From left: Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, Mayor Kevin Faulconer, Rep. Juan Vargas and City Councilman Mark Kersey / Photos by Vito Di Stefano, Jamie Scott Lytle and Adriana Heldiz

NIMBYs, YIMBYs and … PHIMBYs? A legislator’s f-bomb and her family’s Twitter blood feud with the actor best known for his performance in the non-classic comedy “Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo.” And plenty of blunt words about cops, transit and local schools.

The last 12 months offered a bonanza of fiery quotes plus a few memorable comments on the lighter side. Here’s a look back:

You Say NIMBY, I Say YIMBY, They Say … PHIMBY?!

• “We must change from a city that shouts, ‘Not in my backyard’ to one that proclaims: ‘Yes in my backyard!’ From a city of NIMBYs to a city of #YIMBYs! Together, we’re going to transform San Diego into a #YIMBY city!” – Mayor Kevin Faulconer

• “NIMBYs and PHIMBYs [Public Housing In My Back Yard] at the moment find themselves joined in opposition to emerging housing policies, but for very different reasons.” – U-T columnist Michael Smolens

• “They’re coming for our homes.” – The alarming subject line of a campaign email from mayoral candidate Barbara Bry became a defining moment in the mayoral election

• “How Not To Run For Office 101: Impugning the motives of a group of middle/working class millennials whose main fight is affordable housing from a multimillion $ home in La Jolla. Extra Credit for fearmongering w/ hyperbolic coded language that reinforces every ism possible.” – Will Rodriguez-Kennedy, chairman of the San Diego Democratic Party, responding to Bry’s email

Even disestablishmentarianism?

Sharp Talk About Serious Problems

• “We are talking about scooters and bikes so passionately, but I can’t get police officers to stop killing people.” – Mayoral candidate Tasha Williamson at Politifest

• “My community deserves the luxury of being able to call the police and knowing that life gets better as a result of them coming.” – Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, moments before the state Assembly passed her historic bill to change the standards guiding police use of deadly force

• “When they said it, I said that is not true. That cannot be true… I don’t know. I guess you believe in unicorns … you can’t tell me 97 percent of these kids are graduating from high school.” – Weber, doubting graduation numbers from the San Diego Unified School District

The Chief Transit Planner Is a Quote Machine

• “The worst thing is not being fired. I’m at the stage in my career if I’m fired, that’s totally OK. As a matter of fact, I know some of my board members would love to fire me tomorrow. That’s OK.” – Hasan Ikhrata, executive director of the transit planning agency SANDAG, in a VOSD interview

• “Every time I talk about transportation, [County Supervisor Jim Desmond] talks about, “What about my 78?’ My answer doesn’t change. The model of building highways is not sustainable, period. End of discussion.” – Ikhrata, in the same interview

Republican vs. Republican*: Smackdown Edition

• “Mark – if you vote for a PLA [project labor agreement], I’ll bash you every day I can on the radio. And we’ll do social media and ads into D5 [District 5]. You won’t get a moment’s rest.” – Email from one-term Councilman Carl DeMaio to Councilman Mark Kersey

• “Various friends on the right have been telling me not to listen to outside threats regarding the vote at the airport tomorrow, an issue I am giving the serious consideration it merits. Then I get this.” – Kersey, who supported the move. *Within weeks, Kersey left the Republican Party to become an independent.

Dem vs. Dem: Smackdown Edition

• “Questioning support for the U.S.-Israel relationship is unacceptable.” – Rep. Juan Vargas in response to comments from Rep. Ilhan Omar

• “I‘m curious if Rep. Vargas will further explain his stance here that it’s unacceptable to even *question* US foreign policy. Plenty of Dem members have asserted that discussion + debate on this issue is fair and merited. Is this stance a departure from that?” – Response from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Legislator Would Like a (Four-Letter) Word

• “Let’s be honest and not play a game where we all get together and break bread and smile and then talk shit in our silos.” – Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, on being blunt

• “I think he’s full of shit and I think most people kind of saw that. I mean that was incredulous, I think, for most of us.” – Gonzalez, to KQED, in response to the general counsel of Uber, who said the AB 5 does not apply to its drivers. (Disclosure: I spearheaded a lawsuit related to AB 5.)

LoGo & Co. vs. ‘Deuce Bigalow’

• “DISGUSTING, DISGRACEFUL, DICTATORIAL POWER ABUSER!” – “comedian” Rob Schneider, an anti-vaxxer, attacking Gonzalez on Twitter

• “The difference between me & U @RobSchneider is that I fight to protect school kids from measles. We both changed parties (in opposite directions) & both served in military. Me for a decade in USMC (multiple combat deployments) & you for 93 minutes in ‘Down Periscope.’” – County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher’s reply to Schneider

• “I hope whoever marries me is okay marrying into a blood feud against … @RobSchneider” – Gonzalez’s daughter Tierra on Twitter

At least Schneider has top billing for a change.

Malls Are Such a Pain! Anyway, Let’s Go to the Mall.

“Combating big crowds, being subjected to mall madness, trapped in parking lot chaos, and trying to find the extraordinary versus the ordinary. … We say, skip all the above and make it simple this year by staying local.” — A CityBeat holiday gift guide that included recommendations to visit the Horton Plaza, Fashion Valley, Hazard Center, UTC, Seaport Village and Mission Valley shopping malls.

Next up: How to avoid pesky popcorn smells and long ticket lines by … going to the movies!

Snake in a Pringles Can? No Joke!

• “The reality” is we want people to be passionate about the team and they are passionate about brown. The last alternative is blue.” – Ron Fowler, Padres executive chairman, on the preferred uniform color of fans

Through superhuman power of will, we won’t make a UPS joke here. A U-T sports columnist, however, was weak.

• “It’s kind of ironic because most goths are happy, but they’re happy in this melancholic state. It’s a kind of exquisite state of sadness, you know?” – A rock band bassist to Vice in a story titled “San Diego Is Paradise for Goths”

Technically, “the exquisite state of sadness” is New Jersey.

• “One time, the team popped a can of Pringles and found a live cobra. The snake now lives at the San Diego Zoo.” – A writer for Bloomberg on what he discovered at a Post Office mail facility

Enough about the cobra. Anyone seen the displaced chips?

• “Pandas are useless and simply get by on their looks … I just think other animals are more worthy of human time and effort to stop extinction.” – An anonymous VOSD staffer in response to news about the departure of the San Diego Zoo’s last giant panda

Hey! I object on behalf of all us large, furry creatures who get by on our looks!

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at and follow him on Twitter:

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.