Denezel Bynum, owner of Average Joe's Burgers
Denezel Bynum, owner of Average Joe’s Burgers, transitioned from street vending to running a food truck. / Photo by Megan Wood
Denezel Bynum, owner of Average Joe’s Burgers, transitioned from street vending to running a food truck. / Photo by Megan Wood

A weekly sidewalk event in Barrio Logan, intended to draw visitors back amid pandemic-related shutdowns, has thrived — bringing life and energy to the street that the vendors who make it happen by lining the sidewalks do not want to shut down. 

They may not have a choice for long. Vendors in other neighborhoods are drawing complaints and the city of San Diego has spent two years preparing a new ordinance to rein them in. A state law upended everything years ago when it prohibited cities from restricting street vendors for any reason other than health and safety. 

In a new story, Andrea Lopez-Villafaña illustrates how difficult it will be to balance the two sides. On the one hand, street vending gives people an opportunity to get new businesses off the ground and make ends meet. On the other, public spaces generally shouldn’t be commercialized without permits or other protections against littering and other nuisance.

Council President Jennifer Campbell is expected to present a new ordinance next month. In 2019, then-Mayor Kevin Faulconer proposed an ordinance that would have prevented vendors from accessing parts of the city with a lot of foot traffic, including downtown and Balboa Park. 

That proposal fizzled in the face of criticism and then the pandemic shifted the attention of officials. 

Click here to read the rest of the story

’tis the Season for Reflection… Sort of

Our latest podcast is all about the things you probably tried not to talk about with your family at the holiday table: a lack of public restrooms, racist housing deeds and guns. Somehow, though, there were a lot of laughs. Our hosts were joined by Alain Stephens of The Trace, who gave a great lesson on ghost guns, and Cristina Kim of KPBS, who has reported on racially restrictive housing covenants that remain in public records. 

Listen to the full podcast here.

A new way of voting: U-T columnist Michael Smolens also had an interesting piece about what ranked-choice voting could look like in San Diego. There seems to be some disagreement over whether allowing voters to choose multiple candidates according to their preference would bring more diverse people and ideas into the mainstream. In either case, the practice is picking up momentum nationwide. 

In Other News

  • The U-T had a pair of 101 Ash St. updates last week on San Diego’s legal case. Former Mayor Kevin Faulconer received a subpoena to testify under oath and a lobbyist involved in settlement talks between the city and the players behind the vacant high rise did not appear for a deposition.
  • The CEO of Sullivan Solar, Daniel Joseph Sullivan, is facing felony charges for stalking an ex-girlfriend. Sullivan’s company made news last month after abruptly closing its doors. (Union-Tribune) 
  • Fans dressed as their favorite superheroes and villains returned to the San Diego Convention Center over the weekend for Comic-Con Special Edition. (ABC 10)  
  • A never-before-seen collection by Dr. Seuss is on display in Solana Beach until Dec. 31. The collection includes original renderings, illustrations and paintings. (FOX 5) 
  • Wednesday is the deadline for city of San Diego employees to show proof of vaccination or request religious exemption. Hundreds of police officers and other city employees remain unvaccinated, but the city says it won’t budge. After the deadline, the city plans to send notice of termination to employees who do not comply, The Union-Tribune reports. 

The Morning Report was written by Jesse Marx. It was edited by Andrea Lopez-Villafaña. 

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