Mayor Todd Gloria speaks at a press conference at the Jackie Robinson Family YMCA celebrating the groundbreaking of construction of a new pool. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

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Like presidents, San Diego mayors give a big annual speech where they make lots of promises about their priorities for the next year.

Tonight is Mayor Todd Gloria’s time under the lights. He’ll give his second State of the City speech as the city’s elected mayor. (Fun fact: He also delivered one as interim mayor.)

So where do last year’s pledges stand?

Lisa Halverstadt, MacKenzie Elmer and Andrew Keatts followed up on goals and pronouncements Gloria laid out in last year’s speech. The team checked on whether and how Gloria has turned the dial on issues including homelessness, climate action, equity and housing.

Read their follow up here, and check tomorrow’s Morning Report for more on tonight’s speech.

Curious how Gloria has fared on other promises he made on the campaign trail and since he took the helm as mayor?

Back in October, Keatts tallied Gloria’s progress on his police and public safety reform package while Halverstadt reported on the controversial homelessness enforcement and homeless camp clean-ups that have continued on his watch.

Elmer also provided a detailed update on Gloria’s Climate Action Plan efforts back in November.

COVID Cases Remain High

Following record high coronavirus cases over the weekend, county health officials reported an additional 10,198 cases and 20 deaths Tuesday. Hospitalizations are also increasing at a steeper rate than when the county reached its peak of 1,725 last January, reports Times of San Diego.

Here’s what’s new:

  • The San Diego State men’s basketball team officially went on COVID-19 pause Tuesday. The Union-Tribune reports that enough players tested positive for the virus that they can’t meet the Mountain West minimum of seven.
  • Demand for testing is high. Some people who visited testing sites at San Diego transit stations reported waiting up to 13 days for their results.
  • The Sweetwater Union High School District is delaying its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for students participating in sports and other extracurriculars, reports the Union-Tribune. The decision follows a ruling last month that San Diego Unified’s student vaccine mandate was illegal.
  • Speaking of extracurricular activities, Mark Powell, a former San Diego County Board of Education trustee, writes in a new op-ed that San Diego Unified’s decision to shut down off-season sports does more harm than good. He says limiting activities goes against research indicating that more exercise means less risk of developing severe COVID. Read his argument here.

Related: We’re interested in learning more about how families are navigating schooling and COVID. Tell us what it’s been like for you using this form.

Homeless Census Postponed

A volunteer surveys homeless San Diegans in downtown for the 2020 point-in-time count. / Photo by Megan Wood

The Regional Task Force on Homelessness announced late Tuesday it will postpone its annual homeless count that had been set for later this month.

Task Force CEO Tamera Kohler said the organization decided to conduct its annual count on Feb. 24 to better ensure the safety of homeless residents and volunteers and allow time to prepare to take more COVID precautions amid a recent surge in cases. Kohler said the Task Force also recognized that many providers and others that typically help with the count have been stretched thin as they respond to the spike in COVID cases, making it more challenging for them to assist this month.

The Task Force and its volunteers have for years tallied people staying in shelters and sleeping outdoors and in vehicles in late January. Last year, federal authorities allowed the region to simply count those staying in shelters due to COVID.

This year, Kohler said, the San Diego region wasn’t eligible for another waiver so it must conduct a count to remain eligible for tens of millions of dollars in annual federal Department of Housing and Urban Development funding. She said the federal agency signed off on the Task Force’s proposal to postpone the census.

In Other News

  • Ahead of a Tuesday night Chula Vista Council discussion of potential solutions to end a month-long sanitation strike, the Union-Tribune looked into the hourly pay of striking workers and heard from a union leader saying several local trash collectors must live in Tijuana to save cash.
  • Democrat Nathan Fletcher will continue to chair the county Board of Supervisors after a unanimous Tuesday vote. (City News Service)
  • County supervisors on Tuesday also approved an ordinance banning so-called “ghost guns” and mandating safe storage of firearms. (Times of San Diego)
  • The City Council voted Tuesday to create a committee to help the city select a new independent budget analyst via a national search. (Union-Tribune)
  • SeaWorld has an update on the sea lion who ended up on a freeway miles away from the ocean last week. (You’re welcome.)

This Morning Report was written by Lisa Halverstadt and Megan Wood.

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