Heard much about Measure K? You will.
Local politicos predict that gobs of money will be dropped on both the campaigns to support and defeat the local measure, which would profoundly change the way San Diego citywide elections work.
Measure K would eliminate the possibility of citywide candidates winning outright in the June primary.
As our Andrew Keatts reports, folks from the Democratic Party, and the local labor coalition say they’re making the measure a spending priority.
Under the current city election rules, a candidate can win outright in June if he or she gets just one vote over 50 percent. The system has historically favored conservative candidates and causes because fewer people vote in June and the ones who do lean more Republican than those who show up for the general election in November.
The Democrats Keatts talked to said it’s an important measure and, due to the way things have played out in other local races, it’s at the very top of the list when it comes to championing a campaign.
Meanwhile, a consultant running the campaign against Measure K told Keatts that Republicans are prioritizing the measure because they’re outraged by the process proponents used to put it on the ballot.
• Republican Councilman Chris Cate lambasted the process by which Democrats put Measure K on the ballot in a recent op-ed for Voice of San Diego.
San Diego’s Placemaking Problem
There’s an empty lot down the hill from my home that’s become a de facto dumping ground for old Christmas trees. One tree with two chintzy ornaments still dangling from its branches was planted in the lot and, miraculously, it survived and continues to grow.
I’d love to plant and decorate more Christmas trees there, put in some nice wooden benches and make the plot of land a corny-but-cool little public park.
But then I think of all the barriers. There are lots of things, like permitting and navigating a complicated city process, that keep me from even bringing it up to my neighbors.
Kathleen Ferrier knows what I’m talking about. The director of advocacy for Circulate San Diego just finished up a report that details the things keeping people in San Diego from doing these type of community-led public improvement projects.
In an op-ed for us, Ferrier summed up what she learned and said it’s time for San Diego to adopt a modern process that makes placemaking projects easier to do for more people.
The report she wrote details four interesting local placemaking projects, three of which I’d never heard about before.
• Parklets, or pedestrian-friendly sidewalk extensions that typically include shade, seating and other amenities, are an example of placemaking projects that San Diego hasn’t quite figured out how to handle. When I wrote about San Diego’s parklet problem, one thing that stuck out to me was money. In San Francisco, a place with tons of parklets, the city continues to see cases of county supervisors, City Council members and other local legislators step up to provide seed funding for parklets and other placemaking projects.
Reaching Those Big-Time Climate Goals
San Diego’s Climate Action Plan calls for slashing the city’s greenhouse-gas emissions in half by 2035.
A big part of the plan relies on pretty quickly persuading people to kick their car habits and instead take public transit, ride bikes or walk. The Union-Tribune reports that no U.S. city has done something like that in such a short timeframe.
• VOSD’s Andrew Keatts recently wrote about one of the authors of the city’s Climate Action Plan who says four community plans that are in the works need a lot more teeth if the city is serious about slashing emissions. And our Sara Libby made a good point in her weekly newsletter about how out of reach public transportation is even for those living in the city’s urban core.
Weekend News Roundup
• San Diego’s growing craft beer industry has inspired local farmers to grow hops, hands down the most important ingredient in beer, says my hop-head of a husband. NBC 7 San Diego reports that there are now 15 hop growers in the county.
• San Diego’s poke scene keeps growing. Restaurants that specialize in the raw fish dish are popping up all over the place. (Reader)
• The Associated Press reports that the U.S. has reached its target of taking in 10,000 Syrian war refugees. At least one of the families entering the country via the resettlement program will head to San Diego.
• NBC 7 San Diego’s Derek Togerson compares the new Vikings stadium to the Chargers’ proposed downtown stadium deal. One of the biggest differences is that people in Minneapolis didn’t get to vote on the deal.
• This really has been a mild summer, hasn’t it? (Times of San Diego)
• Five San Diego cybersecurity firms talk about the things you need to be concerned about when it comes to the safety of the information stores on your computer networks. The Russian mob only comes up once. (U-T)
• Welcome to San Diego, new scientists.
• Did you know that you can fit $3 million in the trunk of a Volkswagen? Border Patrol agents made their largest smuggling seizure in San Diego history over the weekend. (CNN)
Social Media Moments
• This bearded beer dude proposed to his gal in a brewery and it looks like she said yes anyway.