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By now you’ve heard about the approximately one bajillion statewide ballot measures facing voters in November.
But in a new story, Maya Srikrishnan reports on a slate of local ballot measures up and down the state that could have a major impact on how California leaders address the statewide housing crisis.
Gov. Jerry Brown, for his part, wants to help developers override some local restrictions on building new stuff. Residents in cities all over the state, however, are ready for a fight. Many of them are proposing measures that would give locals even more control over what can be built and where.
Del Mar, Costa Mesa, Santa Monica, Gilroy and Cupertino all have measures on the November ballot that would force certain development proposals to a public vote instead of letting elected officials make those decisions.
Experts seem to think local initiatives that challenge state policies will only increase in the future.
“The initiative is being used as a battering ram to tear down legislative hurdles, and you’re starting to see more planning issues coming out again,” said one SDSU professor.
Council Republicans Want an Election Reform Do-Over
Earlier this month, the City Council approved a huge change to the way San Diego conducts elections – all citywide races will go to a November runoff, even if a candidate wins more than 50 percent of the vote in the primary.
Three Republican members of the Council say their colleagues got the decision wrong, and that the process should have been more collaborative. In a new Voice of San Diego op-ed Lorie Zapf, Chris Cate and Mark Kersey attack both the process that led to the decision, and the decision itself.
“This system is not used in any large city in California or any large metropolitan area in the nation. Locally, it has not undergone a thorough legal review and will likely take millions of dollars away from streets and public safety while forcing voters to go through a prolonged and taxing election cycle,” they write.
Andrew Keatts and I discussed the tense exchange between Cate and Jeff Marston of the Independent Voter Project, which supports the change, on the VOSD Podcast.
Marston explained his group’s support for forcing all elections to a November runoff in an earlier op-ed for us. Cate will be on the podcast this week.
• The Democrats who survived this June’s primary and will be on the ballot again in November have the potential to push the city leftward, the Union-Tribune notes. The story highlights the three Democratic City Council candidates whose fates will determine which party controls the Council, and says Democrat Mara Elliott “appears to be in strong position in the city attorney race.”
Sign of the Times
No one knows yet whether the East Village has a football stadium in its future. But we do know it’s getting a new neighborhood sign. And not just a regular sign. A cool sign. I’m talking bitchin’. Boss. On fleek.
That’s according to the head of the East Village Association, who is quite the effective hype man for what he tells KPBS will be an “edgy” and “gritty” new sign. He also assures folks that they dismissed proposals for signs that were “rather pedestrian.”
“This sign will be a giant ring held up by four posts that will span Market Street between 10th and 11th avenues,” KPBS notes.
Will the Male Preschool Teachers Please Stand Up?
Over at San Diego Magazine, our reporting fellow Rachel Evans writes about plans for a new preschool in southeastern San Diego that wants to switch things up in two big ways.
First, it plans to incorporate hip-hop and hip-hop culture — think dance and graffiti art — into its lessons. Second, it plans to hire male teachers, a rarity in preschools, who can provide a positive influence in the lives of students.
“At Treehouse, the minority will be the majority with its mostly-male staff. The private school aims to provide positive interactions for children who lack these experiences—a plus for parents, especially single mothers,” Evans writes.
The school is still raising funds, and leaders hope to open next year.
Quick News Hits
• Conrad Prebys, a San Diego philanthropist who “could be considered one of the most generous people in the world,” has died. (NBC San Diego) Here’s a video tribute to him the Economic Development Corp. put together in April.
• Complaints about fumes from car-painting businesses top the list of air cleanliness issues reported to authorities: “More than 10 percent of air complaints in San Diego County cite auto and truck painting, with 224 of some 2,100 complaints made between January 2013 and April 2016,” reports inewsource.
• The city has canceled five solar projects it had contracted with SunEdison and might cancel more, after the company struggled to meet deadlines and stay on schedule. (Union-Tribune)
• Apple Maps can now route your destination using San Diego public transit. (Apple Insider)
• In case you missed this piece from Friday, a Boston Globe columnist talked with Mayor Kevin Faulconer about what it took to get the Climate Action Plan off the ground. As for other cities, Derrick Jackson writes, “San Diego has thrown down a gauntlet.”