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County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher speaks at a press conference announcing that a dilapadated county property in Hillcrest had been deemed a suitable site for a behavioral health hub. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

As Nathan Fletcher campaigned for a spot on the County Board of Supervisors in 2018, San Diego was grappling with all kinds of fallout as a result of President Donald Trump’s immigration policies, including chaos throughout the federal court system and a scramble to shelter and support asylum-seekers who were being dropped at San Diego’s doorstep with no resources.

He promised on the campaign trail to create an office of immigrant affairs to support immigrants and refugees in the county. 

VOSD’s Maya Srikrishnan checked in on that effort one year into Fletcher’s term. Though the plan hasn’t gotten off the ground yet, Fletcher said he hopes to take steps to make the office a reality in 2020.

“I’m fully committed to bringing that forward,” Fletcher said. “The reality is, this year when we took office, we had the immediacy of the migrant family crisis and it overwhelmed what we were able to pull together in our first year.”

Fletcher told Srikrishnan his office is still sorting out specifics of what the office would do, how it would work with the existing County Office of Refugee Coordination, a department within the Health and Human Services Agency that acts as a sort of liaison between the county and state and local refugee communities. Nor is he ready to put a price tag on what the effort might cost.

There’s one more big uncertainty: whether such a plan could even pass on a board where Fletcher remains the only Democrat.

Fact Check: Bry Facebook Ad

Councilwoman Barbara Bry circulated an ad on Facebook Monday congratulating Assemblywoman Shirley Weber for being named the 2019 San Diegan of the Year by the Union-Tribune. 

But the ad didn’t start with Weber’s accomplishments or the need for the law – a bill more clearly defining when police can use lethal force and be punished for it – that got her the recognition. Bry’s ad started instead with: “I was the only Mayoral candidate to cast a vote in support of Dr. Weber’s use of force bill before it passed the legislature.”

That’s just not true. Bry voted for a City Council resolution supporting the bill on May 14. Assemblyman Todd Gloria, who is also running for mayor, voted for the law in the Assembly two weeks later, after a compromise was reached with police unions. The law passed in August. 

After Scott Lewis pointed this out on Twitter, Bry replied that she had said she was the only mayoral candidate to “support it from the beginning.” 

But that’s just not true, either. Later, she demanded Lewis retract his tweet (a tweetraction?) because he had not included context about how Gloria’s vote had come after Weber reached a compromise with police unions and Bry’s had been before. Her ad did not have that context either. 

With that, Lewis started his regular election year Twitter thread on mailers and social media ads. Send him any pictures of things you see at scott.lewis@voiceofsandiego.org

Related: The San Diego branch of the NAACP put out a press release blasting the U-T for the Weber honor. While pleased Weber was given the award, the group said the U-T should not have used a cartoon to depict Weber and should have made the case for the law, not just her ability to get it passed. “Much is made of Ms Weber’s ability to get AB-392 passed, but there is almost no acknowledgement (save in the otherwise-problematic cartoon) of the reason AB-392 is so desperately needed by San Diegans. Black and brown people are still so much more likely to lose their lives by police violence; that’s the driving force behind AB-392 and AB-953.”

Revisit the Best San Diego Journalism of the Year

We’ve been doing a lot of reflecting over the past week on our favorite stories, photos and the impact our reporting has generated over the last year.

But our colleagues at newsrooms across town and beyond have also produced stellar reporting that we wanted to revisit one more time before the year is done.

VOSD contributor Randy Dotinga rounded up this great list of the best San Diego journalism from 2019. It includes NBC San Diego’s bombshell that the U.S. government was tracking journalists and advocates at the border, KPBS’s podcast revisiting a 2003 gang shooting in Lincoln Park, inewource’s revelations about violations by UCSD researchers working with human subjects and more.

In Other News

The Morning Report was written by Sara Libby, and edited by Scott Lewis.

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