The emergency entrance of UC San Diego Health Hillcrest Medical Center / Photo by Adriana Heldizemergency

Before the pandemic, government and hospital leaders were beginning to mobilize to address a worsening problem: Homeless residents discharged from hospitals often have nowhere safe to recuperate, meaning they risk aggravating their conditions instead of improving them.

Those conversations paused once the pandemic upended the health care system, but as Lisa Halverstadt reports, the problem itself didn’t go anywhere.

The state put on pause a 2019 law requiring hospitals to establish plans for discharging homeless patients and to get a handle on resources that might keep them from returning to the street. San Diego hospitals say they’re still following the law, but two homeless residents told Halverstadt they would have liked to receive more help and connections to shelter following their recent discharges – but didn’t.

“Just how often homeless San Diegans are discharged from hospitals without the prospect of shelter is unclear,” Halverstadt writes. “Homeless patients can also struggle to advocate for themselves as they prepare to leave the hospital, unsure how to navigate resources they may only learn of from a sheet of paper handed to them. In other cases, hospital spokespeople and advocates say, homeless San Diegans decline shelter offers that don’t seem workable for their circumstances (if they are concerned about being in a bustling shelter during the pandemic, for example) or even try to avoid revealing they are homeless for fear of being treated differently.”

Campbell: Council President Selection ‘Has Nothing to Do With the Public’

Council President Jen Campbell said the quiet part out loud in an interview with KPBS reporter Andrew Bowen last week, when she described at length her views on the controversy that surrounded her selection as the Council’s new leader last year.

Bowen outlined her comments in a Twitter thread, but in short, she argued that it is right and proper for the Council to choose its president in private (that would be illegal), and that it “has nothing to do with the public,” because it’s an administrative position only (many activists and advocates would disagree that the Council president has no policy role).

Councilwoman Monica Montgomery Steppe and her supporters made a public case for her as Council president, which was a change from City Hall’s typical process. But they argued it was an improvement because it took a campaign that had always occurred among political staffers, lobbyists and interest groups and instead made it public, allowing residents to see it and weigh in. Campbell told Bowen it was a “circus,” and said her refusal to make a case for herself was her way of taking “the high road.”

This was in response to Bowen asking, “Is there anything else that you would like to add?”

It was noticed: Montgomery Steppe responded Monday afternoon, tweeting “Who wants to be my anger translator?”

Climate Action Plan Could Use Some Teeth-Sharpening

Back when officials were creating the city’s first-ever Climate Action Plan, a big part of the debate revolved around whether it would have any teeth to enforce its goals. Progressives celebrated when the teeth materialized: The plan included legally binding mandates, not just goals.

But the city’s auditor in a new report concludes that the teeth don’t appear to be sharp

“The city’s Sustainability Department, in charge of the plan and its rollout, ‘does not currently have the authority’ to make sure all the other city departments achieve the plan’s five big strategies: energy and water efficiency, clean and renewable energy, better bicycling/walking/transit and land use, zero waste and planting trees,” MacKenzie Elmer notes in this week’s Environment Report. “In other words, there’s not a lot of ‘action’ going on in San Diego’s climate action world.”

The city is in the midst of writing its second five-year Climate Action Plan, Elmer writes, “even though it appears it hasn’t really completed its first. We’ll see what happens.”

Faulconer Having Trouble Deciding on Trump

Former Mayor Kevin Faulconer refused to say whether he wants the support of former President Donald Trump. Faulconer recently announced he had voted for Trump after years of carefully avoiding any over embrace or  confrontation with the former president.

A Newsweek reporter tried to pin Faulconer down on whether he wanted Trump’s support in his run for governor. Trump is not popular in California but he is among Republicans and Faulconer will need them if he wants to win the governorship.

Faulconer just wouldn’t say.

“It’s a hypothetical question, obviously. But as I said before, I’ve made my whole career in terms of what I’ve been able to do,” Faulconer said.

The Trump family is not one to brush off such vicious slights.

“I think it’s safe to say if he won’t say that he wants it that he likely doesn’t deserve it,” wrote Donald Trump Jr. in a tweet.

In Other News

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

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