No one has seen or heard from San Diego Unified Trustee Kevin Beiser since four men accused him of sexual misconduct, aside from his initial denial of their claims and his explanation that the men are politically motivated.
The San Diego Unified Board of Education will vote on a formal resolution calling for Beiser’s resignation this week.
Trustee John Lee Evans told VOSD that the resolution includes details on how Beiser appears to have violated the board’s code of conduct, which “calls on board members to protect the district’s image and integrity, not to embarrass each other and to respect the decision of the full board, which could come into play if the board passes its resolution Tuesday,” Andrew Keatts reports.
The San Diego Education Association, which has endorsed Beiser in the past, is also voting on a resolution calling for him to resign.
The recall process guides the removal of officials from office, but the city’s municipal code doesn’t specifically include guidelines for school board members.
That means it’s not clear how many signatures advocates might need in order to trigger a recall campaign. Even the county registrar, Michael Vu, said he’d need to research it more and get back to us.
The County’s Best Argument Against Trump Asylum Policy
Several immigration and administrative law experts told Lisa Halverstadt that the county’s most powerful argument in its lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s handling of asylum-seekers is that federal officials didn’t give notice and seek public input before abruptly ending their “safe release” policy last October. Previously, officials had to ensure that asylum-seekers were connected with sponsors.
That’s left public officials and service providers scrambling.
According to the county’s lawsuit, San Diego nonprofits rushed to help 40 asylum-seekers dropped at a local bus station less than 24 hours after federal authorities told them in a private meeting that they planned to end their longstanding practice. Those nonprofits report they have since tried to accommodate an average of 60 to 80 parents and young children a day.
The courts reversed Trump’s actions to end the DACA program based on arguments similar to the ones the county is making, the experts noted.
- A bill by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez to create independent oversight of sexual harassment and misconduct complaints against public school employees is on pause. The measure was drastically reworked in recent weeks. One of the women who helped write the initial draft — and who was the subject of VOSD coverage in 2017 — said she didn’t support recent changes.
- Republicans used to hold the line on agreements giving labor the right to work on a construction project in exchange for not striking. No more. Democrats are ascendant and they’re getting a lot out of their colleagues across the aisle, but as Andrew Keatts and Lisa Halverstadt explain, there are ruptures within the liberal coalition.
- On the podcast, Scott Lewis sat down with City Councilman Chris Ward to talk about his aspirations for the state Assembly and more. He believes the mayor’s plan to raise hotel-room taxes to fund the Convention Center expansion, homeless services and road repairs should go to voters in November 2020 rather than March 2020, so that more residents can have a say.
- U-T columnist Michael Smolens also took a look at the convention center expansion push, calling it “a grim march forward through a convoluted maze of politics and process.” In May, the Port Commission will consider a hotel project that could jeopardize the mayor’s plans.
- While the Democrats rally around a single candidate in the 50th Congressional District, three Republicans have emerged. They are the GOP’s backup plan — in case Rep. Duncan Hunter is found guilty later this year of campaign finance-related charges. (Union-Tribune)
Cities and Counties Fight to Preserve Pot Bans
Two dozen cities across California are suing the Bureau of Cannabis Control for effectively overturning local bans on marijuana by allowing delivery services to sell anywhere. The Los Angeles Times called the lawsuit “the first significant challenge to California’s open cannabis market.”
San Marcos and El Cajon, which prohibit marijuana businesses, have been vocal about their opposition to the new state rule, but they are not a part of the lawsuit. The lawsuit, however, is not the only way that municipalities are fighting back.
A bill introduced earlier this year in the Assembly would give cities like San Marcos and El Cajon permission to continue banning all marijuana transactions within their jurisdictions. It’s being sponsored by the California State Association of Counties and the League of California Cities. Those organizations argue that state regulators overstepped their authority on this issue and have given local municipalities talking points.
More than two years after Proposition 64 was approved by voters, the nation’s largest marijuana marketplace is struggling because only a small number of cities and counties have actually legalized dispensaries. Many members of the industry were supportive of borderless delivery because as a way to undermine the black market.
Speaking of pot, the former mayor of Santee is lobbying in favor of a bill named after his son, Ryan Bartell, who died of pancreatic cancer. The bill would allow terminally ill patients in healthcare facilities to ingest medical marijuana.
In Other News
- In a new op-ed, the head of an organization that provides homeless San Diegans living in cars with a place to sleep argues that the safe parking model will save money while respecting neighborhood concerns.
- The city’s plan to eliminate parking requirements for new developments is on hold because of a lawsuit filed by a group represented by Cory Briggs. (NBC San Diego)
- California will pay more than $1 million in legal fees to San Diego lawyer and mayoral candidate Cory Briggs, who successfully sued members of the Coastal Commission for failing to properly disclose private meetings with people who had interests pending before the commission. (Union-Tribune)
- Tracking the entry and exit of foreign travelers legally visiting the U.S. seems simple but has proven nearly impossible. The number of estimated visa overstays in 2017 was double the number of migrants caught crossing into the United States illegally. (Union-Tribune)
- Federal and state dollars for students with special needs aren’t rising with special ed enrollment, so districts are digging into general funds and reserves. (Union-Tribune)
The Morning Report was written by Jesse Marx, and edited by Sara Libby.