San Diego City Hall / Photo by Brittany Cruz-Fejeran

Keeping up with local government and politics can be tough. There are so many different policies, people and agencies that shape the region. That’s where VOSD’s San Diego 101 video series came in – giving you the basics so you can start to understand how the region works.

The San Diego 101 Podcast is the next product in our San Diego 101 series to help you understand how local government works and how you can get involved.

In our first podcast episode, hosts Adriana Heldiz and Maya Srikrishnan talk to two men who had to figure out how to make local government work for them – after they realized that it can completely change your life.

One guest, Aaron Harvey, became a community activist after spending time in jail for a crime he didn’t commit. Harvey explains how a state ballot initiative that voters passed in 2000 resulted in him and 33 other men in his community facing conspiracy charges over several gang-related shootings in 2014. Harvey had never voted up until that point, until he realized just how much his vote – or lack of a vote – could impact people’s lives.

Our second guest, former City Councilman David Alvarez, told Heldiz and Srikrishnan about his path to becoming a politician. It all started with a field trip to Barrio Logan when he was 14 or 15 with a bunch of kids who weren’t from the Logan area. Seeing how neglected his community was through their eyes galvanized his civic engagement.

Listen to the full episode here.

Reader Question: How do I get involved in local politics?

Well, for one, start reading local news. Obviously, Voice of San Diego is a great choice, but also tune in to local TV, like NBC 7, local radio, like KPBS, or subscribe to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Now, city council and other public meetings are more accessible than ever – you can just tune in on Zoom. If you want to get involved at a city or county level, you can start showing up to your local planning group meetings or try to get on a city commission. You can also get involved by volunteering with local advocacy groups or nonprofits that work on local issues you care about. 

San Diego Unified School Choice Window Opens

The San Diego Unified School District opened its school choice window Monday. That means parents who want to enroll their students in magnet programs or schools outside their neighborhood boundaries have until Nov. 15 to submit their choices.

According to a district press release, school choice enrollment is determined through a computerized lottery system, with weight given to factors such as sibling enrollment and magnet program continuity. No priority is given based on when the application is received, as long as it’s submitted by the Nov. 15 deadline.

We’ve got you covered: Last year we created this San Diego 101 video to help explain how to choose a school. We also recently published our annual Parent’s Guide to San Diego Schools. It’s packed with school data and other information to help you find the right school.

If you want help understanding the guide, or just want to nerd out with us about school data, we’re hosting three free events starting this week to answer your questions about local schools. Click on any of the dates below to register.

Thursday, Oct. 7, 5:00 p.m. | Online

Saturday, Oct. 9, 3:00 p.m. | Malcolm X Library

Tuesday, Oct. 12, 5:00 p.m. | Online

New Leaders Call for Increased Cross-Border Collaboration

A new mayor of Tijuana and governor of Baja California – both the first women to be elected to their respective positions – are calling for increased collaboration between Baja California and its northern counterpart.

In the latest Border Report, VOSD contributor Gustavo Solis writes about how the new leaders aim to tackle issues like cross-border sewage, lowering Tijuana’s crime rate and more.

Solis also updates us on U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s tracking of people who they believed had information on the Central American migrant caravans that arrived in Tijuana years ago.

Read the Border Report here.

Note: This is Solis’ last Border Report. We have a new writer lined up and we think you’ll be pleased to see who it is….stay tuned!

In Other News

This Morning Report was written by Maya Srikrishnan and Megan Wood.

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