The Morning Report
San Diego news and info
you need to take on the day.
Two measures on the March 2020 ballot will help determine how San Diego County makes major housing decisions going forward.
The first is known as Safeguard Our Countryside, or SOS, and it would require that voters sign off on housing developments in unincorporated areas that don’t comply with the county’s general plan.
Many of its high-profile opponents are Republicans. The initiative has plenty of opponents within the Democratic Party as well, but not everyone agrees. Escondido City Councilwoman Olga Diaz, who’s running for supervisor, said she supports the measure because a similar policy already exists in her hometown and it works fine (although the city hasn’t hit his housing goals).
The second housing measure on the March 2020 ballot is a referendum on the county’s decision to OK a housing development called Newland Sierra. That project, you may recall, doesn’t comply with the county’s general plan.
Confused? Don’t be. Kayla Jimenez further breaks down the differences between the two measures and explains what’s actually at stake.
- Speaking of SOS, its backers published texts and emails Tuesday that they say shows County Supervisor Jim Desmond improperly coordinated with the building industry, which opposes the measure, to change the ballot language. The effort to change the language fell short, though, because Desmond blew a deadline. (Union-Tribune)
Hundreds of California Freelance Writers Cut Loose in Wake of AB 5
Vox Media reported it will end contracts with 200 freelance writers as a result of AB 5, the new law that will restrict contract work across the state beginning Jan. 1, according to the Los Angeles Times.
San Diego freelancer Rebecca Lawson bemoaned the new law in a post titled “California’s terrible AB5 came for me today, and I’m devastated.” Lawson, like most of the other Vox freelancers to lose their contracts, works with SB Nation, a blog owned by Vox. (Lawson’s post also incorrectly claims that AB 5 requires employers to turn contractors into full-time employees; it does not.)
But SB Nation has previously generated much criticism for building its business model on underpaid freelance workers. Legislators who pushed the new law said it was designed to stop employers from exploiting contract workers who should actually be classified as employees.
(Companies like Uber and Lyft fought extremely hard to prevent the new law from passing.)
Vox said it would replace the roughly 200 contract workers with 20 part-time and full-time staff members.
The American Society of Journalists and Authors also announced Tuesday it’s suing to block the law in federal court. It’s joining forces with the conservative Pacific Legal Foundation to challenge the law.
The law would prevent freelancers from writing more than 35 stories for one organization in a calendar year before employers would be required to count them as part-time employees
The lawsuit contends that the law improperly carves out exemptions for some professions and not for others.
A Chula Vistan Runs the Coast(al Commission)
The California Coastal Commission is an important and powerful statewide body that oversees land use and public access in the coastal zone. Chula Vista Councilman Steve Padilla was appointed to the commission two years ago (after serving a decade ago) and was recently elected chair.
“So proud to bring the San Diego region to the head of the table for important policy decisions surrounding the climate crisis, environmental justice, and protecting public access to our beautiful coast from greedy special interests,” he tweeted.
He told the Union-Tribune that his priorities include the frail Del Mar bluffs, the toxic sewage flowing from Mexico and the San Onofre nuclear plant.
In Other News
- The San Diego Regional Task Force on the Homeless is interested in the link between the foster care system and homelessness. A similar study tracked homeless veterans and helped service providers tailor their approach. (Union-Tribune)
- The U-T is establishing a scholarship fund in honor of the late science reporter Bradley Fikes, who was remembered fondly by the La Jolla biotech community. Two memorials have been held for him in recent days. (La Jolla Light)
- San Diego is considering a program that would give minorities an advantage in the marijuana permitting process. As KPBS reporter Andrew Bowen notes, a similar program in Los Angeles is on hold while officials investigate complaints that wealthy entrepreneurs have abused the system to expedite their projects.
- The Federal Trade Commission is attempting to block Illumina’s acquisition of a young competitor, alleging that the San Diego-based company wants to become a monopoly in next-generation DNA sequencing systems.
- Meth. We’re on it. More than 60 percent of the stuff seized nationwide by Customs and Border Protection came through California ports. (Union-Tribune)
- Sweetwater Union High School District’s budget woes continue to worsen. The district is set to fall $15 million short of meeting its financial obligations this year and $26 million short next year. (10News)
The Morning Report was written by Will Huntsberry and Jesse Marx, and edited by Sara Libby.