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Our daily roundup of San Diego’s most important stories (Monday-Friday)
For seemingly forever, San Diego’s leaders have lamented the fact that there’s no official comprehensive plan to address the city’s homelessness crisis.
So their plan for homelessness has effectively hinged on … the need to create a plan.
Well, that plan is finally supposed to be ready soon, and as Lisa Halverstadt reports, there’s going to be a lot riding on it.
For example, the plan could influence upcoming ballot measures aimed at bringing in money for affordable housing and homelessness.
“Stephen Russell of the San Diego Housing Federation, which is rallying behind a possible November 2020 property tax measure to fund thousands of new affordable homes, said his group considers the upcoming plan a key guide for its measure. The organization may adjust its housing production plan to better match the affordable and supportive housing units called for in the plan,” Halverstadt reports.
The plan, being written by the nonprofit group Corporation for Supportive Housing, is supposed to include actionable steps the city can take to reduce homelessness, and pinpoint the dollar figure required to do so.
Former Rep. Darrell Issa officially kicked off his campaign Thursday for the 50th Congressional District, the seat currently held by Rep. Duncan Hunter.
“I believe that I have the history, the skills, the seniority and the capability to hit the ground running,” Issa said at a press conference in El Cajon. “Not just for this district, but for California. To help Republicans compete in what has become a very treacherous and difficult Congress and to retake the majority.”
He was joined by El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells, former Escondido Mayor Sam Abed and retired Navy SEAL Larry Wilske, who all simultaneously announced they were suspending their campaigns to support Issa.
“We’re not dropping out of this race. What we’re doing is we’re joining one team, one fight,” Wilske said. “So Sam’s not dropping out. Bill’s not dropping out. I’m not. What we’re doing is we’re unifying around leadership that has brought us together and that’s the kind of leadership that will bring our country together. We need this to happen.” (To be clear, they’re basically dropping out.)
Temecula Mayor Matt Rahn, who had previously announced he would run for the 50th, was stuck in traffic during the event but also said he would be support Issa.
That leaves Issa with three other opponents vying for Hunter’s seat, Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar and Republicans Brian Jones and Carl DeMaio, who, only feet away, held his own press conference protesting Issa’s entrance into the race.
“This is a politician who epitomizes what is wrong with career politicians,” DeMaio said. “He spent 20 years in D.C., he neglected his constituents, and then he lost the support of his district and he failed to put up a fight … I pledge this: I will never quit on you.”
Issa and DeMaio are part of a group of local congressional candidates who don’t actually live in the districts they hope to represent. (Jones did a little trolling of his own Thursday, blasting out pictures of himself in a Jeep and inviting both Issa and DeMaio on a tour of the district they want to serve. He dropped the name of a shooting range and asked whether they’d ever been there.)
At the press conference, Issa told reporters: “You know, I have a voter in the district. I have a house in the district that I have owned for 15 years. And I want you to know that I have my mother’s full support from that house in Bonsall.”
City Councilwoman Monica Montgomery will represent San Diego’s interests during the creation of a regional public energy agency and beyond. The appointment by Mayor Kevin Faulconer is a sign that diversity and other issues affecting low-income communities and ratepayers may be front and center.
To prove itself as a viable alternative to SDG&E, the new agency is going to have to keep its costs down. And one way to do that, as Ry Rivard reported earlier this week, will be to build power projects in less expensive parts of town. Montgomery has already made clear that she’s worried those projects will be clustered in her district.
In appointing her, Faulconer noted that the new agency “will need to make several critical decisions in the coming months” to meet state regulatory deadlines by end of year. La Mesa, Encinitas and Chula Vista are also on board.
In the meantime, the California Public Utilities Commission approved a 5.7 percent rate increase for SDG&E on Thursday. The U-T reports that typical electric customers can expect to pay $1.10 more on their monthly bill.
The Morning Report was written by Sara Libby, Jesse Marx and Megan Wood.