Man, those marches.

Even with all the preparation and reports of flights full of women headed to D.C., I was legitimately shocked by the size of the Women’s March crowd in San Diego, and of those around the country.

This week, I spoke with two of the organizers of the San Diego Women’s March for a special podcast episode. Both of them emphasized that the march is only a first, ahem, step if you’re seeking to change the direction government is headed.

So what can you do to make your voice heard on days when there isn’t a massive movement march? I’m glad you asked!

One of the simplest and most effective ways to make your voice heard is to call your representatives when they’ll be voting on something you care about. This post from a former congressional staffer lays out why phone calls actually make a difference, and why tweets and Facebook posts mostly don’t (letters land somewhere in the middle).

This tip sheet has basic instructions for what to do and what not to do when you call a member of Congress, and how to make your call as effective as possible.

A few more tools for researching and advocating for issues you care about (this was compiled with help from the @techladymafia):

POPVOX is an online platform that tracks legislation and allows people to add their personal testimonies, and to engage with their representatives. Advocate groups and individuals can make their positions known on specific bills.

2 Hours a Week is an online community that offers suggestions for civic action, the idea being that you put in two hours a week. Many of the specific calls to action are in support of progressive causes, but others are more general, like having a meaningful conversation with your loved ones about what issues matter to you.

IssueVoter lets you track individual bills and issues you care about. You can get alerts when they’re up for a vote, and send your opinion directly to your representative.

What VOSD Learned This Week

Remember when San Diego city pensions were so woefully underfunded that it became a national scandal? Well, those numbers seem kind of paltry now. Both the city and county pension funds have about $7 billion less than they need to cover earned benefits.

Part of what’s driving the problem with pensions is that people are living longer. That’s an issue being felt elsewhere in government, too. Maya Srikrishnan wrote about how ridership is surging on MTS’s paratransit service, which is driving the agency to reconsider how a booming senior population will get around in the future.


Ron Fowler, executive chairman of the group that owns the San Diego Padres, came on the VOSD podcast and was remarkably candid about homelessness, the future of the East Village and San Diego’s sports future.

And Dallas McLaughlin of “The Kept Faith” podcast took a dive into how the Padres ended up with a mishmash of boring and basic uniforms.


As Kinsee Morlan explored in her Culturecast podcast series, Barrio Logan is a neighborhood in the throes of a major transition.

One of the galleries at the heart of that transition, La Bodega, offers a window into the struggles that come with growth and attention.

Meanwhile, a fine arts photographer explained why San Diego’s lagging arts scene motivated his move to New York.


Before we can determine whether the drought is over, we have to nail down which drought we’re even talking about.


Lisa Halverstadt unpacked the various proposals to address homelessness that Mayor Kevin Faulconer unveiled during his State of the City speech last week.


The resignation of Feeding America San Diego’s CEO has reignited the debate over why San Diego has two food banks instead of one. Lisa Halverstadt notes that a huge chunk of Feeding America San Diego’s budget comes from a single donor. That’s the kind of precarious financial situation that some local nonprofits are hoping to avoid – and they’re taking a page from startups by pursuing innovative entrepreneurial ventures.

What I’m Reading

 School segregation is upheld by parents’ individual choices. (NPR)

 Beat writers who cover NFL teams got together to discuss the biggest issues facing the league. Their insights are fascinating, and occasionally brutal. (Sports Illustrated)

 This scene of a date conducted entirely in biz-speak is hilarious/will haunt my nightmares. (New Yorker)

 My old boss Josh Marshall has some good thoughts on journalism in the Trump era. (TPM)

 I found this explanation of the political crises unfolding in Mexico extremely useful. (World Politics Review)

 This is an astonishing compilation of instances in which police officers’ lies were directly contradicted by video evidence. (Buzzfeed)

Line of the Week

“So handsomely blonde, it’s as if you’re eating a golden lab.” – From a highly substantive accounting of the nation’s best fast-food chicken nuggets.

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

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