Politics Report: Gloria Settles That Unforced Error  - Voice of San Diego

Politics UNVEILING THE UNSEEN

Politics Report: Gloria Settles That Unforced Error 

Assemblyman Todd Gloria looks like he will get a small fine for a scandalito we explained this week. And, what you have all been waiting for: a brief history of San Diego renderings.

Assemblyman Todd Gloria at Politifest / Photo by Vito Di Stefano

Assemblyman Todd Gloria may soon put this summer’s campaign finance controversy behind him. 

The Fair Political Practice Commission posted the agenda Friday for its Nov. 21 hearing, and Gloria’s snafu over his Assembly re-election committee is among the topics the commission expects to take up. 

FPPC staff is recommending a $200 fine for Gloria’s failure to submit a form stating his intention to run for re-election in the Assembly before raising money into a re-election account. 

That might be a confusing, since Gloria has always said clearly that he is not running for Assembly re-election in 2020. He’s running for mayor. His campaign maintains that the Assembly committee is essential because he is still expected to raise money for other vulnerable Assembly candidates, and the 2020 committee allows him to do so. 

In any case, Gloria submitted the required form this summer, and reported himself to the FPPC. Now, the FPPC is ready to issue a small fine and move on. 

The FPCC’s Jay Wierenga confirmed that the fine would resolve the matter in the FPPC’s eyes. 

Assemblymember Gloria agreed to this settlement to resolve any and all outstanding issues regarding the filing of his Form 501,” Gloria spokesman Nick Serrano said in a statement. “We look forward to this final resolution of this matter.” 

So that’s that? Maybe: There’s still the matter of the civil suit a local resident filed against Gloria over the issue, which has a court date scheduled for February. 

It’s possible the settlement with the FPPC could bring an end to that suit, too. 

The California Government Code section dealing with the Political Reform Act includes a specific section, 91008.5, that says “no civil action may be filed … with regard to any person for any violations of this title after the commission has issued an order … against that person for the same violation.”

Still, the lawyer working on the case, David Kenney, could push forward, arguing that it doesn’t apply for some reason or another, and a judge would decide whether he’s right. It’d be premature to say for sure, but there’s at least a chance this small fine puts the whole issue to bed for Gloria.

Kenney couldn’t be reached late Friday after the FPPC settlement came out.

One Man Hopes to Kill Single-Family Zoning in San Diego

City Council candidate Ricardo Flores speaks during a forum at Cherokee Point Elementary School. / Photo by Jamie Scott Lytle

Ricardo Flores ran for City Council against now-Council President Georgette Gómez. She was a grassroots activist; he was the moderate chief of staff to the district’s outgoing representative endorsed by the Chamber of Commerce. 

Three years later, Flores is pushing an idea that’s hardly moderate: He wants the city of San Diego to outlaw single-family zoning. 

After he left City Hall, he said he went through a radicalizing period, largely influenced by reading Richard Rothstein’s 2017 book, “The Color of Law,” a history of, among other things, the segregationist roots of single-family zoning. He now works for the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, a nonprofit that supports affordable housing development. 

“Before 2016, I didn’t know this history,” he said. “In Marti Emerald’s time, I would have said there’s something called ‘community character.’ Since that time, I lost, got hired by LISC and I became aware. So yea, I’ve evolved since that time.” 

He was inspired by state Sen. Scott Weiner’s SB 50, and frustrated by its shelving earlier this year. Particularly, he was attracted to its proposal to end single-family zoning by allowing anyone who owns a single-family home to build four units on the lot. 

Flores and other pro-development activists went to the City Council’s land use and housing committee last month to urge them to start the process of outlawing single-family zoning. 

They call it “SD 50.” 

“Single-family zoning did what it was intended to do: It kept black and brown families out of white neighborhoods,” Flores said. 

Flores and the local groups supporting the idea – including the YIMBY Democrats of San Diego County and the Urban League of San Diego County – aren’t alone in the fight. Minneapolis outlawed single-family zoning last year. Seattle is contemplating doing the same. The New York Times explored the idea nationwide earlier this year, leading local developer to recreate a full single-family zoning map of San Diego. (For quick reference, compare the overlap of the areas zoned for multi-family housing now, and those from the 1930s that were redlined. Redlining was an explicit racial segregation policy). 

“We want to end a law that’s been on the books in San Diego which has perpetuated segregation, and that law is single-family zoning,” Flores said. “It’s a civil rights issue. This isn’t a hidden history, but it is forgotten.” 

