Susan Davis
Rep. Susan Davis celebrates her 2018 election win at Golden Hall. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

You usually expect lots of political and campaign developments after Labor Day but we’re not sure many people saw this one coming: U.S. Rep. Susan Davis announced she will finish out her current term and be done. 

That means that for the first time in 20 years, the congressional seat that covers much of the heart of the city of San Diego will have a new representative. 

It will almost certainly touch off a frenzy of maneuvering among local Democrats looking to take the seat or take the seats of the people trying to take the seat. Here are a few things to know.

It’s a pretty safe seat for Democrats: Hillary Clinton won the district 63 percent to 29 percent over President Donald Trump in 2016. In the 2018 governor’s race, Gavin Newsom beat his rival, Republican John Cox, 65 percent to 35 percent in that district. 

There are two candidates already: Jose Caballero, who had been storming local Democratic clubs trying to raise a resistance to Davis from the left, and Joaquin Vazquez.

More on Davis: She was the second highest-ranking Democrat on the House Education and Labor Committee and the Armed Services Committee. She opposed the Iraq war and long advocated for San Diego’s military installations. 

She had a young aide, Todd Gloria, whom she had mentored even before she was in Congress.  

That Gloria would eventually take her seat in Congress was the longest-running bit of conventional wisdom in local politics. But he put rumors to bed before they could start that he would consider dropping out of the mayor’s race: “As my lifelong mentor, I can’t wait to have her home full time. We talked today and she’s ready to volunteer on my mayoral campaign.”

Surprise: Building a Cross-Border Trolley Won’t Be Easy

For years, San Diegans have puzzled over why there isn’t a trolley to the airport. Now, just as regional leaders focus on a solution to that long-running conundrum, Baja California’s secretary of tourism is floating another trolley route likely to be complicated by jurisdictional boundaries: a cross-border trolley.

Oscar Escobedo, who spoke at a binational hearing in National City last month, suggested that a cross-border trolley could stem congestion at the border and be used by passengers who are pre-cleared.

But as Maya Srikrishnan reports, there would be many hurdles to making that happen. Conversations about transit and light rail in Tijuana are stalling, as is the infrastructure for a cross-border cargo train. Then there’s the fact that the Metropolitan Transit System and SANDAG, which handle transportation infrastructure on the U.S. side of the border, say they don’t have staffers working on the concept.

Migrants in San Diego Report Terrible Conditions in Detention

In a Los Angeles Times op-ed, UC San Diego professor Tom Wong lays out his research team’s conclusions following an analysis of intake data from families sheltered by the San Diego Rapid Response Network, a process that Wong says underlines the harsh conditions asylum seekers face.

Among the UCSD team’s findings: More than a third of asylum-seeking heads of households sheltered by the San Diego Rapid Response Network reported enduring a medical issue, or troubling conditions or treatment including issues with food or water. Half reported having to sleep on the floor while one in three reported a lack of access to showers, clean or sanitary toilets or the inability to brush their teeth.

Wong also noted that nearly nine out of 10 asylum seekers who reported their primary language was not Spanish nonetheless reported receiving a form with information on their immigration court hearings in Spanish.

Another Low-Income Neighborhood Protests School Bus Cuts

Dozens of students and families who live in Oceanside’s low-income Crown Heights neighborhood rely on bus service to get to school each day.

But the Oceanside Unified School District opted to cut those services come summer 2020 in a bid to address financial challenges.

In this week’s North County Report, Jesse Marx writes about the district’s decision to cut bus service and parents’ two-and-half mile protest this past weekend to demonstrate the impact of that decision.

Also in this week’s North County Report: Crown Heights residents’ tense relationships with Oceanside police, a potential deal to restore inpatient psychiatric beds in coastal North County and more.

New CityBeat Publisher: Everything’s Great!

CityBeat’s new owner introduced himself to readers Wednesday but offered few details on the alt-weekly’s future shape in the wake of the abrupt firing of its editor in chief last week.

Times Media Group founder Steve Strickbine emphasized in a publisher’s note in the new issue that his company will be focused on making CityBeat financially viable.

“Under its previous leadership, CityBeat had begun to face financial challenges,” Strickbine wrote. “In that regard, newsweeklies are no different than any other business: they must turn a profit or, no matter how good the journalistic product, they eventually cease to be sustainable.”

Strickbine hinted that change wouldn’t come quickly but longtime CityBeat columnist Aaryn Belfer revealed on Twitter that she was relieved of those duties Tuesday night when she showed up to help copy edit the Wednesday edition.

News Nibbles

  • The district attorney’s office has dialed back the application process to be removed from a civil gang injunctions essentially banning gang members from some areas, noting that the prior requirements had stymied applicants. (Union-Tribune)
  • San Diego’s prime wildfire season has begun. (KPBS)
  • In which the Gray Lady seizes on San Diego’s scooter situation to explain the fledgling industry’s challenges, including safety concerns. (New York Times)
  • Missiongathering Church in North Park reports the city has ordered it stop operating its music venue, The Irenic, and weekly emergency homeless shelter operated by nonprofit Urban Street Angels, citing more than two dozen zoning violations. (NBC 7)
  • -No San Diego military construction projects will be cut  to fund border wall construction. (Union-Tribune)

The Morning Report was written by Lisa Halverstadt and Andrew Keatts, and edited by Sara Libby.

Leave a comment

We expect all commenters to be constructive and civil. We reserve the right to delete comments without explanation. You are welcome to flag comments to us. You are welcome to submit an opinion piece for our editors to review.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.