I always put this newsletter together backward. I start collecting links to my favorite stories and prospective “line of the week” entries on Monday, collect and summarize the week in VOSD stories on Friday and write this top blurb on Saturday.
Midway through this week, I glanced through all the “What I’m Reading” links and noticed a pretty obvious pattern. A story on women journalists at the New York Times. A story about postpartum depression. An ode to female friendship. A story about sexism in the workplace.
It might have made for a great intentional nod to International Women’s Day – except it wasn’t. Those just happened to be the stories I gravitated toward and that spoke to my experience.
And that is the very subtle, beautiful thing that happens when you hire women – or anyone with a background and set of experiences different from your own.
The result likely won’t be something direct and obvious – say, pussy hats suddenly appearing on everyone’s heads. It will be a thousand quiet moments in which someone recommends a female expert to weigh in on a story, or seeks out a woman for a panel or approaches a story from a different viewpoint than her male colleague might. Any of those decisions, individually, would seem routine. Together, though, they might represent a far different picture than you would have had without women at the table.
Sexism, too, often plays out in ways that are far less obvious than someone calling a coworker a bitch, or someone refusing to hire women at all.
My friend Annie wonderfully described it as “the sexism you can’t quite prove” – behavior or decisions that aren’t outwardly vicious or discriminatory but that are still sexist, all the same.
I wasn’t trying to make a statement with the stories I collected this week, but I invariably chose stories that probably wouldn’t make this list if one of my male colleagues were collecting his favorites. And that right there is the case for diversity: people coming together to meld their different perspectives and ways of approaching the world to create a more dynamic product than you would’ve gotten otherwise.
What VOSD Learned This Week
By now, we’ve hopefully drilled in the fact that SANDAG knowingly misled voters about how much Measure A would bring in.
This week, the other shoe dropped: SANDAG also obscured an $8 billion – eight. billion. – increase in the price tag for projects that are part of Transnet, a sales tax measure that funds transportation projects.
You might’ve heard confusing bits and pieces of news about something called Community Choice Aggregation. Ry Rivard put together this excellent explainer about what it is and the upcoming showdown over how we get our electricity.
This week brought good news and bad news for San Diego’s craft beer industry. The good news: The state is cracking down on shady deals between bars and big beer distributors, which handicap craft brewers. The bad news: Craft breweries in San Diego are about to have a much harder time letting pop-up restaurants and caterers serve food to their patrons.
In the absence of a formal plan from the city or county to comprehensively address the homelessness crisis, some business districts are trying to tackle the problem themselves – and their tactics aren’t always very kind.
For a few weeks now, we’ve been trying to understand just what San Diego Unified’s $124 million in budget cuts will mean for classrooms, staffers and families. One seemingly straightforward number that’s been surprisingly hard to pin down: how many people the district is laying off. Ashly McGlone dug into the numbers being thrown around and how the district is making things confusing.
Also this week, McGlone examined hundreds of pages of documents that shed light on the district’s little-known Quality Assurance Office. The docs raise some big questions about how that office is run and its effectiveness in investigating complaints from faculty and parents.
Immigration from Mexico is about to slow down all on its own, no border wall required.
What I’m Reading
• The number of women in high-profile and leadership positions at the New York Times has dwindled since former editor-in-chief Jill Abramson was forced out. (New York Times)
• Leave it to Chrissy Teigen to still be damn delightful as she reveals her bout with postpartum depression. (Glamour)
• A male and female coworker switched email signatures for a week, and it went exactly how you’d expect. (Ladders)
• A democracy in crisis. Conservatives flocked to fake news sites peddling outright lies. Then things blew up. It all just happened … in South Korea. (Gizmodo)
Line of the Week
“If you’re lookin’ for a good teammate to be on your team, Reuben is going to be very, very good. If you’re looking for someone to be a candy-striper and be nice to everybody at the hospital, maybe not.” – Nick Saban, defending a player who was dismissed from the NFL Combine after a fight with a hospital worker. Gooooo, football!