Now, Flores said he and others are meeting with members of the land use committee in hopes they’ll take up the issue, at the same time that they try to build community support for the initiative. 

People for the most part have never considered the implications of single-family zoning, Flores thinks. But more than half of the city relegated to a single type of housing that is disproportionately expensive, he said, people need to interrogate their support for the practice. 

“People stand up and say ‘I am a progressive,’ and I think we’re posing the question: ‘How progressive are you, really, if you support this?’” 

Politifest Videos Posted

Here is the mayoral debate now on video.

Here is the panel on the housing shortage moderated by old friend Liam Dillon and featuring state Sen. Scott Wiener.

A Brief History of Stadium Renderings

The Friends of SDSU group has begun running ads on social media asking followers to pressure the San Diego City Council to accept the university’s purchase offer for the stadium land in Mission Valley.

The video on Instagram touts all the efforts the university has gone through to make sure the public was on board with its concepts and plans. And among the accomplishments it’s most proud of is … NEW STADIUM RENDERINGS!

NEW STADIUM RENDERINGS! is quite a thing to champion producing in this town, San Diego, which is known as the world’s foremost producer of stadium renderings. To review: San Diego is known for fish tacos, telecommunications technology, craft beer and stadium renderings.

Naturally, we decided this was a perfect time for a brief history of stadium renderings in San Diego.

2003: The Chargers started pursuing a Mission Valley stadium. Like SDSU, they wanted the land and then they would build a stadium with all the money they made from building condos on the land. (See! The more time goes on, the more nothing changes, ever.) But there was a problem, they couldn’t get a development partner. The city’s politics were a mess and the team gave up.

But we got this watercolor rendering.

Image courtesy of city of San Diego

2007: The Chargers turned their eyes to Chula Vista and produced this vision of a South Bay stadium.

Image courtesy of the Chargers

Just kind of a zoomed-in version of what they imagined in Mission Valley.

2010: Having explored South Bay, Oceanside and Escondido, the Chargers set their sights on downtown San Diego and though they had insisted for years that they needed 20 acres of land for the stadium, they figured they could cram it into 10 acres instead. This was the worst rendering over the last 20 years. It was the very least effort possible to show it would fit.

Image courtesy of the Chargers

2012: The Chargers made an abrupt change and, despite years of insisting that they did not need a new tax increase to fund a stadium, they very much did need a new tax increase. And since the only tax increase that showed any promise was a hotel-room tax hike for a Convention Center expansion, they decided that’s what they wanted. And so was born the idea of a stadium that could also serve as a convention center, and this is when San Diego really hit its stride in production of stadium renderings.

JMI Realty produced a vision of what a joint project — a convadium, if you will — would look like. It was like a stadium with a rectangular tumor on its side.

The Chargers and JMI Realty’s vision for a joint-use convention center and stadium / Image courtesy of JMI Realty

2016: The city and county did not want this, and so they tried to persuade the NFL to not let the Chargers move to Los Angeles and instead embrace this vision of a stadium in Mission Valley with a “shimmering kinetic façade,” that’s how famed sports announcer Dick Enberg described it in a video about how great San Diego was and how great its stadium would be.

In the video, Enberg says that “the passion for our city is nonpareil.” That’s a word, it turns out.

Anyway, the San Diego stadium renderings industry had taken a major leap from watercolors to this. You can feel the football just blazing through your retinas.

Image courtesy of the city of San Diego

2016: But the Chargers were still stuck on downtown and the convadium. So we got another rendering of a stadium with a boxy tumor attached to it.

Rendering courtesy of MANICA Architecture

This produced perhaps the best rendering of the century. See, you could have a stadium. But you could have a stadium that could also host a boat show. What better way to show the versatility of the facility than to show how many boats it could fit?

Rendering courtesy MANICA Architecture

That is a lot of boats.

Finally, the Chargers left.

2017: SoccerCity. The San Diego renderings industry took another step in its graphics with a very heavy emphasis on right angles.

Rendering courtesy of FS Investors

That didn’t work out! The electorate did not like those right angles.

2019: SDSU won and gave us some old school watercolors until, until we got the final batch.

This, San Diego, is the rendering. It’s the winner of this special, 16-year tournament.

Image courtesy San Diego State University

It has been a long trip for the San Diego stadium renderings industry. It’s sad to see it end.

But … maybe it will never end?

If you have something more constructive we should be writing about for the Politics Report or any other feedback, email us at scott.lewis@voiceofsandiego.org or andrew.keatts@voiceofsandiego.org. 

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