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In the past year, the city of San Diego increased its spending on initiatives to aid homeless residents by more than 40 percent.
The city put up three shelter tents, allowed homeless San Diegans living in cars to park in safe lots, opened a storage center where they can keep their belongings and purchased an indoor skydiving facility to convert to a services hub.
But, as VOSD’s Lisa Halverstadt finds, the results of the spending remain unclear. Only a fraction of those who have used any of the new city-funded services have moved into permanent housing.
The city is eyeing additional initiatives, like more safe parking lots, but City Council Democrats say they want more information about outcomes and spending before approving anything else.
Todd Gloria to Mayoral Race: I Am in You, Too
Assemblyman Todd Gloria made it official Wednesday with a video that highlights his upbringing and a website that includes this infinitely tweakable campaign slogan: “I’m running for mayor.”
Gloria’s announcement emphasized his humble beginnings, his stint as interim mayor after former Mayor Bob Filner resigned, and his championing the city’s landmark climate action plan.
He joins Councilwoman Barbara Bry as Democratic candidates in the race. The primary is in March 2020. Insiders expect Rep. Scott Peters to enter the race as well, and we’re all waiting to see if Councilman Mark Kersey, former police chief Shelley Zimmerman or someone else jumps into the race from the right.
- Wendy Wheatcroft, known for her advocacy for effective firearms regulations, also formally announced her run for the San Diego City Council District 7 seat, where Councilman Scott Sherman is termed out. She’s the first candidate in the district to announce a run.
- Two City Councilmembers stressed how much solidarity they felt after a labor leader criticized our story on the Council’s decision to ban some single-use plastics and polystyrene. The Building Trades Council’s Carol Kim complained that our piece, which explored the concerns some of the Councilmembers expressed about how the ban would affect small businesses in poorer neighborhoods, was an example of lazy journalistic narratives about Democrats being in conflict.
The Politics of San Diego’s Nuclear Waste
A “near accident” at the decommissioned San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station outside Oceanside last year has a lot of people freaked out. And while federal regulators continue to investigate, there’s renewed urgency in recent weeks to find national repositories for nuclear waste.
In the North County Report, Jesse Marx gives a sense of the complexity of completely closing San Onofre. Everyone seems to agree that the Pacific shoreline is a terrible place for the waste, but moving the canisters inland is politically fraught because it relies on buy-in from outside communities and congressional legislation.
A UC San Diego professor who oversees a community engagement panel at San Onofre believes federal lawmakers have a year to pass meaningful legislation — at which the point the presidential election will be in full swing and the conversation in D.C. will shut down.
More Change at SANDAG
Marx also reports that the Carlsbad City Council declined to reappoint Mayor Matt Hall to the San Diego Association of Governments executive board, appointing City Councilwoman Cori Schumacher instead. She told her colleagues she would bring a new vision to the regional planning agency and criticized the past executive board for not asking harder questions of the scandalized executive director.
In Other News
- The Union-Tribune editorial board sits down for an extensive Q&A with City Council President Georgette Gomez.
- The Trump Administration is making citizenship more difficult for immigrants who are likely to need public assistance, such as welfare, food stamps and health care. (NBC 7)
- 10News and the U-T polled 1,000 people after President Trump’s national address and found that more than half of those who watched it believed his statements to be false. Another 23 percent said the speech was a mix of true and false.
- The County Board of Supervisors voted to appeal the decision against them in a lawsuit challenging their Climate Action Plan. VOSD’s Ry Rivard recently wrote about how the county has wasted a lot of money and time on its plan to curb greenhouse gas emissions that courts repeatedly keep knocking down. (Union-Tribune)
- San Diego County will waive fees to encourage “granny flat” development in unincorporated areas. (10News)
- The government shutdown affects more than government employees and national parks. Beer brewers need the federal government to approve new labels. (NBC 7)
- Jacquelyn Littlefield’s fierce loyalty to San Diego’s oldest indoor theater put her at regular odds with government bureaucrats, real-estate speculators and show promoters. She died at 96. (Union-Tribune)
- The largest hotel to open in California last year was in San Diego. (Union-Tribune)
- The waves are really, really big. Like so big. Big today, too.