Mayor Kevin Faulconer delivers his 2020 State of the City speech. / Photo by Megan Wood

On many things, San Diego feels perpetually behind.

But this week felt eerie for many reasons, one of them being that it felt like the world was catching up to a few lessons San Diego already learned the hard way.

San Diego, of course, went through a horrific hepatitis A outbreak, during which local governments hesitated and obfuscated as the disease spread. A state audit slammed the county for being slow to enact drastic measures in response to the virus, and for not sharing information and data.

Sound familiar?

The White House this week ordered health officials to keep coronavirus briefings classified and to remove coronavirus warnings from immigration courts.

Meanwhile, last week’s election results seemed to solidify Joe Biden as the likely Democratic nominee for president.

The conventional wisdom is that voters are seeking what they believe Biden would represent: a return to normal following four years of continued chaos.

Here, too, San Diego has experience.

As Liam Dillon chronicled before Kevin Faulconer was first elected mayor, his entire career has benefited by this dynamic: In three separate races, Faulconer won election after the person in office flamed out in scandal. He successfully presented himself as the safe, steady alternative who’d … return things to normalcy.

What VOSD Learned This Week

We’ve rounded up some important information on how the coronavirus is impacting San Diego institutions and civic life. Let us know what you want to know more about using this form. Here’s a rolling guidance to the latest health and government directives in San Diego. Will Huntsberry pulled together a very useful roundup of how schools plan to move forward during the closures. And these are the numbers we’re watching to understand the economic impact of closures and distancing on San Diego.


We revealed developments with two troubled real estate deals for the city – neither of which is 101 Ash St. It’s been three years since the city leased a Kearny Mesa property to turn into a maintenance yard for the city’s fire trucks. But the cost of revamping the property has ballooned, and it will be years before it’s used as intended. Meanwhile, the plan to redevelop the old Central Library property, which has sat vacant for years, has hit yet another snag.


San Diego Unified is planning cuts and shakeups to its special education program as it confronts a budget shortfall.

As other districts deal with mounting budget challenges, many of them plan to try again with bond measures that failed with voters in the primary.


Non-coronavirus politics news: An attorney is warning that there might be an unforeseen hitch with Measure C.

Lawmakers are hoping to overturn California’s Prop. 209. Councilman Mark Kersey and Democratic consultant Eva Posner had some great insights into San Diego’s primary election results, which they shared on the latest podcast. Scott pulled out their best takes in the Politics Report.

What I’m Reading

I’m not gonna lie, the severity of this crisis has hit me hard at a few points this week. For this week’s roundup, I decided to focus on stories that bring a bit of levity and distracted, if you’re in the market for that kind of thing.

Line of the Week

“I don’t take responsibility at all.” — You know who.

Sara Libby

Sara Libby was VOSD’s managing editor until 2021. She oversaw VOSD’s newsroom and content.

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