The Morning Report
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In the wake of California politicians recently recycling tough-on-crime rhetoric, our Jesse Marx unpacks why some victims of horrific crimes are actually pushing for softer punishments.
Take the story of Essie Mae Horne, for instance. She lost two family members to gun violence. But she’s forgiven her brother’s killers and has compassion for them.
“These kids were old enough to be my kids,” she said. “If mine did something like that, I would hope others had empathy.”
Marx dives into surveys by justice advocates that show victims of crime believe imprisonment makes someone more likely to reoffend in the future. And why it might be time to replace lengthy mandatory sentences with services, mental health care and financial support for the families affected.
Click here to read more and get Marx’s column, Fine City, sent straight to your email by subscribing here.
Gloria Pledges Continued Action on Midway Homeless Camp
Mayor Todd Gloria vowed on Thursday that the city will improve conditions at a Midway District homeless camp that has grown dramatically over the last year.
On Tuesday and Thursday, the city reports that crews collected more than 10 tons of trash and other items from the camp that lines much of Sports Arena Boulevard between Rosecrans Street and Pacific Highway. Some business and property owners expressed frustration earlier this week when many residents returned to the camp after city crews left.
Fox 5 covered the Thursday operation and caught up with a homeless resident who was helping to clean the area.
Gloria said during a Thursday press briefing that he is committed to additional homeless outreach and clean-up efforts in the weeks to come.
“The conditions out there are completely unacceptable, and I will not be content with leaving them in that way, but we’re going to have to be persistent. This is not one and done,” Gloria said. “This is about an ongoing effort to make sure the situation there improves and ultimately is no longer out there.”
Gloria acknowledged recent pauses in city shelter intakes and other COVID-related dynamics have complicated the city’s ability to combat homelessness. With most city shelter beds unavailable to newcomers, the city has also been unable to cite homeless residents for crimes tied to homelessness.
A city spokeswoman told Voice of San Diego that twice-weekly clean-ups at the Sports Arena camp will continue for at least the next several weeks.
In Other News
- One San Diegan is suing San Diego Gas and Electric, claiming recent energy rate hikes are responsible for spikes in his blood pressure and depression. (Union-Tribune)
- SDG&E indeed has the highest electricity rates in the country, CBS8 has confirmed through a federal data set.
- A member of the Port of San Diego’s governing board is stepping down due to a conflict of interest over her direct financial relationship with San Diego Association of Governments, which is considering a piece of port land for a new transit hub. (Union-Tribune)
- The California State Auditor raised alarm over the safety of San Diego County jails in a report released Thursday, citing “ongoing risk to the safety of incarcerated individuals” and an “inadequate response” to jail deaths by the Sheriff’s Department. (Union-Tribune)
- San Diego city attorneys are probing whether Uber prevents transgender and nonbinary people from becoming drivers. (City News Service)
- The National Football League will pay UC San Diego researchers to study whether cannabis can help elite athletes recover after an injury. (NBC 7)
- The San Diego Police Department has lost some 100 officers since September due to a confluence of factors including pay, a robust labor market and morale, but a spokesperson for the police union, which opposes the city’s mandate that workers be vaccinated against COVID-19, opined to the Union-Tribune that the main reason for the departures is the mandate.
- A baby who was born at 2:22 on 2/2/22 is enjoying its celebrity today, but he better start preparing for some competition as 2/22/22 approaches. (10 News)
This Morning Report was written by MacKenzie Elmer, Andrew Keatts and Lisa Halverstadt. It was edited by Megan Wood.