The Uninitiated's Guide to the Border, Bikes, Beer and Bureaucracy - Voice of San Diego

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The Uninitiated's Guide to the Border, Bikes, Beer and Bureaucracy

We jam-packed our live Politifest podcast with guests spanning several key pockets of San Diego. Check out interviews with BikeSD’s Sam Ollinger, binational affairs guru Mario Lopez, Modern Times beerman Jacob McKean and strategic communications pro Mindy Fletcher.

Politifest is a rare opportunity to get regular folks some face time with civic leaders and the people pushing San Diego’s big social movements forward.

We took advantage of that during our special edition podcast in front of a live audience at this weekend’s extravaganza.

Andy Keatts and I pulled four people to check in on some of the major trends and issues throughout our community.

Download the episode below, or listen on iTunes or Stitcher. If you’re interested in sponsoring the podcast, reach out to VOSD’s director of corporate development, Emily Tillson.

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• First up was Sam Ollinger, executive director and board president for BikeSD. She’s one of the more vocal advocates for boosting bike infrastructure throughout San Diego. We talked with her about the hurdles to becoming a two-wheeled destination city, whether Portland lives up to its bike paradise reputation and what bugs her about the small steps of progress we’ve made so far. Skip ahead to 14:10 to listen to Ollinger’s interview.

• Then Mario Lopez joined us at the mic. Lopez was former director of binational affairs under ex-Mayor Bob Filner. But all the while he owned consulting firm The Border Group, where he’s focusing his efforts now. We talked with Lopez about what practical problems stand in the way of better communication across the border, and the “easy” solutions available to speed up the border crossing process. Skip to 27:03 to hear our chat with Lopez.

• Jacob McKean, founder of Modern Times Beer, gave us some insight into what he learned opening his own business during tough economic times and threw out some tips on how to ease your way into the beer scene (hint: Fake it ’til you make it). Skip to 38:07 to hear from McKean.

• Mindy Fletcher closed us out inside the Voice of San Diego tent. The strategic communications pro, who was director of public affairs at the Justice Department on Sept. 11, and helped get former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger re-elected, is now partner at PR firm Crux Partners (Crux Partners sponsored Politifest). We talked with her about how to make sure small business voices are heard in major civic discussions and what keeps local governments moving at a glacial pace. Skip to 49:50 for our interview with Fletcher.

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