City Attorney Mara Elliott (left) and Councilwoman Monica Montgomery / Photos by Jamie Scott Lytle and Adriana Heldiz

San Diego’s system of oversight for police officers involved in shootings and in-custody deaths could be reformed next year. But how far those changes actually go is a question first for the City Council, then the voters. 

Andrew Keatts reports on two potential ballot measures set to be considered by the Council. One is proposed by City Attorney Mara Elliott and would give the city’s existing Community Review Board on Police Practices its own independent legal counsel. 

The other is far more sweeping. It comes from the activist group Women Occupy San Diego and it has the support of City Councilwoman Monica Montgomery, who’s called for greater accountability of law enforcement. 

Their measure would create a new commission with not only its own legal counsel, but the subpoena power to conduct independent investigations. That commission could also review discipline orders issued by SDPD before the punishment is implemented.

SDPD’s police officer union had critical words for Montgomery’s measure and appears to be neutral on Elliott’s. Both could ultimately end up on the 2020 ballot. 

School Board Member Gets Party Support Over Labor Objection

Richard Barrera, a San Diego Unified school board member, had an easier time winning the Democratic Party endorsement than we’d thought he might a couple weeks back.

But as Andrew Keatts and Scott Lewis note in the Politics Report, Barrera did encounter pushback from his former employer, the United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 135. Barrera was treasurer when the union’s leader at the time, Mickey Kasparian, was accused of sexual misconduct by four women. The union’s new management urged activists not to support Barrera. 

Another endorsement showdown: The progressive Democrats for Equality club has never offered Rep. Juan Vargas its support and it won’t in this election cycle. The club faulted him for being not totally on board with marriage equality, among other things. Instead, the club members went with Aeiramique Glass Blake, a 31-year-old social justice activist. 

Politics Roundup

A bill written by Assemblywoman Shirley Weber that would change the standards guiding police use of deadly force is on its way to becoming law. In the Sacramento Report, Sara Libby considers how that bill might have changed the way prosecutors approached a high-profile shooting by an SDPD officer. A federal appellate court recently raised doubts about the officer’s killing of Fridoon Nehad in 2015. 

On the podcast, Keatts lays out the ongoing transit-versus-roads tension at the San Diego Association of Governments. At a recent meeting, conservatives tried to stop a plan to shift investments away from freeway expansions. It failed. But in the process, officials agreed to make the clearing up of congestion in North and East County a priority. 

These Comics Are Proud and Pricey — If You Can Find ‘em

There have never been more LGBT comic strips, books and anthologies available to the reading public, but finding them outside an event like Comic Con can be difficult, the U-T reports. A panel titled “Take PRIDE in Comics” shed some light on the problem: legal challenges to ban or remove these materials from school and public library shelves is at an all-time high.

Elsewhere in the convention center, the U-T’s Peter Rowe considered the costly and competitive nature of the used comic market. Some dealers are turning away from the $1 offerings in favor of more expensive fare. Demand is as high as ever, and it’s going up. 

“Pushing prices ever-upward are — irony alert! — the same movies some say have relegated comics to Comic-Con’s furthest corners,” Rowe writes. 

But wait, there’s more: Actor Orlando Bloom claimed this weekend San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer ran from a Comic-Con exhibit featuring immigrant characters, but the mayor’s office said that was bogus. (Variety, Union-Tribune) 

In Other News

The Morning Report was written by Jesse Marx, and edited by Sara Libby.

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