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The Newland Sierra property bounded by I-15 on the east, Deer Springs Road on the south. / Photo by Jamie Scott Lytle

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

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

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