The San Diego Association of Governments knowingly misled voters with its Measure A ballot proposal.
Earlier this week, Andrew Keatts uncovered revealing emails from SANDAG’s chief economist that showed the agency’s executives knew about a problem with their forecasting model almost a year before they put Measure A, a sales tax hike to fund transportation projects, on the November ballot. Rather than taking the problem to SANDAG’s board, the agency’s management kept using the $18 billion number they now admit was way off.
That $18 billion number is important, by the way, because SANDAG used it to come up with the long list of transportation and open space projects it dangled in front of voters in November.
Keatts gets super fired up in this week’s podcast as he and cohost Scott Lewis distill the big SANDAG news.
Nonprofit Exec: San Diego Leaders Aren’t Doing Enough for Refugees
There’s a lot of new energy and interest related to San Diego’s refugee population since President Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban.
But Ramla Sahid, executive director of the nonprofit Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans, said San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and other elected local leaders have yet to react to the refugee ban as passionately as other people in the community.
“We don’t see folks like Kevin Faulconer stepping up to the plate and saying, ‘These are our neighbors, these are our community members,’” Sahid said. “As a city we [should make a] commitment to protect and ensure that they feel welcome. I think that’s a missed opportunity and we just need to call that out.”
PANA is a relatively new nonprofit that serves refugees through research, public policy and community organizing. Sahid joined Lewis and Keatts this week to talk about the issues facing the estimated 82,000 refugees who’ve resettled in San Diego since 1975.
Also on the podcast, Lewis has become the go-to “cannabis forum moderator guy.” He said his jaw drops when he looks out in the crowd at these forums and sees the economic mania surrounding the budding industry as potential investors try to ensure they get their piece of the pot pie.
Hero of the Week
On Monday, Faulconer and Tijuana’s new mayor Juan Manuel Gastélum stood side by side at a press conference to tout the benefits of binational collaboration. It’s a good start, but the pair will likely have to do a lot more than hold a press conference in the future if they want to ensure that the region’s binational economy doesn’t get disrupted.
Goat of the Week
The impending budget cuts at San Diego Unified are getting real as local schools and district staff are making moves to start slashing costs. The district gets the goat this week for not leaning into the problem earlier on, and instead pretty much doing the opposite.