What We Learned This Week - Voice of San Diego

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What We Learned This Week

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That was fast.

Less than two weeks ago, every ounce of our energy was focused on who should be elected into office.

Now, it seems to have made a quick flip: How do we get people out?

Before the election, San Diego had to contend with the possibility that voters in District 9 might elect someone who’d suspended his campaign and been accused of (and admitted to some) ethical and spending violations. Kelvin Barrios had said if that happened, he’d go ahead and take the seat.

It didn’t – but San Diego and other places around the state and country still must grapple with situations in which they want a takesies-backsies on an election.

In one of the lower-profile measures on the San Diego ballot, voters approved a new mechanism to potentially remove San Diego Unified school board members from office before their terms are up.

After VOSD’s Andy Keatts revealed several men’s accusations of harassment and abuse against Beiser, his colleagues urged him to resign. But that was all they could do – and Beiser remains on the school board amid one of the biggest crises to ever face public education. Will his colleagues initiate this new process?

We learned recently, thanks to then-Rep. Duncan Hunter, that being indicted on federal criminal charges doesn’t preclude someone from serving, or even from being re-elected. (Hunter stepped down once he was actually convicted, leaving the district without representation for months.)

Over in Los Angeles, county supervisors are exploring how to oust Sheriff Alex Villanueva after a number of incidents have highlighted his distaste for accountability and resistance to reforms.

And then, of course, there’s President Donald Trump’s unwillingness to publicly acknowledge he lost his re-election bid and take steps to transfer power to President-elect Joe Biden.

In a truly masterful piece of performance art, the president’s press secretary had this to say on Friday about whether Trump would be attending the upcoming inauguration: “I think the president will attend his own inauguration. He would have to be there, in fact.”

What VOSD Learned This Week

Women candidates and officeholders across the county have had to involve police after receiving harassment and threats to their safety.

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The new City Council has some big decisions ahead, including who will be the new Council president, a race that’s being conducted in public view for the first time. The new Council might also decide the city’s energy future, now that outgoing Council President Georgette Gómez has proposed delaying that decision. We talked about these upcoming decisions on this week’s podcast. And one current Council member is making the jump to the Assembly — here’s what he says he plans to focus on.

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The new Board of Supervisors, meanwhile, has its own issues to deal with, including a potential power struggle with Sheriff Bill Gore. The board must also decide whether to appeal after Voice of San Diego sued for COVID-19 death data and won.

What I’m Reading

Line of the Week

“Other countries have social safety nets. The U.S. has women.” – Amen. (A-women?)

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