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A recent study by the San Diego Association of Governments has gotten plenty of airtime in recent weeks. Reports of violent crime have gone up across the region over the last year, but much of the coverage has missed some important points.

Despite the spike primarily in gun-related aggravated assaults, San Diego remains safer today than it was a few decades ago. Jesse Marx points to a different SANDAG report, released earlier this year, that shows violent crime is still well below its peak in the 1990s. And San Diego remains one of the safest big cities in the country.

There’s a correlation between violent crime, poverty and unemployment. As one expert put it, “Because violence is concentrated, the solutions are going to be concentrated.”

The pandemic played a considerable role in the spike, elevating tensions and giving people fewer opportunities to resolve their differences, so the unanswered question is whether the recent increases are part of a pronounced trend or temporary. Others pointed to the ongoing lack of trust in law enforcement and the time-delay that means crime stats are often made public after budgets are approved. 

Without better, more timely data, one community organizer argued, crime stats are easily spun. 

Click here to read the full story.

Don’t forget! Politifest, our annual public affairs summit, starts today. If you’re a fan of Marx’s reporting, join us for our first session at 5:30 p.m. PST about smart technology and accountability. Marx will talk with community advocates Khalid Alexander and Graciela Zamudio and former San Diego city official Erik Caldwell about the explosion in devices capable of watching and listening to the public and what lessons can be learned.

Get access to the whole week of virtual events, or grab your single-day tickets here.

Have questions for our panelists? Share them here.

Politics Roundup 

Redistricting is starting to heat up in the city of San Diego. In the Politics Report Saturday, Scott Lewis broke down some of the points Maya Srikrishnan reported when she broke the news that a member of the Redistricting Commission had resigned after she was accused of advocating for one particular outcome of the process.

Lewis also compared some of the post-recall analysis of Republican thinkers with the actual messaging of the local Republican Party and concludes they are operating in different realities. He also reflected on some news from the media world.

The Politics Report is good and it’s only for Voice of San Diego members. If you buy a ticket to access the Politifest events this week, you get a membership. (In other words, we’re not talking about a lot of scratch here, folks.) You can see the Politics Report here.

Over on the podcast: Scott Lewis, Andrew Keatts and Andrea Lopez-Villafaña talk about San Diego’s other real estate fiasco and the financial costs involved. Not 101 Ash St., but a warehouse in Kearny Mesa where crews were supposed to repair fire trucks. The city has yet to do so, though, after four years. 

U-T columnist Michael Smolens takes stock of the debate over accessory dwelling units and writes about the implied and direct accusations of bigotry at the center housing density matters at the state and local level. It comes in response to policy changes proposed by City Councilman Sean Elo-Rivera, who said he’s been hearing comments like, “not every neighborhood is for every person.” 

Listen here or wherever you get your podcasts.

Elsewhere In the Empire

  • After two fatal crashes on Pershing Drive, some argue that the process of quickly installing new safety measures should be a model for improving roadways across the city. The U-T reports that San Diego is ramping up for more bike lanes. 
  • The New York Times profiled San Diego County’s drought-proof model. As our MacKenzie Elmer has explained, officials here spent a lot of money on deals to secure more supplies and build water infrastructure. That’s why we pay some of the highest water rates in the state and country. If you missed it, you can catch up on that story here.

This Morning Report was written by Jesse Marx and Megan Wood. It was edited by Scott Lewis.

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