Councilman Chris Cate speaks at the San Diego City Council inauguration ceremony. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

State Sen. Ben Hueso and San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott dropped their proposed changes to the California Public Records Act this week. Before that happened, the City Council and the mayor both announced they opposed the measure.

City Councilman Chris Cate told us on the podcast this week, “This was something … nobody knew about. We were not briefed, told, informed about this whatsoever. So without you all and what you guys do, we would of had no idea this was happening.”

Meanwhile, Cate gave us his take on the City Council’s decision to block Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s attempt to hire professional real estate consultants to help the city negotiate with SDSU for the sale of the former Chargers stadium property in Mission Valley.

Councilwoman Barbara Bry said there was no need for the $500,000, one-year contract because the major deal points were already resolved and getting it done should be straightforward. Not so, Cate said.

“If you look at who’s on the other side of the table, from SDSU, they have attorneys and real estate experts who are going to be at the negotiation table against us,” he said. “And I love our city staff … I would say that they have some expertise in this, but they also do other things. They’re running a city and involved in a million other things. Their attention isn’t dedicated strictly to this.”

He said the deal would be straightforward if all they had to do was conduct an appraisal and transfer the land for that much money, but he expects that price to be whittled down based on deductions from the cost of renovations and investments SDSU will need to make once they take over.

The interview with Cate starts at minute 23.

The State of Homelessness in East Village

It’s been more than a year since an outbreak of hepatitis A spread among homeless residents in San Diego. That provoked the city to make unprecedented moves to clean up.

Lisa Halverstadt checked in on East Village last week 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.

On the podcast, we discuss what’s changed and who was left behind.

The People’s Reporter

Developers building in San Diego have a choice: They can set aside 10 percent of the units in their projects for low-income renters, or pay a fee to help build low-income units elsewhere. But not all of the money goes directly to affordable housing, a VOSD analysis found last year. That analysis answers a question recently asked by VOSD reader Michael Castro. He asked:

Developers who want to build multi-family housing pay a fee to not provide affordable housing. Does that money actually go to build affordable housing?”

Voice’s Lisa Halverstadt and Adriana Heldiz broke it down in this week’s People’s Reporter.

That feature starts at minute 49 in the podcast.

See You Next Week!

Get tickets to our Wednesday live show here.

We’ll have Hasan Ikhrata of SANDAG and Nicole Capretez of the Climate Action Campaign as guests (as well as audience games and plenty of VOSD staffers you can hang out with).

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Nate John is the digital manager at Voice of San Diego. He oversees Voice's website, newsletters, podcasts and product team. You can reach him at

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