Mayor Gloria’s lip-syncing video receives mixed reviews

A video featuring Mayor Todd Gloria, city council members and some city staff synchronizing on the city’s issues left behind by former mayor Kevin Faulconer sparks criticism and laughs on social media this week.

The clip is a parody of Mark Morrison’s “Return of the Mack” in 1996, with lyrics highlighting issues such as homelessness, the sports arena deal and gasoline franchise fees. Gloria and others dance with brooms and plug up lyrics like “Todd Gloria is back, Todd Gloria is back, The Todd Squad, we’re cleaning up his number”, referencing Faulconer.

The Downtown San Diego Partnership created the video for its annual Installation Celebration fundraiser. This is one of the many parody videos that the mayors of San Diego have made over the years.

“For more than seven years, we have loved creating these videos with elected officials who take their work and service to our community seriously, while being willing to take some time to have fun lightly in support of the mission of the Downtown Partnership, ”said Betsy Brennan, president and CEO of the association, in an email Wednesday.

Some people found the video funny, but others weren’t laughing.

Critics on Twitter complained that it was a waste of the city’s resources, even though it was not produced or paid for by the city. Others said the comedy felt disconnected, given the severity of the issues mentioned in the song, such as homelessness.

“I wish he could spend his time on housing and homelessness rather than making silly videos,” said Michael McConnell, an advocate for the homeless.

The video, first shown during the September 22 fundraiser, was posted online but was recently made private on YouTube.

“This is a video I participated in for an event hosted by a local nonprofit that promotes economic development in downtown San Diego,” Gloria said in a statement Wednesday. “It’s designed to be a light roast event.”

Faulconer made a similar video on mobility in 2019 for the Downtown San Diego Partnership.

Another group, the San Diego County Taxpayers Association, also posted mayor parody videos. In 2017, Faulconer and several city council members were “Ghostbusters,” shedding short-term vacation rentals and shady lobbying practices, and in 2014, Gloria and Faulconer participated in a “Top Gun” parody with former Mayor Jerry Sanders.