The last Thursday of every month, we host a Member Coffee (this month was an anomaly — we held it on the third Thursday). It’s a chance for us to maintain an open and accessible newsroom and it helps remind us what really matters.

We can get wrapped up in San Diego’s power politics. The drama and conflict are alluring. But our role is to facilitate solutions-based discussions on San Diego’s problems and opportunities.

Getting a dose of what concerns our members every month helps remind us what really matters: schools, roads, parks and quality of life.

These coffees have become so popular that we’re going to start building on them. We’ve normally held them adjacent to our office in Point Loma’s Liberty Station. We’re going to start moving them around the region. (If you’d like us to come to your neighborhood, drop us a line, suggest a coffee shop or meeting place and we’ll see what we can do.)

We’re also going to bring in special guests.

Today, Councilman Kevin Faulconer came, on his birthday. It was a welcome surprise to the dozen or so members there.

It wasn’t the first coffee cameo. At one Member Coffee, former Council President Tony Young just walked in unexpectedly. Don’t think he was a member but we gave him a pass.

We’re going to be a little more deliberate in the future, giving residents a chance to interact with the people we write about as much as possible.

Faulconer reacted to Mayor Bob Filner’s veto of two new port commissioners and the mayor’s points about organizing port appointments into a more public and thorough process.

“If the mayor wants to change that process at some point and change the City Council’s policy, I’ll have that discussion. But I strongly believe we should seat these people now. I don’t want to change the rules in the middle of the process,” Faulconer said.

He also said our new blog chronicling the shabby state of San Diego’s sidewalks — The Stumblr — is getting some attention at City Hall (despite Tumblr, the blogging platform that hosts The Stumblr, being blocked for most city employees).

“The reality is when all of these photos go up — I mean, you talk about moving public policy, that’s helping,” Faulconer said.

The city, he says, needs to figure out how to better address its sidewalks.

“The clarity, or lack thereof, about responsibility and liability in terms of cost versus long-term cost for a lawsuit is something we’re going to have to figure out better. It’s not the most intuitive process right now, to be honest,” Faulconer said.


I’m Scott Lewis, the CEO of Voice of San Diego. Please contact me if you’d like at or 619.325.0527 and follow me on Twitter (it’s a blast!):

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Disclosure: Voice of San Diego members and supporters may be mentioned or have a stake in the stories we cover. For a complete list of our contributors, click here.

Scott Lewis oversees Voice of San Diego’s operations, website and daily functions as Editor in Chief. He also writes about local politics, where he frequently...

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