Morning Report: Another Big Convention Center Vote - Voice of San Diego

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Morning Report: Another Big Convention Center Vote

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer / Photo by Vito Di Stefano

Mayor Kevin Faulconer will make his pitch Monday to the San Diego City Council for

an initiative on the March 2020 rather than November 2020 ballot to help pay for a Convention Center expansion, homeless services and more.

Stop us if you’ve heard some version of this story before. The mayor has asked the City Council to get behind a hotel-room tax increase in the past and failed.

This time around, though, Faulconer will have key ally — City Council President Georgette Gomez.

This is Gomez’s first big public-facing decision as Council president and siding with the mayor, writes Scott Lewis, probably has something to do with Gomez’s position as chair of the Metropolitan Transit System. At that agency, she’s pushing a tax increase of her own in November 2020. Stacking new taxes on the same ballot hurts all their chances of passing.

In an op-ed, Gomez explained why she believes the City Council can, and should, move Faulconer’s initiative to March 2020.

Andrea Guerrero, executive director of Alliance San Diego, offered a dissenting view. Voters overwhelmingly approved Measure L, she argued, to prevent this type of election manipulation.

Another Vote to Keep an Eye on This Week …

Speaking of votes happening this week that we’ll be watching, the San Diego County Democratic Party plans to make reforms to its candidate endorsement process after we reported on tensions surrounding about a dozen South Bay clubs that some party activists alleged existed only on paper and helped steer party endorsements to the preferred clients of a single consultant.

“Those reforms include a requirement that the clubs meet separately at least four times a year and show proof their endorsement process actually took place. Each club would also need 20 unique members and must state any financial interests — meaning any potential conflicts — when speaking to the party’s top leaders,” reports Jesse Marx. That would help ensure that larger and more organized groups get a proportional say, the thinking goes.

Mayor Pushing New Vehicle Homelessness Law

Faulconer’s team is also set this week to pitch a new, more specific ban on people living in cars and RVs to the city’s public safety committee.

Earlier this year, the City Council repealed the city’s so-called vehicle habitation law after a judge barred the city from enforcing it and dubbed it “unconstitutionally vague.”

Since then, the city has gotten a barrage of complaints about people parking their vehicles overnight and leaving behind waste and trash, especially in beach communities. Now, NBC 7 San Diego reports, Faulconer is proposing that the city prohibit people from sleeping in vehicles overnight within 500 feet of a home or school.

Last month, beach community leaders who have for weeks urged Faulconer to reinstate the ban cheered the mayor’s announcement that he was working on new regulations. Many referenced an uptick in campers and vans that seem to house travelers rather than struggling San Diegans.

Attorney Ann Menasche of Disability Rights California, part of a group still battling the city’s enforcement strategy in federal court, told VOSD that she’s troubled by Faulconer’s new plan.

“I think the mayor’s proposal is particularly draconian, demonizing and punishing poor people — many of whom are people with disabilities and the elderly on fixed incomes — and turning them into pariahs in their own communities simply because they cannot afford San Diego’s ridiculously high rents,” Menasche said.

Politics Roundup

  • In a new op-ed, San Diego City Councilman Chris Cate argues that access to quality child care is a problem requiring the attention of governments at all levels. He’s proposing a pilot program to fund 16 new facilities.
  • Assemblywoman Shirley Weber’s landmark bill to change the rules guiding police use of deadly force is moving forward, but the Democrats who advanced it want further changes. At the same time, a competing Senate bill backed by law enforcement agencies announced significant amendments that could make it more attractive to some lawmakers.
  • National Democrats are threatening to “blacklist” political operatives who work with congressional candidates — like Aeiramique Glass Blake and Jose Caballero in San Diego — waging primary challenges against incumbents. U-T columnist Michael Smolens considers one of the fault lines of the party going into 2020.

San Diego’s Black Baseball Pioneer

The same year that Jackie Robinson broke the “color line,” Johnny Ritchey made another kind of history when he joined the San Diego Padres, then a minor league team.

On Monday, the Padres will honor Ritchey, a hero to local baseball history buffs.

VOSD contributor Randy Dotinga writes that Ritchey’s brief but shining career was plagued by racism both on and off the field in San Diego, which some in the black community dubbed “the Mississippi of the West.”

Viva VOSD!

We strive to reach new audiences and keep our neighbors informed — even those who would otherwise be shut out of the public conversation because of their language barrier.

That’s why we’ve translated some of our stories into Spanish for a new VOSD en Español section. It includes guides on when police can and cannot pull you over and your rights when crossing the border.

We’ve only translated a handful of stories so far, but we’ll be adding more that interest Spanish-speaking readers. If there’s a VOSD story you want us to translate, write to us at vosdinfo@gmail.com.

Tratamos de conectar con nuevas personas y asegurar que toda la comunidad está informada incluida las que muchas veces están dejadas afuera por no hablar inglés.

Por eso, hemos traducidos algunos de nuestros reportajes al español por una nueva sección que se llama VOSD en Español. Esto incluye guías que explica cuando la policía puede y no puede pedirle que se detenga y sus derechos cuando cruce la frontera.

Solo hemos traducido un puñado de reportajes hasta ahora, pero planeamos en agregar más mientras publicamos nuevos informes que interesan lectores que hablan español. Si hay algo que escribimos que le gustaría que traducimos, háganos saber por correo: vosdinfo@gmail.com.

In Other News

The Morning Report was written by Jesse Marx and edited by Sara Libby.

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