What We Learned This Week - Voice of San Diego

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What We Learned This Week

 

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This week, my husband was out of town on a military trip, and I was alone with a toddler.

Though it’s infinitesimal compared with the plight of full-time service members and those who are serving overseas and in combat, it sure felt like a sacrifice for a few tough days.

Leaders across San Diego are quick and eager to praise military families for the sacrifices they make to serve our country, and rightly so.

But since this small sacrifice of mine was playing out at the same time as two local debates on transit, I couldn’t help but notice a bit of a disconnect.

First, there’s North County leaders’ crusade against SANDAG’s plan to prioritize transit projects as it grappled with a massive TransNet shortfall that means it can’t build everything it promised to voters. These leaders, who regularly and loudly praise military families for the sacrifices they make as part of their work, don’t appear to believe that sacrifice in the name of a greater good is a concept that should extend to everyone.

Though most leaders across the region profess to agree that climate change is real and something we should work to address, they simultaneously object to any type of system that would require residents to sacrifice any modicum of time or convenience in the name of fighting it.

The same goes for a similar debate playing out in my own neighborhood.

The fight over a plan to restrict parking and install bike lanes on 30th Street in North Park and South Park has predictably devolved into hysterics, name-calling and outright lies. Though it’s perfectly reasonable to support or oppose the plan, the debate has reached a level of vitriol that’s wildly out of whack with the change being proposed.

Again, while I think residents and businesses are perfectly within their rights to dislike the proposal, I can’t help but be turned off by the degree to which that dislikes seem to be driven by people’s absolute refusal to be remotely inconvenienced. I suspect if you asked any of the plan’s detractors whether, in the abstract, they believe climate change is real and that the government should encourage alternative forms of transportation, their answer would be yes.

For a region that is so eager to praise certain kinds of sacrifices made to advance and protect our communities, we’re also just as eager to object to the kind of everyday sacrifices to our own routines and customs that addressing the climate crisis in a meaningful way will certainly require.

What VOSD Learned This Week

Another week, another set of massive disruptions to the immigration system: A 9th Circuit ruling in a San Diego case has the potential to wipe out hundreds of illegal entry convictions secured by San Diego prosecutors. The pursuit of those convictions has crippled the local federal courts for the last year and a half. Meanwhile, a new Trump policy allows officials to use a fast-track deportation system on a wider group of people, and is raising concerns about potential abuses of power in the 100-mile border zone.

In a new podcast this week, VOSD’s Maya Srikrishnan gathered some of her most revealing interviews from her recent reporting trip to Honduras.

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The San Diego City Council will weigh in on two potential changes to the group that monitors police conduct – one a modest change proposed by City Attorney Mara Elliott, and one a major overhaul backed by Councilwoman Monica Montgomery.

Other police agencies around the county, but not yet SDPD, are partnering with doorbell surveillance company Ring to gain access to private footage.

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Another change the City Council will soon be considering: an overhaul of the city’s inclusionary housing rules. It’s Council President Georgette Gómez’s signature issue, and she told us she’s done compromising on the plan.

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SANDAG’s post-scandal transformation is still playing out: This week, three top staffers departed. Jesse Marx wrote a good breakdown of North County officials’ continued grievances with the agency’s new direction.

As the regional transit debate continues to play out, the city got some bad news about another way people move around town: The price tag to fix the city’s crumbling sidewalks has almost doubled.

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The County Office of Education is offering to loan Sweetwater Union High School District $12 million so the district can meet its obligations. Also this week, the County Office of Ed approved new policies outlining specific boundaries between teachers and students – something many school districts lack.

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The Politics Report has details on how fundraising is shaping up in the race for City Council District 7; and the Sacramento Report has details on how fundraising is shaping up in the race for Assembly District 77.

What I’m Reading

Line of the Week

“In reality, men don’t see stories the same as women. They just don’t.” – I would walk through fire for these two.

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