The area where East Village, Barrio Logan, Logan Heights and Sherman Heights converge has long been the epicenter of San Diego’s homeless crisis. It remains so more than a year after city leaders responded dramatically to a hepatitis A outbreak that hit the homeless population hard.
Lisa Halverstadt checked in and found the tent cities that once dominated blocks in the area have come down but in some ways, the problem is worse than ever.
She found that homelessness seems to have dropped following the increased police enforcement and homeless service offerings.
While some residents and business owners praised the reduction in homelessness, others emphasized the challenges that remain. Foremost among them: what seems to be a spike in drug sales and open drug use.
We Requested Sexual Misconduct Records From San Diego Unified 475 Days Ago
We know little about educators in San Diego who have committed instances of substantiated harassment or sexual misconduct because the school district continues to withhold the relevant documents.
As Sara Libby notes, it’s been more than 470 days since Voice of San Diego filed its original records request seeking to shed light on those cases. In that time period, many other school districts across the county have provided documents related to dozens of local educators, some of whom are still teaching in the classroom.
Some school districts voluntarily gave us the documents and others only after we fought for them in court. Our reporting on misconduct within schools led Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez to propose new legislation reforming how school misconduct complaints are handled by school officials.
- Over on the podcast, our hosts tear into statements by Sen. Ben Hueso on a bill that would effectively make public records harder to obtain.
Speaking of which …
Happy Sunshine Week!
Media outlets and watchdogs across the nation will be spotlighting the importance of open records laws this week to coincide with the birthday of James Madison, the principal author of the U.S. Constitution.
Watch out for stories like this one from the Union-Tribune. After surveying more than 85 public agencies, data reporter Lauryn Schroeder writes the federal ones were not nearly as responsive. She also quotes a journalism school director who says the courts have been slowly stripping the federal public records law of its importance.
According to Canadian researchers, Schroeder notes, the U.S. ranks 69th in the world — behind Mexico, Serbia, India, Sri Lanka and El Salvador — when it comes to public records laws.
- Assemblyman Todd Gloria has introduced a bill aimed at preventing a repeat of San Diego’s lackluster response to the 2017 hepatitis A crisis. The bill doesn’t actually mention vaccines, but it does give health officers more power over the spread of communicable diseases. Brace yourself for another round of anti-vaxxer fights.
- Negotiations to transfer Mission Valley stadium land from the city to San Diego State University hit a snag. The Council pushed back against the mayor’s proposal to set aside as much $500,000 per year for a real estate firm as negotiating partners. In the Politics Report, the crew writes that the dispute seems more about lingering questions of who is really in charge of this deal.
In Other News
- California police have reported virtually no racial profiling in the reports they’re now required to make thanks to a law passed by San Diego Assemblywoman Shirley Weber. One San Diego advocate who heads the state’s Racial and Identity Profiling Advisory Board thinks the police could be misrepresenting the numbers in order to protect their own. (Associated Press)
- A father and son left from San Diego last week to hike the entirety of the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border to see what challenges it presents and how reality stacks up with claims about the border. (Washington Post)
- The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department has begun releasing records related to peace officers’ dishonesty, sustained sexual misconduct and more, as part of a new state law. The Union-Tribune has summaries of six cases, including one in which a deputy went to Starbucks rather than respond to a call.
- The prospects for expanding San Diego’s legal marijuana industry improved last November when Democrats took greater control of the City Council, the U-T reports. Opponents contend that additional marijuana businesses are a threat to public safety, but as we reported last year, very few crimes have been linked to dispensaries.
- A family alleges that Lincoln High School employees failed to protect two brothers from being bullied and beaten. San Diego Unified officials, according to a lawsuit, had the father arrested and jailed after he complained about their treatment.
Saturday’s Politics Report misstated the date and Council committee at which a discussion of SDSU West took place. The budget committee meeting happened Wednesday.
The Morning Report was written by Jesse Marx, and edited by Sara Libby.