The debate over whether to build a new Chargers stadium is always framed as an either/or: Should San Diego prioritize neighborhoods, or one billionaire? Should it fund infrastructure, or a stadium?

Rep. Scott Peters heard enough of this that he finally said, essentially: San Diego, you’re doing it wrong.

Voice of the Year

In an exhaustive op-ed piece laying out his support for a stadium, Peters made the case that world-class cities don’t choose to do one thing or another. They do all the things.

Regardless of whether you agree with his position on the stadium itself, it’s hard not to be swayed by Peters’ argument that San Diego should broaden the scope of its ambitions.

Peters was outspoken on other major issues this year, too.

He seized on the disparity that awards San Diego far less federal money to combat homelessness than other cities with smaller homeless populations. Peters’ efforts have annoyed leaders in other cities, but they’ve also forced the federal government to re-evaluate its funding formula – something other local leaders have mumbled about doing for the last several years with no results.

Peters provoked a national discussion about transparency when he went rogue and livestreamed House Democrats’ gun control sit-in on the floor of the House after Republicans effectively cut C-SPAN’s cameras airing the demonstration.

He was mocked for his wobbly camera work, but praised for finding a way to provide access to the debacle.

This is part of our Voice of the Year package, profiling the people who drove the biggest conversations in San Diego this year.

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

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