A New Way to Cover the City Council Races - Voice of San Diego

City Heights UNVEILING THE UNSEEN

A New Way to Cover the City Council Races

Help us figure out the big issues and ask the unasked questions in the five City Council districts hosting elections.

 

This year we’re experimenting with a new way to cover the City Council elections. And we need your help.

Over each of the next five weeks, we’ll send a reporter into one of the five San Diego City Council districts that’s up for election this year. That reporter will spend the week in that district, filing dispatches about the issues those neighborhoods face and the concerns of the residents. We’ll talk with area leaders and the men and women on the street.

Our goal: find out what questions residents want asked of the candidates. Then, we’ll take a look at the candidates up for election, talk to them and see how they stand on neighborhood and citywide issues.

This is part of our core commitment not to get wrapped up in horse-race political coverage or superficially glaze over the issues. We want our coverage to come up from the community.

To bolster that effort, we’re teaming with the Guardian’s innovative Citizens Agenda project as they seek a similar goal for the presidential race — getting the media to address the issues that matter to everyday people, not just those playing the game. We’ll be taking this up soon.

For now, here’s our schedule:

• Next week: District 9. Reporter: me.

• April 9-13: District 7. Reporter: Will Carless.

• April 16-20: District 5. Reporter: Rob Davis.

• April 23-27: District 1. Reporter: Keegan Kyle.

• April 30-May 4: District 3. Reporter: Kelly Bennett

We’ll be asking for your tips on who to talk to, where to go and maybe even where to eat in each district when the time approaches. And, of course, we’ll want to know your questions for the candidates.

If you already have them, fire away. You can click on each reporter’s name to send them an email. Leave a comment below on this story. Or tweet your questions for City Council, the mayoral or even presidential candidates with the hashtag #unaskedSD.

I’ll be in District 9 starting Monday. That includes City Heights, Kensington, Talmadge and the southeastern San Diego neighborhoods of Mount Hope, Mountain View and Southcrest. (Here’s a map for the exact boundaries.)

Who should I be meeting with? Where should I go to talk to people? What are the big issues there?

What are examples of where city services work or don’t work? What are interesting public spaces or community gathering spots? Any events planned for next week I should attend?

Two of the districts — District 3 and District 5 — only have one candidate. But we’ll still take a look at the issues in those neighborhoods and the unopposed candidate who will be on the City Council.

To see who’s running for each district, check out the city’s list of candidates, starting on page 3.

And remember, the council districts have changed for this election so see this citywide map to find out what district you’re in.

The City Council contests are big and important for many reasons. More than half of the districts across the city will be up for election. A whole new district has been born. And the party balance of the council could be up for grabs. Plus, there’s all the stuff the city’s going through and everything.

So let’s work together to find out what’s going on and what our leaders want to do about it.

I’m the editor of VOSD. You can reach me at andrew.donohue@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.325.0526.

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