Fallbrook Ricardo Favel
Fallbrook Ricardo Favel

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Recent data show that the unincorporated town of Fallbrook is exactly 50 percent Latino. Yet, it wasn’t until recently, that the town elected its first Latino representative to one of its government boards. 

In 2020, Ricardo Favela was elected to the board of Fallbrook Union Elementary School District – a district with 65 percent Latino students, writes Will Huntsberry. He was the first Latino ever elected to a government board in Fallbrook. 

That’s not completely surprising given the area’s history. 

Favela grew up there during a time when Latinos, many immigrants, faced violence and intimidation from local members of the Ku Klux Klan. His own father had an encounter with White youth in the area that could have turned violent. And many families in Fallbrook could recount similar stories. 

Still, as Huntsberry writes, years after card-carrying members of the KKK had moved away or died, a different kind of White power persisted in Fallbrook – the political kind.  

People like Favela have fought to increase representation.

“Our presence today is undeniable. We really can’t plan a future in Fallbrook without the Latino community,” said Favela. “So in terms of planning decisions, taking into account our presence is a must. There’s no Fallbrook without Latinos.” 

Read Huntsberry’s story here. 

Sanitation Strike Comes To an End

Republic Services workers listen to a Chula Vista City Council meeting on Jan. 11, 2022, concerning contract negotiations with Republic Services. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

A majority of Teamsters Local 542 voted yes Monday on a new collective bargaining agreement, bringing an end to their month-long strike. The terms were nearly identical to a previous offer put forth by Republic Services, a private waste disposal company, and rejected by the union, but also included a $1,000 bonus to get back on the job. The new contract includes a $4.90 increase per hour over the next five years. 

After the labor dispute began, the company brought in non-unionized workers as pressure from local governments mounted. 

In recent days, Chula Vista redirected its public works and other employees to help pick up the trash overflowing in dumpsters at apartment complexes. At a special meeting on Saturday, the City Council ratified an emergency declaration and began laying the groundwork to impose fines against Republic Services. 

City officials grilled the company’s managers last week but their franchise agreement limits how much pressure Chula Vista can apply, Jesse Marx reported last week. 

The strike has also affected parts of San Diego and the unincorporated county because the workers are part of the same collective bargaining agreement. In a statement Friday, San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria said he was giving the company until Monday to resolve its labor dispute before considering harsher options, including fines and a suspension of the franchise agreement. 

The county, the Union-Tribune reports, also told Republic Services that the strike is not an excuse for violating its agreement and gave the company until Tuesday to come up with a plan for resuming trash services. 

Where Does the Mayor Todd Gloria Stand On Proposed Ballot Measures?

Mayor Todd Gloria gives his 2022 State of the City Address at the San Diego Convention Center on Jan. 12, 2022. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

We’re not entirely sure. In his state of the city speech last week, Gloria outlined his 2022 agenda and the need for more money in multiple policy areas, but omitted the tax measures that might make it on the November ballot. 

As Scott Lewis and Andrew Keatts write in the Politics Report, that’s by design. His spokesperson said he would evaluate each of the proposals as they arise.

In the meantime, they write, former City Attorney Mike Aguirre is preparing a lawsuit against the Chargers and the NFL for leaving. He’s inspired by a similar lawsuit and settlement out of St. Louis, he said. 

Elsewhere in the political sphere… the U-T reports that San Diego’s new Council president bucked tradition when he declined to give public notice of the mayor’s state of the city speech last week. 

Over on the podcast, Lewis and Andrea Lopez-Villafaña discussed the state of the pandemic in this strange moment, as the virus continues to spread uncontained while others navigate rules for returning to work and school. They also unpacked some of Mayor Todd Gloria’s recent statements on homelessness and a few of the stories we published last week. 

In Other News

  • Bloomberg reports that DirecTV is dropping One America News, a local rightwing cable channel, from distribution over complaints that it’s been spreading misinformation.
  • The county announced late last week that a shigella outbreak that afflicted homeless residents, most of them in central San Diego, is officially over.
  • Tijuana photojournalist Margarito Martínez Esquivel, 49, was shot to death outside his home on Monday. Martínez Esquivel is the second journalist killed in Mexico this year. He helped national and local news organizations navigate Tijuana as a “fixer.” He covered crime and security issues. (Union-Tribune, AP)

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