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Earlier this week, a familiar situation unfolded.

A public person submitted an op-ed to us by sending the piece to a few of my male colleagues. My colleagues forwarded it on to me. It was something we wanted to run so I emailed the man to say I’d be handling it. I emailed him again with proposed edits. I emailed him again to check in. Nothing. No responses. When I asked a guy in our office to follow up on my many unreturned emails, he got a reply immediately. We published the piece without him saying a word to me — the person who’d made it happen.

You could write it off as wires getting crossed, and sometimes they do. But it happens routinely enough that I know what the deal is. (Buzzfeed did a great send-up of what it’s like to be a woman at work recently, which included a bit where a male director walks into a video shoot, introduces himself to the men on set and ignores the woman with her hand extended, waiting to be greeted too.)

And it puts me in an awkward spot, even if you push aside how infuriating the sexism is on its face. Often times, when these folks call up a male colleague of mine, they’re doing it to complain about something we’ve written or not written. So it’s not necessarily that I want to be on the receiving end of what are often uncomfortable calls. But I don’t not want to be included on them, either.

I was reminded of this predicament as I watched the Chargers’ big press event drumming up attention for the team’s stadium plan play out on social media.

As Scott Lewis pointed out, the event was essentially a group of Important Men patting themselves on the back for their plan to keep the Chargers in town, while women literally were pushed to the periphery. The men at the event were called by name — Darrell Issa, Roger Goodell, LaDainian Tomlinson, Juan Vargas — while the women were just “the Chargers Girls,” a nameless pack there to cheer on the dudes.

Again, it’s not that any women should necessarily want to be a part of the ceaseless cluster that is the Chargers’ quest for a new stadium. But they shouldn’t want a stadium full of bros to be the norm, either. And it is: again, and again and again.

What VOSD Learned This Week

Richard Barrera is “one of the most influential and least-known politicians in San Diego County,” according to a former school board colleague. In an in-depth profile, Mario Koran and Ashly McGlone detail how intertwined Barrera’s dual roles as school board leader and labor advocate are.

Speaking of least-known politicians, Kevin Melton and Lori Saldaña discussed their underdog candidacies on the latest San Diego Decides podcast. A special breed of underdog: anyone running against a City Council incumbent.

Meanwhile, another powerful local politician caught heat this week for getting a little too political.

And in Sacramento politics, Sen. Joel Anderson explains his objection to several gun-safety measures this session, and Assemblywoman Toni Atkins has a new plan to spend money on low-income housing. Another issue voters across the state will weigh in on later this year is marijuana. We had a badass panel of experts at our live podcast taping this week hashing out the politics of pot.

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Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman has a strong opinion about why her department can’t hire people fast enough: It’s the nation’s fault. Zimmerman thinks an anti-police climate perpetuated by the media is why her department continues to have retention problems. Scott Lewis examined her claims and couldn’t find much of anything to back them up.

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Planners are working to include a new designation in North Park’s community plan update that would acknowledge and accommodate the explosion of microbreweries and other artisan businesses. And a little farther north, in Oceanside, lower-income residents are grappling with changing neighborhoods that are growing more expensive.

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The minimum wage increase puts nonprofits in a unique bind: They support those types of measures because they give a hand up to needs populations, but they also can make it harder to do their jobs.

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Two parks want to get stuff done. The Balboa Park Conservancy is coming up with a screening process for big projects it will back. And activists in Chicano Park want to see all their archives and mementos of the park’s history turned into a museum.

What I’m Reading

• The amazing Amanda Hess has an awesome essay on what it means to stay woke. (New York Times Magazine)

• Maybe you’re aware of the scandal that’s been raging within the Orange County district attorney’s office. But did you know that multiple players in the scandal are about to be elected judges? (Marshall Project)

• Gawker undertakes an investigation into what, exactly, this buzzword-happy startup does – with hilarious results.

• What really happened to Sandra Bland: It’s complicated. (The Nation)

• Well this seems problematic: We might not have a constitutional right to elect our mayors. (Citylab)

• A former flight attendant offers some great insight into the case of a UC Berkeley student who was kicked off a Southwest flight for speaking Arabic. Spoiler: Southwest messed up. (Washington Post)

Line of the Week

“Is it ugly? Get over yourself. Is it low-income housing? Get over yourself. Is it luxury housing? Get over yourself. We really need everything right now.” – Activist Sonja Trauss, in a New York Times piece on the push by some in the Bay Area to build more housing – a lot more housing, of all kinds – and soon.

Sara Libby

Sara Libby was VOSD’s managing editor until 2021. She oversaw VOSD’s newsroom and content.

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