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Assemblywoman Shirley Weber / Photo by Jamie Scott Lytle

Three years ago, a California law gave people the right to challenge inclusion their in a database used by police and prosecutors to document and track suspected gang members. 

But as VOSD contributor Kelly Davis reports, few people have requested removal and even fewer have been successful. State Department of Justice data show that of the 53 requests filed over a one-year period, only 11 were granted. 

Being in the database isn’t a crime on its own, but critics of the database say it effectively criminalizes anyone whose image and information is uploaded into it. Young black and Latino men are disproportionately included, and both employers and the military have been known to use it when conducting screenings. 

Indeed, some of the people who’ve been included in the database have complained that it painted a wildly misleading picture of themselves and their families and amounts to guilt by association. In 2014, a San Diego man was charged with conspiracy because he’d been seen talking to people who belonged to a gang that may have been involved in a series of shootings. 

A group of reformers called the process of requesting for removal from the database “inaccessible and ineffective.” San Diego Assemblywoman Shirley Weber said it might be time to revisit the law that created the process in the first place. 

How Sherman Might Change the Mayor’s Race

The Republicans continue to lose members (Assemblyman Chad Mayes of Yucca Valley is now a registered independent) but at least they have a candidate for San Diego mayor. On the podcast, we discussed what City Councilman Scott Sherman’s entry means for his colleague Barbara Bry, who until last week was Todd Gloria’s primary opponent. 

In this week’s Politics Report: We did a short interview with Sherman. We asked for his take on President Trump. He wasn’t giving.

Housing is the top issue in the race, and Bry is pitching herself as a protector of neighborhoods

“That may appeal to more than upscale, largely white suburbs filled with single-family homes,” writes Union-Tribune columnist Michael Smolens. “Increasingly, residents in lower-income, more minority communities are fearful that new development will lead to gentrification and price them out of their neighborhoods.”

In the coming weeks, we’ll be watching the conservative Lincoln Club. The group helped sink the candidacy of Nathan Fletcher in 2012 and 2013 when he ran for mayor. He was also in the position Bry is, opposed by both the Republican and Democratic Party and labor. But this year, some of the Lincoln Club’s top members have been raising money for Bry.

Politics Roundup

  • Speaking of housing, the U-T reports that big changes may be coming to how San Diego gathers neighborhood input on development projects. Community planning groups tend to be made up of older homeowners, and both the city auditor and the county grand jury have complained that the groups are unprofessional, unpredictable and not adequately transparent. 
  • Taking advantage of a law he wrote as a state senator, state Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara placed a one-year moratorium on insurance companies dropping customers in areas that have recently experienced wildfires. As Sara Libby notes in the Sacramento Report, the governor’s wildfire commission recently warned that home insurance — which is necessary for a mortgage — may soon be unavailable or unaffordable for people who live near fire-prone wildlands. 
  • There are five open seats on the City Council next year. District 9 is perhaps the least-discussed, but that’s quickly changing. Also in this week’s Politics Report, we wrote about Kelvin Barrios, a candidate and labor organizer. He has been accused of misusing campaign funds during a school board race and from his time as treasurer of the California Young Democrats Latino Caucus. 

Hunter on When He’ll Be Out (Journalism Ethics, Also Out)

Three days after pleading guilty to misusing campaign funds, Rep. Duncan Hunter announced he’ll also resign from Congress after the holidays. 

The timing of when he actually steps down is significant. Rob Pyers, research director for the California Targetbook, explained on Twitter: “If Hunter delays his resignation into early January, any vacancy would occur outside of the window for [Gov.] Gavin Newsom to schedule a potential special election primary to coincide with the March 3rd presidential primary, where Democratic turnout would be considerably higher.”

Hunter went on KUSI last week to announce his plea deal, and since then the TV station has been getting dunked on hard. Although the appearance was framed as an “interview,” the Union-Tribune reports that the softball questions lobbed in the congressman’s direction were all suggested by his aides.

In Other News

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

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