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

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at

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