Measure A Is the Most Interesting Primary Fight So Far

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VOSD Podcast: Measure A Is the Most Interesting Primary Fight So Far

This week on the VOSD podcast, hosts Scott Lewis, Andrew Keatts and Sara Libby break down three of the top March ballot measures. Plus, San Diego Assemblywoman Shirley Weber unveiled new legislation and Rep. Duncan Hunter is officially out of the 50th Congressional District.

The Village of Escaya, a housing development in Chula Vista / Photo by Ry Rivard

Measure A has become the talk of the March primary. Hosts Scott Lewis, Andrew Keatts and Sara Libby dug through A and two other measures coming up: B and C.

Measure A is the 2020 ballot initiative that would require voters to sign off on most housing developments that don’t comply with the county’s general plan. Measure B asks for the approval of one specific development in North County, Newland Sierra.

Measure C is the effort to raise the hotel tax in San Diego to pay for Convention Center improvements as well as roads and homeless services. Lewis called Measure C a “nothing burger” as there’s been so little news on it, contrary to expectations from 2019.

In the podcast, Lewis, Keatts and Libby break down the strange politics of Measure A — the Democratic Party opposes it but specific Democrats including Escondido Mayor Paul McNamara and Escondido City Councilwoman Olga Diaz support it.

To get the lowdown on Measures A, B and C, hear the start of that conversation at 12:40 in the podcast.

Hunter, Out

Rep. Duncan Hunter announced Monday that he will resign his seat in Congress. He notified House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Gov. Gavin Newsom this week. This is about six weeks after he pleaded guilty to a felony for misusing of campaign funds.

This week, it was up to Newsom to determine how the seat-filling process would go. He could have called for a special election or let the seat stay open. He opted for the latter. Now, the 50th District won’t have representation until 2021.

Weber Takes on the School Funding Web

Assemblywoman Shirley Weber is used to tackling big, gnarly issues and this week she gave us a look at the next one of those she’s taking on: the complicated web of school funding.

The current system is set up so that schools that have more vulnerable students — such as students with disabilities and students who are homeless — get money specifically to help those groups. But critics have long said it’s not clear whether the money is going where it should; a recent state audit backed them up. It showed that San Diego Unified was using that money on things like libraries that were used by all students and not just the ones the money was supposed to help.

This week as the Legislature got back in session, she unveiled two bills to make districts more accountable. When she got pushback from districts worried about the hassle, calling the accounting for resources used a potential burden. Weber shot back, saying, “If I give you billions of dollars and you consider it a burden to tell me what you did with it, then we should find someone else who doesn’t see it as a burden, but sees it as an opportunity to help children so they will not be burdened by ignorance.”

MTS

In 2018, the Metropolitan Transit System wrote more than 61,000 citations for fare evasion. That’s double what it was two years before and a lot more than other cities and systems, including San Francisco, Denver and Washington D.C.

In the region, leaders are always exploring how they can make transit more appealing to San Diegans. But MTS has been aggressively pursuing enforcement for people who can’t pay for rides. They say more security makes riders feel safer.

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