The Tenants Legal Center of San Diego / Photo by Megan Wood

A new city law that went into effect Aug. 1 aims to help protect families who receive housing aid from discrimination. See a rental advertisement that includes language such as “No Section 8,” and you’re more or less eligible to sue. 

One local attorney has taken note. Christian Curry of the Tenants Legal Center of San Diego has filed more than 50 lawsuits demanding roughly $360,000 on behalf of two clients. The suits allege landlords across town advertised properties for rent denying the use of housing aid.

The law doesn’t require a renter to actually apply to live in the space being advertised. Under the city ordinance, just being a recipient of a housing subsidy and seeing the ad is enough to sue.

“It’s always been illegal to discriminate based on source of income,” Curry told Voice of San Diego. But San Diego “put some teeth into the law,” and “it’s had the most dramatic effect,” he said.

Critics of the law say this has helped extract money on behalf of people who never even intended to rent from the offending landlord in the first place.

Newsom: Power Shutoffs Need to Be Last Resort

Heightened fire risk prompted San Diego Gas & Electric to shut off power for more than 7,000 customers Thursday afternoon.

Only weeks before, the utility cut off power to about 500 customers. At the same time Pacific Gas & Electric cut power to a staggering 700,000 customers.

In a letter to SDG&E, PG&E and Southern California Edison Thursday, Gov. Gavin Newsom urged the groups to only use the shutoffs as a last resort.

“The unacceptable scope and duration of the recent PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS), combined with inconsistent application by all three of California’s Independently Owned Utilities (IOUs) of previously agreed protocols for PSPS actions, have undermined efforts to coordinate with first responders to protect public safety during these events,” he wrote.

Senate President pro Tem Toni Atkins also announced Thursday that she has convened a working group of nearly a dozen senators to study the ongoing shutoffs.

“We must view wildfire safety and prevention as an ongoing priority that will require persistence, collaboration and creativity over the long-term,” Atkins said in a press release.

An oversight hearing next month is scheduled to begin investigating and reviewing deficiencies with the current process.

Meanwhile: San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob is still criticizing SDG&E. “Are they better than the utilities in the north? Yeah probably,” she told KPBS. “But does that mean that they are the gold standard? Absolutely not.”

The Case That Kicked Off Our Teacher Misconduct Series

Our team has been investigating sexual misconduct in schools across San Diego County for two years now. We’ve uncovered numerous cases of problem teachers who were quietly reprimanded as complaints piled up, or in some cases moved from school to school after finding they violated sexual harassment policies with students.

This week on Good Schools for All, we examine how abusive educators manage to stay in the classroom, sometimes for years. Kayla Jimenez and Ashly McGlone, who’ve been reporting the series, sat down with Will Huntsberry to talk about the case that kicked things off.

#Politifest2019 Is This Saturday

It’s not too late to purchase your tickets for Voice of San Diego’s Politifest on Saturday at the University of San Diego. We’ve planned a full day of events dedicated to transportation, housing and homelessness. We’ll offer a range of sessions led by subject matter experts and community leaders and host conversations with political candidates focused on these important issues.

Stick around all day because you won’t want to miss a live recording of the VOSD Podcast featuring a mayoral debate. 

See the full schedule and get your tickets here.

Programming note: Politifest is basically a live-action Politics Report so there will be no Politics Report Saturday. Well, there will be. It will be Politifest, a sort of live-action Politics Report.

In Other News

The Morning Report was written by Megan Wood, and edited by Sara Libby.

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