The History of ReOpen San Diego

It all began in June of 2020 at Liberty Station

Born in a Facebook group, ReOpen San Diego, a few brave locals gathered and later created an in-person movement. People came together from all walks of life to process the isolation and negative impacts the lockdowns were causing us, our livelihoods, and our children and grandchildren.

Founders, Diane Ake, MPH, a college professor with roots in community organizing, and Alysson Hartmann, a former middle-school science teacher and PTA board member, organized meetings once a week to bring people together out of a deep sense of a need for social connection. This was during a time of immense social hysteria that people who went to beaches and parks were a threat to public health and deserved to be punished and fined. Law enforcement were citing people for gathering even in small groups while “social distancing” while others experienced verbal and physical attacks for merely picnicking at San Diego local parks. It was during this unprecedented time in history, ReOpen San Diego, a safe community was born. 

Co-Founder of ReOpen San Diego Aly Hartmann

In September of 2020, ReOpen SD started meeting at Balboa Park, right next to the Botanical Gardens. That’s when Amy Reichert, a California licensed private investigator and marketing expert started coming to the meetings. Amy helped the group go to the next level and plan a huge “Save San Diego” rally at the San Diego County Administration building on November 16, 2020.

Co-Founder Diane Ake (Right) at the ReOpen San Diego School and Summer Camp Mask-Choice Resource Fair on May 5, 2021. Co-Founder Aly Hartmann (Left).

The Save San Diego rally was organized in response to the California Governor’s tier system which severely restricted our freedoms by suddenly putting San Diego in the most restrictive Purple tier. The Save San Diego event began with a march from the Gaslamp of restaurant business owners and employees to the San Diego waterfront.  Guest speakers included Vice Chairman of the County Board of Supervisors, Jim Desmond, Coronado Mayor Richard Bailey, El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells, Data Expert Justin Hart from Rational Ground, as well as registered nurses, single Moms, Veterans, small business owners, and people from every political persuasion and side.

ReOpen San Diego’s first rally at the San Diego County Board of Supervisors

In December, ReOpen San Diego was invited by the Mayor of El Cajon, Bill Wells, to do a rally in his city. So we did! Our “All I Want for Christmas is Freedom” rally on December 21, 2020 was a huge success, it was live streamed by KUSI news and covered by every single news outlet in San Diego including Telemundo. The Rally was attended by around 1000 freedom-loving people.  Speakers included Congressman Darrell Issa, State Senator Brian Jones, Mayor of El Cajon Bill Wells, Nica Knite the owner and proprietor of The Pine Valley House, and Alondra Ruiz the owner and proprietor of The Village SD Restaurant spoke with professionalism and grace how their businesses were being unfairly targeted and hurt by the open-shut-open-shut orders.

From right to left: El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells, Congressman Darrell Issa, leader of ReOpen San Diego, Amy Reichert.

In January we had a 2021 ReOpen San Diego Summit on the 6th with data expert Justin Hart with 150 in attendance. On January 20, 2021, ReOpen San Diego had a SpeakLoudly event that featured Tony Roman, the restaurant owner of Basilico’s Pasta e Vino in Huntington Beach who has openly fought to stay open and without masks despite warrants from CAL OSHA and threats from the Alcohol Beverage Control of California.

Since January, ReOpen San Diego has hosted several events and rallies like…

Lawyers Against Lockdowns
Comedy Nights to support local businesses
Family Resource Night for Mask Choice Schools and Summer Camps
ReOpen the County Board of Supervisors meetings to the public rally (they listened and reopened 2 weeks later!)

You can browse past events here.

Co Founders of ReOpen San Diego, Diane Ake (left) and Alysson Hartmann (right)

From our small humble beginnings at Liberty Station, we all looked at each other and knew we had to do something, and so our motto was born: “We Have to Do Something Together.” We can not just sit idly by and watch as our civil liberties are erased before our eyes. 

In April of 2021, ReOpen San Diego partnered with Let Them Breathe, a group of concerned parents who want the right for mask choice for children in schools.

On June 5th hundreds of ReOpen San Diego Let Them Breathe members marched through Carlsbad Village to end youth mask mandates after holding a press conference in Pine Avenue Park. Watch here.

ReOpen San Diego at the first Let Them Breathe march on May 1, 2021

ReOpen San Diego has meetups and events where we come together with the common goal of community and fighting for our natural and constitutionally-protected rights TOGETHER. We also host larger events, protests, and rallies. We do fundraising for lawsuits against the lockdowns, provide support and resources for businesses who have pledged to never discriminate, and speak at County Board of Supervisor meetings and City Council meetings.  

Currently, ReOpen San Diego has a federal lawsuit against the City of San Diego for its discriminatory and unlawful vaccine ordinance for elected officials, volunteers, and board members that it passed in November, 2021. As of September 1, 2022 this lawsuit is ongoing. The City has been denied TWO motions to dismiss this lawsuit. We are fighting with the generous financial support of our community. Read more about our lawsuit HERE. You can donate HERE.

ReOpen San Diego is a non-profit, non-partisan group that aligns with anyone and any organization that supports and follows the Constitution of the United States and follows the data and science. We partner with businesses, political leaders, health professionals, attorneys, educators, religious leaders, and more. ReOpen San Diego will not stop until every small business is reopened at full capacity until every child is back in school with no harmful “safety measures,” and until the people perpetrating politicization of science are prevented from doing any more damage.

Browse our site or contact us directly to learn more about our mission, our vision, and how we go about making the changes we want to see in San Diego County. 

Come join us at our next gathering and “Let’s Do Something Together.”