Balboa Park Building with Rethinking San Diego text

This week’s VOSD podcast is dedicated to the way things could be. Hosts Scott Lewis, Andrew Keatts and Sara Libby examined some of the biggest issues and institutions in San Diego — from our Rethinking San Diego series — and talked about what major changes could really mean.

A school year redo. It may be obvious to you that kids aren’t OK right now. (Who is?) The at-home, virtual, on-and-off-again school year has been difficult at best and harmful at worst. Redoing it is a radical idea, but how could it work? And who’s against it?

Is defunding the police really possible? VOSD reporter Ashly McGlone, in her deep dive into the issue, found major police cuts that many locals demanded this year would be really hard to achieve. A lot of that is due to labor contracts, spending restrictions, the way the city’s budget works and — most of all — the desire to not do it at the highest levels of city government.

In the show, our hosts noted one key way to police cuts happen is simply not filling vacancies. But that doesn’t quite fit the call.

Could San Diego control its own electricityTo municipalize the city’s electricity — or buy up all the infrastructure and move the power business into city hands — is tempting to some. The city could use profits to fund other services, for example. But it’s expensive at the outset. The city would have to buy San Diego Gas and Electric’s costly infrastructure system. And down the line, if it ever did become profitable, would politics hamper efficiency?

A border for the people. On its face, “reimagining the border” sounds politically risky and just downright complex. But as Maya Srikrishnan laid out in her rethinking piece, some simple, human touches could make the difference.

If the U.S.-Mexico border crossing was remade with locals in mind, it might have amenities like bathrooms, food and places to relax and arrange the documents they need to cross. Some folks Srikrishnan spoke to envision a border region remade into an open space park to accommodate the natural environment. But hey, what if we start with Starbucks and Wifi?

Thank you, listeners.

We just wanted to say a big thanks to all of our loyal listeners. We often get notes and emails from folks who mention how much they love the show.

So, for those who can, we have a challenge to raise $4,000 with our listeners to help support our work on the show. This is our first podcast-specific fundraising goal. But we think the show is worth it.

If you like what we do, please consider giving today. And when you give, you can write a note to the hosts that they may read on the show.

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Nate John is the digital manager at Voice of San Diego. He oversees Voice's website, newsletters, podcasts and product team. You can reach him at

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