A couple years ago, City Council President Georgette Gómez became one of San Diego’s most powerful political players and perhaps the most powerful Democrat in town. She took over as City Council president and chair of the Metropolitan Transit System Board, and represented the city on the San Diego Association of Governments.
Just two years later, Gómez is about to step away from her City Council seat after losing a congressional bid in a landslide despite prominent endorsements from Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – and two years overseeing a Democratic supermajority on the City Council.
Andrew Keatts chronicled the former environmental justice organizer’s dramatic rise and fall over the last two years and traced her work on priorities including climate change policy, transit funding and housing affordability. Despite falling short on many of those priorities, Keatts writes that Gómez can point to few significant accomplishments.
And if she is eyeing a return to politics, Gómez has overcome considerable odds before. After all, Keatts recalls, Gómez’s already made a remarkable leap from lead organizer for the Barrio Logan community plan, an effort to limit industrial pollution in the working class neighborhood with a large Latino population, to leader of the city’s progressive City Council majority.
A Familiar New Face in the Assembly
San Diego City Councilman Chris Ward is soon headed to Sacramento to represent the region’s 78th District which covers much of the city.
Brittany Cruz-Fejeran chatted with Ward – a former state Senate staffer who knows his way around the state Capitol – about initial steps he’ll take on day-to-day district business, housing, homelessness and police reform.
Also in the latest Sacramento Report: Why the state attorney general’s office is warning San Diego County not to give the go-ahead to a proposed 1,900-acre mixed-use development proposed east of Chula Vista and which cities are receiving new state money to assist with their affordable housing needs.
- Speaking of housing, Cato Institute researchers Michael Tanner and David Hervey reflected on how San Diego voters’ came down on housing issues in the November election in an op-ed arguing that streamlined regulations are the best response to voter demands for action.
What’s Facing San Diego’s Other New Electeds
San Diego’s political scene is about to turn blue. Democrats are set to soon dominate the county Board of Supervisors for the first time in a generation and the City Council is set to have an 8-1 Democratic majority. Those new leaders – and Mayor-Elect Todd Gloria – all have some big decisions and challenges to tackle when they take office.
Sara Libby, Scott Lewis and Andrew Keatts ran down the various items on local government leaders’ respective to-do lists, plus the major decisions coming down the pike including the selection of a new City Council president, in the latest VOSD Podcast.
- Speaking of new faces in local government, there are non-electeds too: Gloria has begun filling out his staff, including the crucial chief of staff and (interim) chief operating officer roles. The Politics Report breaks down the choices and what they might signal for the new administration.
In Other News
- It’s been more than eight months since San Diego County recorded its first COVID-19 case. And with cases again on the rise across the country, we want to know what questions you have now about the virus in San Diego. Concerned about what will happen to your kid’s school? Or maybe you’re interested in how the county’s response has changed since March? Let us know here. We’ll use your questions and responses to shape our reporting in the coming weeks.
- The San Diego Police Department’s public records website is temporarily down after the department accidentally posted a victim’s confidential information. (KPBS)
- The North County Transit District plans to extend Coaster service to the Convention Center within five years. (Union-Tribune)
The Morning Report was written by Lisa Halverstadt, and edited by Sara Libby.