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On Thursday afternoon, Councilwoman Monica Montgomery Steppe told us the San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council had endorsed her bid for Council president. Delegates for the group supported her overwhelmingly, with roughly 75 percent voting for her. But by Friday afternoon, there was no public announcement of the vote, and when we reached out to a Labor Council spokesperson for confirmation, she declined to confirm the endorsement.
Then, Saturday morning, after our Politics Report published describing the discrepancy, the Labor Council released a brief statement affirming that its delegates had, indeed, voted to endorse Montgomery Steppe.
Keith Maddox, the Labor Council’s executive secretary-treasurer, sent an email to the group’s executive board Friday afternoon, suggesting the vote might not have followed the organization’s policies and procedures. Those concerns were apparently alleviated by Saturday morning.
But for an organization that didn’t support Montgomery Steppe’s Council bid in the first place, despite her overwhelming community support against an unpopular incumbent, the procedural dispute has some delegates remembering that 2018 experience.
“As a member of the Labor Council, they have not examined what happened in 2018, and they haven’t learned from their lesson,” said Tamika Cook, a Labor Council delegate and party and labor activist. “They need to listen to the community.”
“There clearly is a split between leadership and the rank and file,” said Shane Parmely, another delegate who shared on Facebook their dissatisfaction with the council’s reticence to accept the vote.
Andrew Keatts reveals the behind-the-scenes dynamic playing out in the very public race to be the next Council president.
A rural water manager is calling for changes to how voting at San Diego County Water Authority goes down.
Even though the city of San Diego’s own budget managers said they didn’t want to pay for a $5 billion pipeline to the Colorado River, its appointed Water Authority board members voted to push the costly and decades-long project a step further toward fruition.
Gary Arant, general manager and representative of Valley Center Municipal Water District, says big cities like San Diego shouldn’t get to carry so much weight in crucial votes that could have a major impact on smaller budgets like his.
“My concern is with them having that much voting power, you get worried about what happens down the road if it comes time to allocate the costs,” Arant said.
He proposed using a system once in play at the San Diego Association of Governments, before a state law change in 2017. Under that system, in order for a decision to pass, both a vote weighted in favor of big city populations and a subsequent vote by just the singular board members themselves would have to swing the same way.
But the chair of the Water Authority said a change like that would take legislation.
California voters rejected Proposition 16 earlier this month, with 57 percent of the vote opposed. The statewide ballot measure would have allowed for racial preferences in government hiring and college admissions, and it had the support of Assemblywomen Shirley Weber, its lead proponent, and Lorena Gonzalez, who dedicated resources to it.
Although there’s widespread support for more diversity in education, contracting and public employment, most voters were unwilling to take this step.
A new post-election survey, the Los Angeles Times reports, shows deep skepticism toward affirmative action in White, Latino and Asian communities as well as tepid support among younger Black residents — all of which doomed Prop. 16.
San Diego is considering a proposal to create a cannabis “business improvement district” that would tax legal dispensaries and pool the money for marketing, lobbying and the development of a social equity program that aims at bringing more people of color into the industry.
The Union-Tribune reports that there’s a free rider problem in the pot industry: Individual businesses tend to fight for changes that benefit everyone, but at their own financial cost.
City Councilwoman Monica Montgomery Steppe, who helped launch a new city Office on Race and Equity and who’s running for Council president, said she’d like the cannabis social equity program to become part of a wider city effort to boost equity.
Coronavirus cases are continuing to rise in San Diego county. Public health officials reported 1,546 new positive cases Tuesday, a new single-day record high. Officials also reported 15 new community outbreaks.
In case you missed it, a local court ruled last week against VOSD, KPBS and the Union-Tribune in a lawsuit seeking epidemiological reports that would reveal the locations of COVID-19 outbreaks. Read all about that here.
The Morning Report was written by Megan Wood, Jesse Marx and MacKenzie Elmer, and edited by Sara Libby.