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A decade ago, Assemblywoman Marie Waldron was an Escondido City councilwoman determined to do something to keep landlords from renting to undocumented immigrants who she claimed were overcrowding apartments. And she did, pushing through an ordinance that did just that.

Fast forward to 2017. Last week, the Republican lawmaker who represents inland North County and parts of Riverside County voted to strengthen an existing state law that bars cities and counties from forcing landlords to discriminate against tenants based on their immigration status.

Our Maya Srikrishnan lays out Waldron’s apparently changed perspective on the issue in a new story and what can be gleaned from it – but doesn’t get any clarity from Waldron herself.

Waldron staffers told us Waldron won’t comment on her votes.

Old Idea Re-Emerges for Old Library

The Old Central Library’s been sitting vacant since 2013 and it remains unclear just how long it’ll stay that way.

I checked into its status this week after hearing that two power brokers focused on finding solutions to San Diego’s homelessness crisis had taken interest in whether the site could become a shelter.

Turns out Mayor Kevin Faulconer threw out three unrelated bids that came in following a request for proposal process last year and is mulling what to do next. He gave the go-ahead for restaurateur Dan Shea, one of those business leaders, to take a tour of the library this week.

A mayoral spokesman told me there are many options are on the table for the old library, including a homeless shelter.

Regardless, I’ll be anxiously awaiting details on the library’s next chapter. (Yeah, I couldn’t help myself.)

• Make VOSD Editor in Chief Scott Lewis’ day and take his very scientific Twitter poll on what the old library should become.

Sac Repore: Threading the Health Care Needle

State Sen. Toni Atkins co-hosted what turned out to be an awkwardly timed health care forum last weekend and got a clear message from the crowd: Single-payer heath care’s preferred even now that the Affordable Care Act’s (for now) survived.

In this week’s Sacramento Report, contributor Kelly Davis details Atkin’s somewhat awkwardly timed bill with Sen. Ricardo Lara and Atkins’ “delicate dance” on the issue.

Srikrishnan also rounds up other statehouse stories, including Sen. Joel Anderson’s push to keep bars open until 4 a.m.

VOSD Podcast: Special Election Scramble

So we thought we’d get at least a one-year reprieve after last November’s bananas ballot. Not so much.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer this week took a key step toward putting his hotel-tax hike proposal before voters. His prime plan for that haul – if approved – would be to bankroll a Convention Center expansion. There’d also be some new cash to repave the streets and help homeless folks.

Lewis and Andrew Keatts explain in this week’s podcast why that latter proposal could actually end up hurting future talks about a tax increase to address the problem. (After all, Faulconer’s proposal would throw a few million dollars more annually at the problem. It’s much less than what other California metros approved last fall and Faulconer doesn’t have a specific plan for that cash.)

The podcast duo also reviewed the latest on the Soccer City stadium proposal that could also end up on the ballot soon and the ongoing sanctuary city debate.

News Nibbles

• No, this isn’t an April Fool’s Joke. Chula Vista and Del Mar start collecting steeper sales taxes today. (10 News)

• San Diego’s pension problem just won’t go away. (Union-Tribune)

• The Chula Vista City Council will consider whether to become a sanctuary city next week (not that anyone’s clear what that is). (Times of San Diego)

• North County Transit District is proposing to significantly dial back its bus routes. (KPBS)

The Week’s Top Stories

These were the most popular Voice of San Diego stories for the week of Mar. 25-Mar. 31. Click here to see the full top 10.

1. The 20 Schools in San Diego Unified Facing the Most Teacher Layoffs
Looming layoffs at the San Diego Unified School District would disproportionately hit lower-income schools. Of the 20 schools facing the most layoffs, 13 have a student body with at least 75 percent of kids receiving subsidized lunch. (Mario Koran)

2. Southern California Is Drowning in Drought-Proofing Projects
Water agencies are working on dozens of projects to boost Southern California’s water supply. But many of the agencies are simultaneously boosting their own projects and arguing that others shouldn’t be built – partly out of a fear that ratepayers will only tolerate so many projects, and partly because of politics and territorialism. (Ry Rivard)

3. SDSU Reveals it Doesn’t Need Qualcomm Stadium Land … Yet
We finally got the clearest view yet of what San Diego State University leaders really want out of the Qualcomm Stadium site. (Scott Lewis)

4. The District Schools Facing the Most Layoffs Are Overwhelmingly Poor
Low-income schools are set to bear the brunt of San Diego Unified’s multimillion-dollar budget cuts. For 16 of the 20 schools in San Diego Unified facing the most teacher layoff notices, at least 75 percent of students qualify for free and reduced-price lunch. (Mario Koran)

5. San Diego’s Rapid Bus System Doesn’t Meet the Standards of Regular Buses in Other Cities
In branding, San Diego’s Rapid bus looks as sleek as the best bus rapid transit systems. But on the ground, it falls short of the standards for good bus service. (Alon Levy)

Lisa Halverstadt

Lisa is a senior investigative reporter who digs into some of San Diego's biggest challenges including homelessness, city real estate debacles, the region's...

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