Five Things to Watch for at Politifest

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Five Things to Watch for at Politifest

Our annual civics festival this year is the biggest yet. Join us Saturday in Liberty Station and get these burning questions answered. Bonus: local beer, the finest food truck fare and inflatable jousting for the kids and kids-at-heart.

It’s not often you get to talk politics and city wonkery at an outdoor festival.

That’s what we aimed to do when we created Politifest. Now in its fourth year, the free civics festival is set to be the biggest yet. We wanted to make the experience fun for everyone, kids included, while also giving folks a chance to learn something about their communities.

We’ll get things started Saturday at 9:45 a.m. sharp on Liberty Station’s Central Promenade. Here are a few questions we’re hoping to answer during the festivities.

How Being ‘Homeless’ Shaped Neel Kashkari’s Perspective – or Not

Kicking things off on the main stage, Scott Lewis will chat with GOP gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashakari. Last month, in an effort to cast doubt on current Gov. Jerry Brown’s claim that California’s economy was “back,” Kashakari spent a week on the streets of Fresno living as a homeless man.

But did he go into the experiment with preconceived notions about what he wanted to get out of it? We’ll find out what he wants to do to business regulation and get the specifics on how he plans to make Californians’ lives easier.

Why Toni Atkins Is Worried About Community Choice Aggregation

A big part of the proposed Climate Action Plan in San Diego includes what’s called Community Choice Aggregation, a plan to give residents some freedom in what kind of energy they consume. This week, Andrew Keatts laid out what that model would look like.

But legislation at the state level would weaken Community Choice Aggregation. Instead of having to opt out of the program, residents would have to opt in. Speaker of the Assembly Toni Atkins is all for it in the hopes it would make Community Choice Aggregation more transparent:

“California CCAs could legally tell their customers that they are providing green power when in fact most of the energy could be from non-(renewable sources),” she wrote in a letter to CCA-supporting constituents.

Lewis talks with Atkins at 10:45 a.m. tomorrow about CCAs, plus whether the state needs to adjust its education laws in light of  the teacher tenure decision in Vergara v. California, and how San Diego can get the jobs and housing it needs.

Why Non-CEOs Should Care About Binational Affairs

We hear plenty that Southern Californians – everyone in the U.S., really – should care about cross-border relations. But why should the average San Diegan care about commerce between our region and our neighbors down south?

Mario Lopez, owner of consulting firm The Border Group and former director of binational affairs under ex-Mayor Bob Filner, is one of our special guests on the live podcast. Starting at 1 p.m., VOSD deputy editor Caty Green and reporter Andrew Keatts will chat with Lopez, as well as Modern Times founder Jacob McKean and Crux Partners’ Mindy Fletcher.

What It’s Really Like Out Here for a Business-Owner

If you’ve been following reporter Lisa Halverstadt’s quest, you know we’ve been trying to tackle the prevailing wisdom – or myths – about San Diego’s business climate.

During our jobs, schools and housing summit at 12:10, Mark Cafferty, president and CEO of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, will give his take on the state of business in America’s Finest City.

We’ve also got Paula Cordeiro, education expert and dean of the School of Leadership and Education Sciences at University of San Diego, to field questions about the challenges in local schools. Debbie Ruane, senior vice president of the Real Estate Division of the San Diego Housing Commission will talk to us about what’s going on with housing and development in San Diego.

Why Your Streets Still Suck

Whenever we ask residents what they really care about, the concerns cited most often usually relate to everyday living – streets, sidewalks, water. We’ll cover it all during our City 101 sessions.

Experts and VOSD reporters will give their quickie explainers on everything from the basics of climate change to the ABCs of Common Core. Don’t worry, though – there’ll be plenty of beer and snacks to help you digest all that crucial context.

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