In the run-up to Election Day, most of the discussion about the state’s housing crisis has centered on Prop. 10, the measure that would open the door to cities enacting new rent control measures.
There are, however, a few other measures on the ballot that attempt to deal with the crisis, though they’re less controversial and far more confusing. They include Props. 1 and 2, measures that would fund new housing developments. Prop. 1 is a pretty straightforward bond measure to fund new construction of low-income units and other homeowner programs. Prop. 2 is a bit more convoluted but would let the state spend from a specific pot of money on supportive housing for the mentally ill.
Certainly no project can happen without money.
But neither measure addresses another factor that has become a huge hurdle to building across California – particularly when it comes to the type of projects Prop. 2 would fund: neighborhood opposition. NIMBYs.
A glossy new video opposing a proposed development in the OB/Point Loma area drives this home. In it, a woman lovingly caresses stalks of wheat, and towheaded children ride their bikes in Famosa Canyon, an area where the Housing Commission has proposed building a 78-unit development for low-income residents.
The group that created the video wants you to know, though, that they don’t hate this development because it would house poor people. They hate this development because they would hate literally any development.
“Residents have been labeled with the acronym NIMBY (not in my back yard). That is just not the case.
We are residents against development whether it’s Low income/affordable housing or another multimillion dollar condo development,” the group writes on its website.
If anything, it’s a refreshingly honest explanation of this particular instance of NIMBYism. But it’s also a reminder that even if Props. 1 and 2 pass and there’s an influx of money to build new projects, each and every one is still likely to be a battle.
What VOSD Learned This Week
I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but there’s an election happening in a few days.
In the final homestretch, VOSD reporters had quite a run examining some of the biggest issues and races on the ballot.
Their biggest findings from the past week:
The biggest donors to San Diego Unified’s previous bond measures received big contracts – and the system does not always blindly award the lowest bidders, as the head of the current bond campaign has claimed. Speaking of the current school bond campaign, backers have been making stunning claims about dangerous lead in the water at San Diego schools. Yet only 2 percent of the bond money would address lead in water, and the very schools being touted in ads as dangerous have been tested and deemed safe.
Sweetwater Union High School District is also pitching a multimillion-dollar bond to voters. The district’s credit rating took a hit this week amid an ongoing budget crisis.
San Diego State, meanwhile, doesn’t have a bond on the ballot but it does hope voters approve Measure G, the plan to remake Mission Valley that would allow the university to create what it says would be an innovation hub housing lots of researchers. But there might not be much of a need for that kind of space, if UC San Diego’s experience filling similar space and real estate trends offer any clues.
And over in City Council District 2, Democrats are hoping national issues like the environment, gay rights and President Donald Trump motivate voters to do what’s practically unheard of in San Diego: oust a sitting City Council member.
On the podcast this week, we kicked off the inaugural VOSD Election Draft, in which me, Scott and Andy picked the races we’ll be watching most closely on election night.
If, however, you’re really just looking for one election primer with a breakdown of the major local issues and races, check out this handy guide.
As the election approaches, President Donald Trump has tried to weaponize immigration – zeroing in on a caravan of Central American migrants who are making their way through Mexico. Many of those migrants will seek asylum in the United States.
Winning asylum is not easy, particularly for Central Americans. Maya Srikrishnan profiled one man who came as part of a caravan that arrived earlier this year and who has won asylum in the country to demonstrate just how narrow the categories of people who qualify really are.
What I’m Reading
- For once, an explosive revelation about the Supreme Court is actually charming, not infuriating. (NPR)
- Two heinous acts of terror over the last week produced these two beautiful pieces: In one, an author contemplates the personal and political history of violence against black bodies. Meanwhile, Jelani Cobb ties the recent Pittsburgh synagogue shooting to the South Carolina shooting inside a black church, and notes that domestic terrorists often target some of the most vulnerable members of society. (Longreads, New Yorker)
- San Diego’s Meb Keflezighi is the rare distance running success who was raised in the United States. (The Undefeated)
- A Georgia town is testing the limits of how far a government can go to limit the rights of a citizen it finds annoying. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
- I subscribe to the Edith Zimmerman Theory on Feminism and Doritos. (The Cut)
Line of the Week
“The most popular young artist in the most unpopular young nation is a rhinestone cowboy who looks like he crawled out of a primordial swamp of nacho cheese.” – Post Malone is the pop star this nation deserves.