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Test run on new state rules for police shows potential issues with police behavior — and with the data itself. Plus: A San Diego lawyer is running for lieutenant governor and more in our weekly roundup of news from Sacramento.
San Diego Republican Assemblyman Brian Maienschein stopped by the VOSD Podcast this week to talk about his pivotal vote on Sen. Toni Atkins’ SB 2, a bill that brings in new revenue to fund affordable housing via a fee on certain real estate documents.
Interestingly, though Maienschein was crucial to the passage of SB 2, and the bill was controversial – particularly because the Legislature already passed a gas tax this session – he said he really wasn’t lobbied by anyone trying to get him to vote a certain way.
Here are a few other highlights from the interview, which we’ll post today.
On being the lone Republican Assembly vote on SB 2:
“It was a big vote. You know, any time you step out you’re the only one on something, that’s a tough vote. Candidly, I know I did the right thing. I feel very comfortable with it. … I mean first off, I was the San Diego County commissioner on homelessness. This issue is very personal to me. It’s not a hypothetical; I think for a lot of people, homelessness is sort of a hypothetical. But for me, you know I did it every day for four years and I was face to face with actual homeless people instead of some people who kind of opine from, you know, from behind the ivory tower.”
On whether he’s lobbying Gov. Jerry Brown on any of his bills awaiting a signature:
“What I found with Gov. Brown is, I do my bills, I get them passed and I get them to his desk. … I’ve been very successful with him signing my bills, so I’m going to keep that strategy going of letting him sign them and decide. We do make sure we communicate with his office. I send him a very detailed letter that corresponds with my bill that kind of outlines in summary form why I think it’s important. So I think that’s been helpful to him. I think he’s a person who likes to read as opposed to get some phone call saying, ‘Please sign my bill,’ – he knows I’m going to say that – so I find that just writing him a lengthy, detailed letter seems to work.”
On Republican Assemblyman Chad Mayes losing his leadership role after voting for the cap-and-trade bill:
“Any time you’re either the minority leader or you’re the speaker, that is by definition a political position. I mean the speaker is trying to get more Democrats elected, the minority leader is trying to get more Republicans elected. So there is always a political component that goes with those two positions. … And so for Chad, you know just like with the speaker, when political winds change and when certain things happen that are maybe strategy-based as opposed to substance-based, you may end up paying the price. … And so I don’t think it was necessarily just [the cap-and-trade vote]. I think there was probably some other things too that played into it in his case. [The cap-and-trade vote] was the final straw maybe for some people.”
• Maienschein has been making the podcast rounds this week – he also appeared on Gimme Shelter, a California housing-focused podcast featuring our pal Liam Dillon.
New data from the California attorney general’s office shows San Diego Police and San Diego County Sheriff’s deputies stopped Hispanic and black drivers at a higher rate than their share of the local population during a recent two-week period.
Both agencies participated in a pilot program prior to implementation of a 2015 law passed by San Diego Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, which will require all law enforcement agencies to document the perceived race of the people they stop. The law aims to detect police bias and deter racial profiling, though its value is hotly contested by those in law enforcement and researchers.
The results from all 10 pilot agencies showed officers marked 50 percent of 3,013 total stops as black or Hispanic, and 43 percent white.
Across all agencies, black people accounted for 445 total stops, while Hispanics totaled 1,070 stops and white people totaled 1,290. Both San Diego agencies stopped about the same portion of black and Hispanic people as most other participants, the data shows. Some officers, though, marked more than one race per stop.
No pilot agency stopped a higher percentage of Hispanics than the Los Angeles Police Department. LAPD reported stopping Hispanic people 69 percent of the time, out of its 370 stops. That’s 30 percent higher than the next closest agency, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. No agency stopped more black people than the Gardena Police Department, at 49 percent of its 358 total stops. That’s also 30 percent higher than the next closest agency, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Spokesmen for the San Diego Police and San Diego County Sheriff’s Department discouraged comparing their stops to local demographics because the sample is too small. But the results do follow a larger trend seen in larger city police stop data analyzed in recent years. The Sheriff’s Department could offer no larger set of numbers to compare.
A spokesman for Weber’s office said the data reflects the experiences of communities of color, but also said the numbers will be “more meaningful when we have a larger sample size and other data, including information about the outcome of these stops.”
– Ashly McGlone
• Last year’s Prop. 54, which required lawmakers to publish bills three days before a vote could happen, had a big impact on the legislative session that just wrapped. (CALMatters)
• San Francisco and Oakland are both suing major oil companies over climate change. (Wall Street Journal)
• Shawn Steel, an RNC committee member from California, argues the alt-right poses a danger to the Republican Party. (Orange County Register)
• The state controller has published a new report on how much members of special districts – think water districts, fire districts, etc. – throughout the state get paid.
• A San Diego attorney is running for lieutenant governor with an anti-President Donald Trump message.