San Diego City Hall / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

One of the members of the commission that’s working to redraw the political boundaries in the city of San Diego has resigned after being accused of improperly influencing the process.

A complaint filed with the city attorney’s office alleged that Mitz Lee pushed a community organization to support a proposed map that differed from what many community members in the area have been advocating for. The dispute revolves in part around whether UCSD should be included in District 6 to boost Asian American and Pacific Islander representation in a single City Council seat.

Lee said she took the allegations seriously but called them unfounded and agreed to step down to protect the commission’s work while reserving “my right to legal options later.” 

On her way out, though, Lee accused the person who accused her of also behaving unethically. That person was recently ousted from the community organization at the center of the original complaint.

Maya Srikrishnan writes about the behind-the-scenes drama and reports that Lee’s resignation now leaves District 6 without representation on the city’s redistricting commission. 

Read the full story here.

Correction: A previous version of this story said there would be no representation of the AAPI community in the city’s Redistricting Commission with Mitz Lee’s resignation. Kristen G. Roberts, who is replacing Lee, is Japanese, Jamaican, Mexican and Swedish. 

City Proposes Overnight Parking Ban in Mission Bay Lots

San Diego officials want to eliminate all overnight parking in Mission Bay by adding gates to the entrances of lots to reduce calls for service and crime, overnight parties and illegal campers. 

10News pulled some stats and found that, since May, Mission Bay parking lots have experienced about one crime report a day, most of which occurred outside the 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. timeslot the city is focusing on. 

Not everyone’s in favor of the idea. In fact, the Union-Tribune reported earlier this year that one of the Mission Bay parking lots next to green space mostly used by boaters is a good location for people to rest at night because it has room for more than 250 cars and access to public restrooms. Several Pacific Beach residents even launched an online petition. 

There’s a lot of history here: Lisa Halverstadt reported in 2016 that a new law at the time banning oversized vehicles from parking overnight on city streets had fueled the creation of an unauthorized campground in Mission Bay. People who lived in cars and recreational vehicles flocked to Fiesta Island.

For years, the city has had laws on the books barring people from living in their cars.

After a federal judge ruled that the city’s so-called vehicle habitation law was too vague in 2018, the city passed yet another law restoring its ability to prohibit homeless people from living in cars on city streets. As the U-T noted at the time, it gave police the authority to write a citation if the person living in a car refused to move to one of several “safe” parking lots in the city.

Opponents said it was another example of governments criminalizing people already struggling to turn their lives around.

In Other News

  • This NBC 7 report is interesting. San Diego County public health officials say 99 percent of eligible residents (meaning 12 and older) in the southern part of the region have received at least one vaccine dose. That would be a big deal because the South Bay in particular has been hard hit by the virus. Worth noting, though: individuals vaccinated by Veterans Affairs or Department of Defense were not included in the count and the county was careful to remind the public its data is “preliminary and subject to change.”
  • Even so, the county is citing the high vaccination rate as well as declining COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations as reasons for not requiring proof of vaccinations at restaurants, shopping centers and other indoor settings. The city of San Diego isn’t planning to either (but Los Angeles is). (Union-Tribune)
  • The county will consider its climate action plan and a draft copy of an ambitious sustainability roadmap this month. Climate change and fine-tuned data are driving new assessments of flooding potential and insurance rates. (Union-Tribune)
  • Thousands of diesel freight trucks that spew air pollution in communities near the Port of San Diego will transition to battery-electric or some other zero-emission technology by 2030. Dock workers called the move a job killer. (Union-Tribune)
  • New rules will allow fully vaccinated foreign nationals to enter the U.S. regardless of the reason starting in early November, effectively lifting the travel ban. A similar easing of restrictions is set for air travel around the same time. (Associated Press)

The Morning Report was written by Jesse Marx and edited by Megan Wood.

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