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Referendums on new laws have shaped San Diego city politics for many years.

They allow opponents to stop a new law from going into effect, even after that law has been approved by the City Council. If opponents are able to get signatures from 5 percent of registered city voters in just 30 days, the City Council can either put the measure on the ballot or agree to withdraw the law.

Currently, those against the city’s new vacation rental rules are working to do just that, and they’re willing to pay thousands of dollars to get it done.

On this week’s San Diego Explained, Voice of San Diego’s Scott Lewis and NBC 7’s Monica Dean break down how referendums work and how they change the political landscape.

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