Not long after she began as superintendent of San Diego Unified, Cindy Marten created the Quality Assurance Office.

The thinking was that the new office could be an accountability hub where parents and district staffers could have complaints thoroughly investigated if they believed they’d been treated unfairly.

But how that office operates and its effectiveness is being called into question, documents from a lawsuit against the district reveal.

The lawsuit stems from a salacious case at Green Elementary School. But the details from the lawsuit go beyond just that uncomfortable case and shed light on some troubling issues, Ashly McGlone writes in a new story.

The Quality Assurance Office was dealing with a complaint at Green Elementary in 2014, “but according to their own testimony, Marten and Donovan made two important decisions without crucial facts.” Marten, for example, decided to let the principal at Green keep his job before the office’s investigation into possible wrongdoing was complete. Donovan quickly determined that the incident wasn’t a sexual harassment case – without looking at the district’s sexual harassment policy.

McGlone pulls out more details and quotes offered in the case that raise questions about whether district officials are following state and federal rules, and their own policies.

San Diego NIMBYs Aren’t Who You’d Expect

Often it’s liberals who don’t want new development — they might oppose the environmental impacts, or question developers’ intentions or both.

But polling from last year’s District 3 race for county supervisor shows that dynamic might be a little topsy-turvy in San Diego.

Voters in that district proved to be anti-development – especially Republican voters.

Polling from Competitive Edge Research “found that roughly twice as many conservatives in the district explicitly identified as anti-growth than liberals. Seventeen percent of liberals said slowing down residential development was very or extremely important to them, versus 38 percent of conservatives,” writes Maya Srikrishnan.

Republican consultant Jason Roe offered a theory in an appearance on the VOSD podcast: It’s not necessarily party affiliation that’s driving these decisions, but whether a voter owns his or her home.

“The only thing I can come up with is: They got their house, they don’t want their neighborhoods crowded up, they don’t want all these people coming in and choking up their roads and their schools,” Roe said.

• Speaking of anti-growth sentiment, Liam Dillon writes that in order for California to meet its ambitious climate goals, California will have to build waaaaaaaaaaaay more housing, and it should be dense and near transit. In other words, probably not gonna happen. This should sound familiar:

“Even now, the effort to shift development from suburban to urban areas is facing strong head winds. Across California, local resistance and an existing state environmental law that prioritizes car travel over mass transit have frustrated attempts to plan and build housing that will help the state meet its climate goals.”

Dillon notes in his story a dynamic that Andy Keatts pointed out in January: San Diego had a chance to make neighborhoods like Golden Hill, Uptown and North Park more dense during recent community plan update, but passed.

“If San Diego neighborhoods most primed for heavy development don’t achieve the goals, it’s unlikely the rest of the city will pick up the slack,” climate activist Nicole Capretz told Dillon.

The Day in Border Politics

The director of the Office of Management and Budget said on Monday that there’s a desire for parts of President Donald Trump’s border wall to be “see-through,” according to Politico.

The wall might be made of concrete in certain portions, Mick Mulvaney told a conservative radio host, “In other places, the border folks are actually telling us, border control’s actually telling us that they like the one you can see through, because it reduces the number of violent attacks on our folks. So it’s a complicated program.”

Meanwhile, county sheriffs from around the state joined Republican lawmakers at a press conference condemning a bill that would prevent local law enforcement agencies from expending resources on immigration enforcement. The state bill, SB 54, is being called a “sanctuary state” law for shorthand.

San Diego state Sen. Joel Anderson is one of the leading voices against the bill.

He said at the press conference that the law would hinder federal officials from deporting “rapists and child molesters,” according to the L.A. Times.

Remember, though, that most promises of “sanctuary” from state and local leaders ring a bit hollow.

Quick News Hits

• inewsource explains a City Council program that lets Council members take budget savings and invest money back into their district for things like new streetlights, or donate it to local nonprofits.

• The University of California system is proposing a 20 percent cap on out-of-state students. Nonresident students make up almost 23 percent of the population at UC San Diego. (Wall Street Journal)

• “It looks like Petco Park is ready for some baseball!” a NASA astronaut tweeted on Monday, along with his view of Coronado and parts of San Diego from space.

• Rapper YG has an anti-President Donald Trump song that San Diego State told him he couldn’t perform during his concert there on Friday. He did it anyway. The school says it paid him regardless. (Billboard)

Sara Libby

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

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