers to the direct spending resulted in an estimate of $26.5 billion of economic activity and accounted for 328,000 jobs, over 23% of the total employment in the region!

We all know 2008 was the year when "recession" was no longer whispered, maintaining a roof over families' heads became a challenge lost by too many, and keeping a job that supported paying the San Diego region's "sunshine tax" for costs of living became more and more trying for thousands in our community.

So how is it we've heard so little about this bright spot in our local economy? Many in our community are aware of the contribution the brave young men and women of our military make to our freedom and our lifestyle. However, why is it that the economic impact of the largest concentration of military personnel and facilities in the world largely goes unnoticed? Why, during this period of downturn in San Diego's commercial and housing construction, is the San Diego's region military construction boom, which is several years running and with several more to go, only recently been the subject of discussion, in print, and other media outlets?

Answering these questions is one of the reasons we have a San Diego Military Advisory Council.

Part of SDMAC's mission is "...to enhance recognition of the military's many contributions to the greater San Diego area ..." It is SDMAC's job to ensure our citizens know how important the military is to San Diego and how important San Diego is to the military. It is our charter to identify and advocate for local, state, and federal legislation and regulations that reasonably apply to the military and do not have unintended consequences to service members and their mission.

It is an honor to involve the San Diego community with the healing of our sick and wounded service members under care at the Naval Medical Center San Diego. It is SDMAC's privilege to bring senior Department of Defense leaders and decision makers to San Diego not only to hear their message but also to carry back the message that San Diego as a community is a partner in the defense of our country.

With the publishing of the latest economic study, SDMAC renews our passing the word so our military and our citizens know how much we are dependent on each other in so, so many ways. We will continue to advise our civil and political leadership, assist our military in their relationships with San Diego while carrying out their missions, and reach out to the people of our community to acknowledge the prominence of the military in our local economy but, more importantly, the defense of our country.

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